On Wednesday, September 24th, Congressman Tom Marino presented Dr. Gareth Knowles, CEO of local power products manufacturer QorTek, Inc., with the annual Tibbetts Award, which recognizes small businesses for their achievements in research and development for the government and as successful drivers of innovation and job creation. Presentation of the Tibbetts Award was held at QorTek’s facility on Lycoming Creek Road, Williamsport, PA.
Named for Roland Tibbetts, father of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the Tibbetts Award is given to companies considered models of excellence for the program. Recipients not only contribute to government research and development (R&D), but to technical innovation and business development through leadership in their economy. Of the over 23,000 eligible small US companies, QorTek, Inc. is one of only 21 nationwide that were selected as recipients in 2014.
Russ Lawrence, Director of Innovation at the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), Inc., nominated QorTek, Inc. for this honor in conjunction with USAF Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, NM and Boeing Corporation. QorTek received the coveted Tibbetts award for its revolutionary new technology of ceramics-based power engineering (power supplies, adaptors, converters, inverters, voltage sensors) that eliminates any need for magnetic transformers. This innovation has required the company to establish a new division in Williamsport to manufacture their proprietary ceramic transformers for aerospace applications. The company expects to grow substantially within the next few years as they expand to incorporate technology from The Boeing Company, leading to high-value jobs and local economic growth.
The partnership between QorTek and IMC has impacted the regional economy as well. Having implemented the region’s first Innovation Engineering Management System (IEMS), the partnership “is causing a rapid expansion of increased economic activity in the form of new product and service ideas and implementation efforts,” says Lawrence. QorTek’s application and practice of IEMS methods has contributed to IMC’s ability to transfer IEMS expertise to future companies. The relationship flows both ways, as “IMC has been very involved with QorTek’s development,” according to Dr. Knowles. Both companies can celebrate their shared enthusiasm for innovation with QorTek’s achievement.
QorTek is the World Leader in Advanced Piezo-Systems, with over 30 patents awarded and 10 more pending; more than 60 Federal funded R&D projects successfully completed; and with successful technology transition spanning defense, medical, aerospace, automotive, oil & gas and microelectronics. Led by its unmatched piezoelectronics capabilities that include most of the critical technology advances over the past 15 years, QorTek now offers some of the World’s most advanced power products and piezo-based actuators, sensors and devices. More information can be found at www.qortek.com.