2018 Finalists Announced!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Greenville, South Carolina August 13, 2018

 

 

InnoVision Awards Announces Finalists for 2018 Awards

 

For 20 years, InnoVision Awards has represented the mark of distinction for outstanding technological excellence, leadership, and innovation in South Carolina, and beyond.  InnoVision recognizes businesses, entrepreneurs, educators, and individuals who set new standards for innovation; by creating, developing, and implementing their visionary thinking, thereby invigorating the South Carolina economy.

 

Blaine Childress, President of the InnoVision Awards Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the Finalists for the 2018 InnoVision Awards.

 

Technology Development: Accessible Diagnostics (Greenville, SC); Heatworks (Mount Pleasant, SC); and Poly-Med (Anderson, SC).

 

Technology Integration: BANDWAGON (Greenville, SC); Contec (Spartanburg, SC); andInsignia Group (Rock Hill, SC).

 

Small Enterprise: P2 Ops (Fort Mill, SC); Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing (Florence, SC); and Tetramer Technologies (Pendleton, SC).

 

Education: Clear Touch Interactive (Greenville, SC); C.U. Early Literacy Center (Clemson, SC); and USC College of Engineering and Computing (Columbia, SC).

 

Sustainability: Mogul SC Nonwovens (Gray Court, SC); Unlimited Power, LTD. (Greenville, SC); and Worthwhile (Greenville, SC).

 

Community Service: 6 AM City, LLC (Greenville, SC); Global Transplant Solutions (Duncan, SC); and Westminster Presbyterian-Carolina High School (Greenville, SC).

 

Young Innovator: Converse College S.T.A.R.S. Program (Spartanburg, SC).

 

Mr. Childress remarked, “Selection by our distinguished Judging Panel as a Finalist for an InnoVision Award is a significant achievement and honor. The InnoVision Awards program receives entries from the entire state of South Carolina and is always very competitive.  On behalf of the InnoVision Board of Directors, I applaud and congratulate all of the businesses and institutions who conducted these outstanding innovations in the state of South Carolina.”

 

The annual Awards Dinner will be held at the Spartanburg Marriott on Thursday, November 8, 2018. Sponsorships, Tables and Individual Tickets are now available. Please contact info@InnoVisionAwards.org to reserve your place at this event.

Meet The Judges

The InnoVision jury panel is composed of consultants, technical leaders, university members, business leaders, and industrial researchers; all located outside the state of South Carolina. The judging process seeks the most significant new innovations in development, integration, sustainability, education, community service, and small enterprise.

The Judges:

Kevin Andrews

Kevin presently serves as Senior Program Manager at NineSigma NA in the Cleveland, Ohio region. He is a physical chemist with a strong background in R&D and a keen ability to connect innovations.

Joonhyung Cho

Joon is presently Director of Business Development, Industry Relations at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has a strong background in agricultural biotechnology and intellectual property commercialization.

Eloise Young

Eloise is challenge designer for HeroX, a sister organization to XPrize.  She is part of the design team for the Base 11 Space Challenge that recently launched. She is an organist chemist operating her own consultancy in Moreland Hills, Cleveland, Ohio.

Don Ross

Don is President of Innovare, Inc. in the greater Boston area. Innovare examines and discovers the backbone of technical problems and utilizes a vast network of contacts and methods to bring solutions to major clients. Prior to starting his company, Don was Director of Innovation at Ocean Spray.

Elizabeth A Newcomb-Hopfer

Beth is Associate Professor, Fashion Merchandising and Design, at NC A&T University in Greensboro, N.C.  Beth has a strong background in textile technology and textile management stemming from her graduate studies at N.C. State.

Brad Tompkins

Brad is the CEO of VMware User Group (VMUG), operating out of Franklin, Tennessee. Brad is a global leader in corporate information technology, helping lead his over 100,000 global members in education, strategy, profitability, and operations.

Seetha Coleman-Kummula

Seetha is CEO of the Science, Technology, and Research Institute of Delaware (STRIDE), operating out of Newark, DE. Seetha is truly an international leader, having worked in Amsterdam, Brussels, Houston, UK, Milan, Frankfurt, Midland, and Wilmington. Since 2006, she has strongly focused on Sustainability.

InnoVision Awards Partner Hosting GCC on June 14th

InnoVision Awards partner, Upstate SC Alliance, is hosting an important opportunity to hear how the Global Competitive Council has forged important relationships with middle market international partners to bring technology and new industry investments. Please take the opportunity to attend an enriching program entitled, Grow Your Business Through Global Connections. You are encouraged to register by clicking on the link below.

Important Info:

Grow Your Business Through Global Connections
June 14, 2018 | The Poinsett Club
Breakfast & Networking: 8 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m.
Cost: $20

Register Here

How global is the Upstate and how does that impact your company and our regional economy? Join a list of speakers on June 14th to learn more!

Innovation Around the World

It is exciting to see innovation being celebrated around the world. Innovation is what makes our world better, cleaner, and safer and what better way to celebrate that than with awards! We love to see other innovation awards outside of South Carolina. We encourage you to have a look at how Amsterdam is celebrating innovation in the cleaning industry. It may inspire you to consider entering your invention for a 2018 InnoVision Award, which you can do by clicking HERE.

InnoVision Awards is South Carolina’s premier organization dedicated to the advancement of innovation and technology. It recognizes and promotes excellence in innovation through technology Forums, Young Innovator Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Technology Awards in six categories.

Impact of Receiving an InnoVision Award – The Technology Consortium

Impact of Receiving an InnoVision Award 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Hoffman, president of The Technology Consortium, Ltd. at an InnoVision Forum.  Friday, I spent the afternoon with Ron learning about his firm, and the reasons his new product, The HELP System, was the winner of the 2010 InnoVision Technology Award for the Small Enterprise category.  Even more importantly, he shared why receiving an InnoVision Award is so important to his company.

The HELP (High Efficiency Local Processor) System is able to reduce energy costs anywhere from 30-50%.  The new, smart microprocessor-Algorithm VFD motor control technology optimizes motor operation, and can easily be transferred to existing equipment. Ideal applications for The HELP System are H-VAC units, Chiller pumps, air-handlers, compressors and any type of 3-phase motors.  The HELP System is also effective in reducing humidity while providing a more stable temperature in H-VAC installations.  Additionally, The HELP System decreases drive component wear, reduces maintenance, increases motor life and improves motor performance. With all those benefits, why wouldn’t companies want to go through with the up fit?

The HELP System is already helping Upstate businesses save energy and financial resources,  and it’s also gaining traction in several other areas across the nation, too.  Ron hopes to make a major announcement in the weeks ahead about key prospects currently reviewing the many ways that The HELP System can help reduce energy expenditures for their firms, too.  Ron explains, “the reductions in energy costs will significantly impact facility operation costs, while helping the environment. “The greenest energy is the energy we never consume.”

Ron believes that many opportunities are on the horizon for The Technology Consortium, and states, “Receiving the 2010 InnoVision Award for The HELP System was significant in terms of providing exposure and visibility to The Technology Consortium group and The HELP System.  Not only did receiving the Award help us with Upstate area businesses, it has helped us become involved with national energy projects and initiatives. The InnoVision award provided us with a high level of credibility.”

Ron filed an application for the 2012 InnoVision Awards competition, and was a Finalist in the Sustainability Award for his firm’s SPEED Series. Ron explained, “I am extremely glad that I took the time to complete the applications and provide the information the judges needed to review the technologies.  Though not difficult”, he states, “it’s one extra thing to do when starting a company, but it is a process that I encourage South Carolina entrepreneurs, inventors and new business owners to pursue.”

Calls for Entries for the 2013 InnoVision Awards open May 1, 2013 and close July 8th, 2013.  Finalists will be announced on September 3, and the Finalists Reception is scheduled for September 26.  The Awards Dinner and Celebration will be held at the TD Center on Thursday, November 14.

 Martha Winebarger
InnoVision Advisory Board Member

InnoVision Forum: Promoting Innovation in SC Manufacturing

Innovation and  flexibility are helping South Carolina manufacturers respond to customer demands and needs on a timely basis, while maintaining cost effectiveness.

Gary Tompkins, President and CEO of The Kidder Group, moderated the Forum and introduced the panel of esteemed guests.

Will Franks, President of ICON Business Associates, is seeing innovations in lean manufacturing and he shared a few of the trends he has observed. Currently, lean manufacturers are shifting from having an internal focus to having a customerdriven focus (external).  Franks noted that there is a change in philosophy relative to off-shoring jobs, and mentioned two regional firms relocating facilities to the States;  GE is creating 400 new jobs by moving their water heater manufacturing from China, and NCR is moving 260 jobs (from China) to Georgia.  The third trend Franks has noticed is the “demand driven approach” to business.  Rather than pushing product, pull product.  The “pull” process will drive operational nightmares to the surface rather quickly, forcing manufacturers to analyze and make the necessary corrections.  Finally, Franks mentioned that savvy manufacturers are expanding the lean manufacturing practices to other areas within the company, including accounting, finance, marketing, sales, HR, etc.

Ryan Harrison with TTI presents at InnoVision Forum

Ryan Harrison is an Advanced Concept Engineer with TTI, North America.   Ryan has a unique background, possessing both a BFA, Drawing/Ceramics (UNC/Greensboro) and a Masters in Industrial Design (NC State).  Ryan is the rare individual who is able to draw upon his creativity for ideas and use his capabilities and skills to put ideas into form.  Ryan urged businesses and manufacturers to optimize the entire R&D process from the get-go.  Ryan’s list for improvement and innovation within the manufacturing process is impressive, and might be considered experimental thinking for many companies.  However, he encourages firms to give consideration to his recommendations:

  1. Hire creative, intelligent people, and let them loose doing their “thing”.
  2. Hire people who can spot opportunities and forming trends.
  3. Consider the environment within which these folks will work–promote collaboration through the correct furnishings, providing lots of white board surface for spontaneous design thought. This group is constrained when locked in a cubicle–creative and innovative thoughts demand partnership and room to co-work, brainstorm and design.
  4. Research, research, research!  Review all the research available, and take advantage of resource groups like Epinions to survey customers, potential users and non-users.
  5. Keep your finger on the pulse of what is next.  Frequent sources including, KickStarterTEDx , Gizmodo, etc.
  6. Use the product/item yourself, and watch others use it. Put yourself in the “end-user” position and determine the good, bad, ugly, wonderful, etc. about the product.
  7. Look outside your core to determine feasible new products.
  8. Build and refine.  Use outside vendors to help you with the most up to date technology in materials.  Embrace Rapid Prototyping.  Share with your team and  within your company.  Ask for feedback.  Refine if necessary. Join PDMA , an organization that provides opportunities for professional development, education, experience, networking and recognition. 
  9. Finally, Ryan stressed that it is vital for companies to understand the difference between Product Development and R&D.

Melanie Sudduth and Chris Wayne from the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership provided information to the group about SCMEP’s Strategic Growth Acceleration program, which was designed specifically for small to mid-sized companies looking to grow.  It is the only program to provide immediate improvements in sales and marketing, and establishes a pipeline for future growth ideas.  SCMEP is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit group with five service areas within the state.  (Not surprisingly, Greenville is the largest service area within the state, with over 1200 manufacturers residing in the county.)

An affiliate of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), SCMEP operates under the US Dept of Commerce to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness. SCMEP’s focus is on supplying small to mid-size South Carolina companies with the training, tools and processes businesses need to be more competitive in today’s increasingly demanding global economy.  Many successful South Carolina businesses turn to SCMEP for guidance, growth, and the application of valuable services ranging from operations improvement, engineering and product development, maintenance and facilities to human resources, sales and marketing, accounting and finance and executive management.

 InnoVision Forums are a knowledge sharing series providing professional development to help businesses and individuals stay informed on leading-edge technology advances.  

 Martha Winebarger
InnoVision Advisory Board Member