New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership: NH MEP
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February 13, 2012

For more information please contact:
Zenagui Brahim
Tel: (603) 226-3200

New Hampshire MEP Encourages Applications for 2012 New England Innovation Awards

Deadline for Nominations February 28

CONCORD, NH - The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP) today invited companies from across the state to apply for the 2012 New England Innovation Awards. This year marks the 26th year that the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) has sponsored the competition to identify the region’s most dynamic and innovative firms. In soliciting applications, NH MEP announced that it would again be nominating selected New Hampshire manufacturers for the prestigious award.

“The New England Innovation Awards are among the most coveted and valuable recognitions bestowed on companies in the region. Winners in past years have benefited significantly from the publicity and contacts that accompany the awards. We encourage all New Hampshire companies, and particularly NH MEP clients, to contact us about supporting their nomination,” said Zenagui Brahim, NH MEP’s executive director.

New Hampshire manufacturers have successfully competed in the past. In 2010 Nashua-based Windmill International, Inc., was an SBANE Innovation Award winner. The award enhanced the company’s reputation as one of the defense industry’s business leaders in program management, engineering, training, technology and software development.

Brahim emphasized the value to companies of participating in the competition.

“Entrepreneurs know that creative ideas are not easily translated into successful companies. For the past 25 year, the SBANE Innovation Awards have identified some of the most successful innovators in New England and given these entrepreneurial firms a platform for showcasing their products and services,” the NH MEP Director stated.

Established in 1986, the SBANE innovation awards recognize companies that have transformed innovative ideas into products and services that deliver value to customers.

The awards are bestowed in three categories to for-profit companies headquartered in New England. The three business categories are technology, manufacturing and rising star. The companies are judged according to criteria that include: the nature of the compelling idea or technology, the demonstrated benefit to users, its ability to address a market need or create a new market, and its marketplace success.

Brahim applauded the Smaller Business Association of New England for recognizing the value of innovation as a business strategy.

“A sound business strategy needs to include innovation. Two recent studies have demonstrated that innovation is the most profitable primary business strategy, compared to low cost, fast delivery, voice of the customer or quality strategies. We applaud SBANE for recognizing that innovation is one of the most critical factors in business success,” Brahim stated.

NH MEP provides innovation and growth services to its clients. The services were developed in response to customer demand, after national surveys of MEP clients find that innovation and new product development is one of the highest needs of small and mid-size manufacturers.

The Smaller Business Association of New England, Inc. (SBANE), founded in 1938, is a private not-for-profit association of approximately 700 member companies located throughout the six-state region.

The nomination deadline for 2012 awards is February 28. For more information about the award application process, visit the SBANE Web site or contact NH MEP at 603-226-3200.

About NH MEP

The NH MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP system is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness. For information on the MEP Lean Energy and Environment program, please visit, or phone 603-226-3200.