Some of the top technology companies in Arizona to gather at a prestigious gala to honor the state’s science and technology innovators, the Arizona Technology Council, in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, today announced the winners of the 2015 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) Awards presented by Avnet, Inc.

"It is incredibly rewarding to see so many winners from Southern Arizona recognized at this year’s awards," said Steven G Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "The continually growing breadth and depth of Arizona’s technology sector is a tremendous boon to the state, spurring economic development and bringing jobs with higher than average wages."

Winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee of experts independent of the Council. Committee members included:

  • Susan Engle, Avnet, Inc
  • James Goulka, ATIF
  • Doug Hockstad, Tech Launch Arizona
  • Dr Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation
  • William Loux, Arizona Technology Enterprises
  • Eric Miller, Phoenix Analysis and Design (PADT)
  • Mary O’Reilly, PhD, CEM, Science Foundation Arizona
  • Charles Vermillion, Consultant

The winners in their respective categories are:

Company Award Winners

  • Innovator of the Year – Start-Up Company: SinfoníaRx, Tucson, Arizona

SinfoníaRx was recognized for its customizable algorithms that turn medical data into timely interventions to reduce healthcare costs and build healthier communities. By employing medical data to contact patients, caregivers and providers, notifying them of medication gaps, safety concerns, and opportunities for improved care via dose optimization and adherence to national consensus guidelines, SinfoníaRx delivers better health outcomes with tremendous ease.

  • Innovator of the Year – Small Company: GuardVant, Inc, Tucson, Arizona

GuardVant was recognized for its mining technology that improves the safety and productivity of mining plant, port, and transportation operations worldwide. Via 3D head and facial movement recognition, GuardVant’s OpGuard algorithm lets mining operations identify and intervene in cases of fatigue and driver distraction, improving worker safety and preventing equipment damage. Its ProxGaurd system combines GPS, radar and video to eliminate blind spots in mining equipment.

  • Innovator of the Year – Large Company: Medtronic Tempe Campus, Tempe, Arizona

The Medtronic Tempe Campus was recognized for its world-class microelectronics manufacturing that produces components for implantable medical devices from cardiac pacemakers to deep brain stimulators that address movement disorders. Since Medtronic began Arizona operations in 1973, the work done in the Valley of the Sun has been part of a proud tradition of saving lives and alleviating pain.

  • Innovator of the Year – Academia: Tech Launch Arizona – University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

When scientific breakthroughs meet entrepreneurial expertise, life-changing ideas leave the laboratory and enter the marketplace, where they improve society as a whole. The University of Arizona was recognized for Tech Launch Arizona, which is designed to facilitate connection between entrepreneurs and investors and the faculty, inventors, and researchers at the university. Tech Launch Arizona is founded on the belief that reducing the barriers to collaboration today paves the way for life-changing, job-building businesses tomorrow.

Chairman’s Award

Selected at the discretion of the Arizona Technology Council’s leadership, the Chairman’s Award was presented to Jerry Proctor, SES-COL, US Army (Ret), JVP Strategic Consulting, LLC. Proctor recently retired from the US Army with 40 years of military and civilian senior executive service and was recently elected to the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors. His broad and diverse experience spans leadership positions from platoon leader to Brigade level to Deputy Commanding General.

"Arizona boasts an impressive talent pool of visionary thinkers whose contributions have made our state a center for bold ideas," said Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. "Innovation in Arizona is driving life-changing technological advances and diversifying our economy, leading to a more prosperous future."

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