Small Times magazine announces Best Of Small Tech Award winners

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 12, 2002 — Small Times magazine today announced its 2002 Small Times Magazine Best of Small Tech Awards, recognizing the best people, products and companies in nanotechnology, MEMS and microsystems.

“Small tech will make our lives easier by making products smaller, faster, cheaper and more efficient,” said Steve Crosby, vice president and managing editor of Small Times Media. “We expect this year’s Small Times Best of Small Tech Award winners and finalists to have a tremendous impact on the future.”

Small Times Media staff and an industry panel of experts selected one winner and four finalists in six categories, plus one lifetime achievement winner. The team considered accomplishments between Oct. 1, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2002.

The entire list of Small Times Magazine Best of Small Tech Awards can be found in the November/December issue.

The winners and finalists include:


Winner: Texas Instruments’ Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology conquered the home theater projector market, creating a digital connection between the video source and the screen, for outstanding clarity, brilliance and color.


  • Agilent Technologies’ film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) duplexer; the device in a mobile phone that allows two-way conversation.
  • Hybrid Plastics’ Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) Nanostructured Chemicals; improve the thermal and mechanical properties of traditional polymers.
  • Nano-Tex’s nanofibers; polymers that wrap around fibers making clothes stain-proof, wrinkle-free, absorbent or more comfortable.
  • Nucryst Pharmaceuticals’ Acticoat; a nanocrystalline silver-based burn dressing.


Winner: MEMSIC launched products, gained customers, marketed a lower-cost approach, and garnered venture capital in a down year.


  • Affymetrix launched a commercial DNA array to analyze the human genome.
  • Harris & Harris profited from the sale of shares of a small tech company just before a yearlong stretch of significant deals and fund raising.
  • Micralyne. This Canadian MEMS developer and manufacturer grew revenues by 33 percent in 2002.
  • Nanogate. This German company produces Cerax Nanowax, a nanoparticle-based coating for skis to help boost speed, agility and resistance to snow.

Business leader

Winner: Kurt Petersen’s company Cepheid shipped DNA test kits to the army, inked international distribution deals and collaborated with Northrop Grumman to vie for a multimillion-dollar U.S. Postal Service contract.


  • Larry Bock helped Nanosys gain $15 million in venture financing and recruited small tech’s dream team.
  • Charles Janac secured new second round investors for Nanomix.
  • Chris Lumb’s company, Micralyne, sidestepped the MEMS fab shakeout and posted a profit in 2002.
  • Rick Snyder of Ardesta funded at least seven different small tech companies in 2002. (Ardesta is Small Times Media’s parent company.)


Winner: George Whitesides, of Harvard University, for work on advanced self-assembly, soft lithography and the fight against bioagents.


  • Phaedon Avouris, IBM, develops carbon nanotube-based computing devices.
  • Angela Belcher uses bacteria and viruses to make materials like semiconductor crystals at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Luke Lee, University of California, Berkeley, develops a miniaturized microscope that could allow people to observe living cells and their components.
  • Charles Lieber, of Harvard, builds sophisticated lattices using semiconductor nanowires.


Winner: Larry Bock launched more than a dozen biotech companies, many of which have gone public, before turning to nanotechnology and Nanosys.


  • Angela Belcher, MIT, developed nanocrystal-virus hybrid films.
  • Ken Gabriel, Akustica, launched a MEMS program at DARPA and helped develop the industry through the MEMS Industry Group trade association.
  • Roger Howe, UC Berkeley, promotes microtechnology as an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Albert Leung, MEMSIC, invented an accelerometer with no moving parts.


Winner: Mihail (Mike) Roco has made nanotechnology a national priority as director of the National Nanotechnology Initiative and National Science Foundation senior adviser for nanotechnology.


  • Ramon Compano, head of the European Commission’s Nanotechnology Information Devices program, is among the most active officials promoting nanotechnology in Europe.
  • Tim Harper is head of nanotech research company CMP Cientifica, and is one of Europe’s pre-eminent nanotech spokesmen.
  • Mark Modzelewski is co-founder and executive director of the NanoBusiness Alliance, which provides nanotech companies an umbrella organization to boost lobbying efforts.
  • Rick Smalley, Nobel laureate, has taken a leadership role in bridging the gap between research and commercialization in his dual roles at Rice University and Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.

Lifetime achievement

Winner: Gerd Binnig, of IBM, for inventing the Scanning Tunneling Microscope and the Atomic Force Microscope, tools for imaging nanoscopic structures.


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