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OptiPro Systems receives federal honor

OptiPro Systems LLC received the 2016 Tibbetts Award for its achievements in innovation and job creation as a participant in the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.

The Ontario, Wayne County-based company was among 37 U.S. businesses to receive the award, presented during a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

Named in honor of the late Roland Tibbetts, the acknowledged father of the SBIR program, the awards recognize individuals, organizations, firms or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socioeconomic front and exemplify the best in SBIR achievements.

Through the SBIR program, OptiPro has developed new machines and processes that are commercialized and used by prime contractors and small to midsize optics manufacturers, and exported worldwide. 

“It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the 2016 Tibbetts Award,” said Mike Bechtold, OptiPro president, in a statement. “Without the SBIR program, OptiPro would not have been able to make the research and development investments necessary to grow our company and advance our technology to where it is today.

“Our continued success with the SBIR programs will help us to create the best possible advanced manufacturing solutions, especially for our important U.S.-based precision optics and ceramic producing companies.”

Profits earned since receiving their first SBIR grant have been re-invested in the company to increase technological improvement and commercialization of technologies, company leaders said.

OptiPro also holds a semi-annual SBIR review conference that highlights the technical advancements being made by the company, as well as other small companies participating in the SBIR program. 

OptiPro ranked 12th on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of optics and imaging firms. The company has more than 80 employees.

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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