Kitware, Inc. Recognized for Exceptional Innovation

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Tibbetts Awards honor projects that bring federal R&D from the lab to the market

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Kitware, Inc. today announced that it has received a Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for its Software Toolkit for Image-Guided Surgery (IGSTK) project. SBA presents the awards to companies and individuals that have advanced technological innovation and economic growth.

“The Tibbetts Award reflects Kitware’s success with the Software Toolkit for Image-Guided Surgery Phase I and II STTRs, which have taken a technologically innovative idea from conception to completion,” said Dr. Andinet Enquobahrie, technical leader for the project. “We started with a Phase I project and an idea, which has now been integrated into various research projects and clinical studies with resounding success.”

As a cutting-edge tool for research involving minimally invasive image-guided medical procedures, IGSTK is being used in investigations into new surgical techniques that may improve surgical accuracy and precision, increase a surgeon’s ability to confidently treat challenging and complex pathologies, decrease surgical trauma, and reduce recovery time for patients.

Funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, IGSTK is also groundbreaking in that it is freely available as open-source software. Dr. Enquobahrie has promoted IGSTK through publications and lectures at international conferences, and he has assisted in its integration into numerous research and commercial systems. As open-source software, there are no licensing fees for using IGSTK, which builds on Kitware’s thriving business model that is based on offering commercial consulting services surrounding its open-source efforts.

“The SBIR and STTR programs are a key component of our business model and success,” said Dr. Enquobahrie. “They enable us to develop innovative open-source tools, build communities who use and support those tools, and thereby expand our collaborative research and commercial consulting base. For instance, the IGSTK STTR was a collaborative research project between Kitware’s New York and North Carolina offices and the Computer Aided Interventional and Medical Robotics (CAIMR) group, led by Dr. Kevin Cleary at Georgetown University.”

Dr. Enquobahrie accepted the award at a ceremony this morning in Washington, DC. Afterward, he met with SBA Administrator, Karen Mills, and attended a reception at the White House.

“This is a proud day not only for Kitware but also for the cities of Clifton Park, NY and Carrboro, NC,” said Sean Greene, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Senior Adviser for Innovation. “Companies like Kitware represent the best in American ingenuity.”

About Kitware

Founded in 1998, Kitware is a leader in the creation and support of open-source software and state of the art technology, and is one of the fastest growing software companies in the country. The company leverages its open-source communities and diverse technical expertise to provide custom solutions for a broad range of complex technical problems. Kitware's team is recognized for their major contributions to a wide variety of open-source software systems including the Visualization Toolkit (VTK), the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK), CMake, ParaView, and Slicer. Kitware has made an impact in areas such as visualization, data publishing, medical imaging, quality software processes, computer vision and informatics. Among Kitware's customers and collaborators are research and industry leaders at academic research facilities, government institutions and private corporations worldwide. Kitware's products and services include software development, consulting, algorithms research, custom application development and training that leverage open source applications and toolkits. For more information please visit

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Nicole Messier
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