SBA Awards OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc. (OKSI) the 2011 Tibbetts Award for Technological Innovation

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OptoKnowledge’s Hyperspectral Sensors, True-Color Night Vision, Human Stress & Intent Detection, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Detection Systems, and other such innovative products have had a profound impact on U.S. capabilities for twenty years. In recognition of this on-going commitment to commercializing federal research and development, the SBA has awarded OptoKnowledge the prestigious Tibbetts Award.

OptoKnowledge's HyperScan line of products is being used by many government agencies, universities, and commercial businesses throughout the US and around the world.

[Congresswoman Jane Harman said OptoKnowledge's] dedication to innovation, research and development, and a nimble business model, has enabled OKSI to succeed within both government and commercial sectors.

The U.S. Small Business Administration honored OptoKnowledge Systems Inc. (OKSI), with the 2011 Tibbetts Award at a ceremony held in Washington DC on Tuesday, followed by a White House reception, for OptoKnowledge’s contributions to Federal Research and Development.

The SBA presents the Tibbetts Award to companies from across the United States selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovations, their ability to meet federal research and development needs, their encouragement of diverse participation in technological innovation, and their overall record of accomplishment in increasing the commercialization of federal research.

This year, OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc. will celebrate its 20th year “converting light into knowledge,” solving government, education, and commercial problems and delivering new technologies as turnkey products. This consistent record of accomplishment has led to recognition as one of only forty-four Tibbetts Award winners nationwide. Through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, a variety of government agencies, including DoC, DoD (Air Force, Army, Missile Defense Agency, Navy), DoE, NASA, and the USDA, have awarded OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc. over 50 Phase-I, 28 Phase-II, and multiple Phase-III contracts. These programs have led to new and better technologies for warfighters as well as improved agricultural techniques that result in better yields using less pesticides.

“Winning the future requires redoubling our commitment to supporting innovative entrepreneurs like those we honor with Tibbetts Awards,” said Karen Mills, SBA administrator. Congresswoman Jane Harman supported OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc.’s nomination; “(OptoKnowledge’s) dedication to innovation, research and development, and a nimble business model, has enabled OKSI to succeed within both government and commercial sectors.”

Nahum Gat, founder and president of OKSI reflected, “we are very proud to have been recognized for our 20 years of ongoing efforts in R&D. The SBIR program provides an excellent opportunity for some of the best and brightest people and companies to make significant technological advances that would otherwise not be possible. The SBIR programs fund innovative companies and support the Administration’s goal (as expressed by President Obama in the recent State of the Union Address) to out–innovate other countries, and invest in science & technology to maintain US technological superiority in this competitive global economy.”

OptoKnowledge Systems Inc., long known in the industry as OKSI (pronounced oh-kay-ess-eye or awk-see), will celebrate its 20th anniversary of “converting light into knowledge” this year. Their products range from hyperspectral systems to true color night vision systems to enabling technologies for new generations of infrared systems. Located in Torrance, California, OptoKnowledge is growing faster than ever before, increasing in size by 30% in 2011. For more information about OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc., please visit their website at


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