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Connect Announces Winners of 23rd Most Innovative Product Awards

Xconomy San Diego — 

Connect, the San Diego non-profit group dedicated to supporting technology innovation and entrepreneurism, named the winners of its “Most Innovative New Product” awards at a luncheon ceremony Friday. This year, San Diego’s innovation community nominated more than 100 new products—a record number of nominees—which prompted Connect CEO Duane Roth to note in a statement that “the true measure of an innovation economy is the volume of research that translates into successful products.”

The group also named TurboTax as the recipient of this year’s Otterson Award, which Connect describes as the highlight of its ceremony. The award, created in memory of Connect’s founding executive director, Bill Otterson, recognizes technologies or products developed in San Diego that have demonstrated a “significant positive impact on quality of life.” San Diego’s ChipSoft developed TurboTax during the early 1980s and Mountain View, CA-based Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) acquired ChipSoft in 1993. Since its launch in 1984, TurboTax has grown to become the nation’s best-selling tax preparation software.

Connect also surprised two people, life sciences consultant Julia Brown and Provide Commerce CEO Bill Strauss, with its Distinguished Contribution Award, which recognizes individuals who have supported the advancement of local entrepreneurs.

The 2010 MIP Award winners in each of eight categories are:

—Action and Sport Technologies: Solana Beach, CA-based ElliptiGO for the ElliptiGO 8S, a low-impact fitness training machine that is part bicycle, part elliptical cross-trainer.

ElliptiGo Trainer

ElliptiGo Trainer

—Aerospace and Security Technologies: San Diego’s Trex Aviation Systems (part of Trex Enterprises) for the FOD Finder, a millimeter band radar and related technology that is mounted on a vehicle and used to automatically detect foreign object debris (FOD) on airport runways and taxiways. Such debris is a frequent cause of damage to jet aircraft engines.

—Clean Technology: San Diego-based Multispark, for PowerStar, which looks like an ordinary spark plug except for the star design at the tip. The star shape creates multiple point gaps that allow for faster starts, improved performance, lower energy consumption, and less fouling.

Connect MIP award 2010

Connect MIP award 2010

—Communications & IT: San Diego’s PCN Technology for the IP-485 networking platform, technology which enables customers to convert existing control networks and power systems to also operate as advanced digital TCP/IP networks. I profiled the company in September.

—Software: Legend 3D for its proprietary technology that converts any 2D feature film, TV program, wireless mobile content, or other digital media content to 3D with quality that often surpasses video produced by cameras designed for 3D filmmaking. I profiled the company in May.

—Hardware and General Technology: AgigA Tech, a Poway, CA-based subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor for Agigaram, a highly reliable and economical non-volatile memory subsystem developed to meet the need for higher-density, higher-performance memory for enterprise-class applications.

—Life Sciences, Diagnostics and Research tools: San Diego’s NeuroVigil for iBrain, a non-invasive wireless brain recording technology that uses advanced computational algorithms to rapidly generate an accurate and automated reading of brain wave data. The portable, user-friendly device can be used for at-home monitoring of sleep, neurodiagnostics, and drug safety evaluations.

—Life Sciences, Medical Products: San Diego-based Zogenix for Sumavel DosePro, a needle-free subcutaneous drug delivery system for self-administration of a fast-acting therapy used to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches. I profiled the company in August.

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