Eight innovations have been honored as winners of the 15th annual Utah Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP and the Utah Technology Council.
The program recognizes innovations and the Utah companies that created them. Winners were announced during a sold-out awards dinner April 20 in Salt Lake City.
A committee of roughly 80 professionals from private industry, government and higher education evaluated and voted on program finalists and winners. The more than 100 nominations were put through an evaluation process during which committee members evaluated each innovation against a wide range of criteria addressing elements such as novelty, market need, market disruption and potential/current economic impact. Votes were tallied by the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP.
Utah Innovation Award winners are:
• Clean Technology and Energy: Vutiliti Pulse by Vutiliti. Vutiliti gathers and provides real-time information on utility usage (electric, gas, water, renewables) so that consumers, businesses and governments can monitor and budget utility usage. Vutiliti’s mobile and web programs guide consumers to actual consumption reduction, saving them money while reducing usage of water, gas and electricity generation.
• Computer Hardware/Electrical Devices: KiBand by Kilife Tech Inc. Kiband, developed by KiLife Tech, allows parents of small children to adjust mobile boundaries that alert both parent and child within about 4 feet of accuracy.
• Computer Software: Taxzilla by Taxzilla. Taxzilla starts by gathering some basic information about a person and how they earn their living. Taxzilla then matches the person with CPAs in their area who specialize in their line of work. Once matched, the CPA and tax team help create goals and plans. Taxzilla provides tools like receipt keeping, coaching and training to help the person track their goals week by week.
• Enterprise Software, Cloud and Big Data: Lucidchart by Lucid Software Inc. Lucidchart is a web diagramming and flowchart application. The intuitive, cloud-based solution is redefining the way people drive innovation through visual thinking and real-time collaboration. Lucidchart is used in more than 175 countries by more than 10 million users.
• Life Science: Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical: Computationally Intelligent Discovery Engine by Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Recursion has combined the best elements of automated biology and artificial intelligence to create a computationally intelligent drug discovery platform that is capable of finding new drugs and new ways to use old drugs, while simultaneously working on many diseases in parallel.
• Life Science: Medical Device: Xenocoscope by Xenocor. Each year, more than 7 million patients throughout the world undergo laparoscopic procedures, more than 2 million women undergo diagnostic hysteroscopies and more than a million patients undergo video assisted thoracoscopic procedures in the U.S. alone. The benefits of such direct visualization laparoscopic techniques are well documented and include convenience, accuracy, and patient acceptability.
• Mechanical Systems/Chemicals/Manufacturing: ProSlab 155 Automated Turf Harvester by FireFly Automatix Inc. The harvester uses sophisticated controls to enable a hybrid of electric and hydraulic systems. It robotically cuts and stacks turfgrass with improved quality and less fuel.
• Outdoor and Consumer Products: SNO-GO by SNO-GO. It merges skiing with downhill mountain biking. The familiar motions of mountain-bike riding are paired with snow skis designed for all types of snow conditions, creating an experience for riders of any skill level.