The Minnesota High Tech Association is inviting innovators in science and technology from across the state to apply for the prestigious Minnesota High Tech Association 2018 Tekne Awards. The application date has been extended to Friday, August 10.

The ceremony announcing finalists for the Tekne Awards will be on Nov. 29 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Info, online application and tips for apply:

Since 1997, the Tekne Awards have recognized cutting-edge leaders in the state’s science and technology fields. The   2018 Tekne Awards are accepting applications in 15 categories,   from newly emerging areas, such as companies innovating in 4.0   concepts of advanced manufacturing and biotechnology gene therapies, to long-standing categories for innovations in software and STEM workforce development.


“Minnesota has a long history of successful innovators in science and technology, and the Tekne Awards help us recognize the future of innovation in Minnesota,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association. “These innovators help make Minnesota a leader in science and technology innovation and improve the lives for people around the world.”

Applications for the 2018 Tekne Awards are available online.

Apply here.

The award categories are listed below.  In a change from previous years, the Tekne Awards application will be accepting applications only from the prospective award winner. The online application will no longer accept nominations from others who recommend an innovator for an award. Those nominators should instead forward the application link to companies and encourage them to apply directly online.

For tips on submitting an award-winning application, review our Tekne Application 101 Webinar here, including insight from a past Tekne Award winner and judge.

The categories for the 2018 Tekne Awards are:

1) Advanced Manufacturing:  Honors innovation in manufacturing, manufacturing equipment and processing, with an emphasis on increased speed, accuracy, strong product customization and reduced costs. Examples include, but are not limited to, machine-tools, machine-to-machine components, mechatronics, intelligent technical systems, 3D-additive manufacturing, and integration of industry 4.0 concepts into advanced manufacturing systems.

2) Biotech/Pharmaceuticals: Celebrates innovation and pioneering efforts in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals to provide game-changing advancement in the healthcare field.  Examples include, but are not limited to: gene therapies, precision medicine, drug discovery and delivery, etc.

3) Building Design and Infrastructure:  Honors the integration of technology in building design, construction and operation. Examples include, but are not limited to: smart grid, productive workplace design, green building materials, or applied innovative building design in occupant comfort and indoor air quality.

4) Clean Tech/Energy:  Shines a spotlight on innovation that enhances energy efficiency, conservation or renewable energy generation and storage.   Examples include, but are not limited to: solar or wind power, biofuels, petroleum replacement or personal transportation.

5) Community Impact:  Recognizes the development or implementation of technology that serves an unmet community need. Entries should demonstrate significant improvement or modernization through a product, service or innovation that assists under-served populations, enhances quality of life, health or safety, or promotes an innovative job creation strategy. Two or more parties can be involved and submit a joint application. Both non-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible.

6) Cybersecurity:  Recognizes innovative products or services that secure networks, computers, or systems from unintended or unauthorized access.  Examples include, but are not limited to: identity management products or services, trusted authentication, disaster recovery, secure data storage, computer forensics, and verification processes.

7) Emerging Technologies: Celebrates a cutting-edge product or service that is pushing the boundaries of technology or application of technology and/or significantly disrupting an industry. Examples include, but are not limited to: Blockchain, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, integrated sensor technologies, etc.

8) Food/Ag Tech:  Honors technological advances in agricultural operations or food production that enhance productivity and efficiency, improve environmental sustainability or contribute to food safety.

9) Health IT:  Recognizes advances in the application of information technology to the healthcare sector, helping to diagnose diseases, increase efficiencies and improve patient outcomes. This category rewards technologies which have made a real impact to improve patient healthcare and quality of life.

10) IT Solutions Consulting:  Celebrates the contributions of technology solutions providers and consultants whose research and technical expertise help clients to optimize workloads and systems for future-state readiness, reduce costs, speed time to market and/or protect infrastructure.

11) Medical Device:  Honors significant achievements in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery and accessibility.  Examples include, but are not limited to: instruments, machines, implants, in vitro reagents or other related products that are intended for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease or other conditions.

12) Science & Technology Startup:  Recognizes an early-stage Minnesota science or technology company with commercialized products that demonstrates significant potential, creativity and a promising future. Company revenue for 2017 is $5m or less and 50% or more of its employees are based in Minnesota.

13 and 14) Software 

  • Established Companies, $50m+ in 2017 revenue
  • Small & Growing Companies, < $50m in 2017 revenue

Honors innovation in software development or applications to solve strategic business challenges, guide business decisions or enhance productivity and efficiency. Examples include, but are not limited to: website plug-ins, back-end organizational software, mobile development, stream processing, scheduling, supply chain, etc.

15) STEM Workforce Development:  Celebrates innovative approaches to talent development in the STEM fields, including efforts to close Minnesota’s STEM skills gap and provide solutions to address Minnesota’s STEM workforce shortage.

About the Minnesota High Tech Association

MHTA is an innovation and technology association united in fueling Minnesota’s prosperity and making Minnesota a top five science and technology state. We help bring together the people of Minnesota’s technology ecosystem and lead the charge in directing technology issues to Minnesota’s state capitol. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota’s entire technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota.

Connect with us online:

Twitter: @MHTA

LinkedIn: @minnesota-high-tech-association