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Awards for Innovation

By Katie Barry

Throughout the year numerous organizations, governments and other business communities award innovators and innovations. The awards are primarily concerned with the end result – the innovation itself. Why is it innovative? How does the customer benefit? How does the company benefit? What are the monetary benefits from the innovation?

What’s missing? How did the innovation develop? Real Innovation demands systematic, predictable and repeatable processes. Innovation awards need to catch-up to the needs of today’s society and make innovation a core competency – lucky breaks and incremental improvements will not last forever.

The following is a random selection of some of 2006’s innovative winners and a look atsome 2007 innovation awards that have yet to be decided.


Award name: Innovative Renewable Energy Projects
Sponsored by: Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Winners include: Washington State Production Incentives for Small-Scale Renewable Resources and PG&E Solar Schools Program.

Award name: Innovation Award
Sponsored by: INTERNET TELEPHONY ® Magazine
Winners include: Interwise Connect Version 7, TeamSpirit Mobile and Avaya one-X Quick Edition.

Award name: The Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation
Sponsored by: Claremont Graduate University
Winner: United Through Reading

Award name: Unsaleables Innovation Award
Sponsored by: The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
Winners: H-E-B and Carolina Supply Chain Services (CSCS) and Heinz U.S. Consumer Products and GENCO Damage Research

Award name: Privacy Innovation Award
Sponsored by: International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Winners: Royal Philips Electronics, General Electric Corp., ATB Financial and Voltage Security, Inc.

Award name: Innovation Awards
Sponsored by: AMR Research
Winners: Dassault Systemes, IBM, Endeca and Eyelit.


Award name: Innovations in American Government Award
Sponsored by: Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Systematic innovation standard(s): “Its transferability, the degree to which the program, or aspects of it, shows promise of inspiring successful replication by other governmental entities:

  • To what extent can this program be replicated in other jurisdictions?
  • To what extent can this program serve as a model that other jurisdictions will seek to replicate?
  • To what extent are program components, concepts, principles, or insights transferable to other disciplines or policy areas?”

Award name: Cisco Networkers Innovation Awards
Systematic innovation standard(s): “Please give brief details of replicability.”

Award name: Wireless Broadband Innovation Awards
Systematic innovation standard(s): N/A

Award name: International Innovations Design and Engineering Awards
Sponsored by: Consumer Electronics Association
Systematic innovation standard(s): N/A

Award name: Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Innovation Awards
Sponsored by: Worldwide Business Research
Systematic innovation standard(s): N/A

Award name: Collaborative Commerce Achievement Awards
Sponsored by: Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association
Systematic innovation standard(s): N/A

About the Author:

Katie Barry is the editor of Contact Katie Barry at editor (at) or visit