Bowdoin neuroscience firm honored by SBA

A Bowdoin company that provides advanced technologies for the neuroscience field is one of 18 small companies honored today by the Small Business Administration.

FHC Inc. and the 17 other companies around the country each received a Tibbetts Award, which honor businesses who participate in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, commonly called the SBIR.

“Creating an economy built to last requires redoubling our commitment to supporting innovative entrepreneurs like those we honor with Tibbetts Awards,” said Karen Mills, SBA administrator.

Tibbetts award winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and on whether they have met federal research and development needs, encouraged diverse participation in technological innovation, and increased the commercialization of federal research, according to an SBA release.

According to FHC’s website, the company has more than 100 employees in worldwide offices. It makes a number of microelectrodes, stimulators and micro-positioning devices.

“Our neuroscience customers are scientists studying at major universities, medical schools, research hospitals, government research institutions, and private laboratories located at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and major technology-based companies around the world,” the company said on its website.

According to the SBIR website, FHC has been awarded SBIR funds in rounds going back as far as 1995. The most recent award was for $202,186 in 2010 for work done on technology aimed at helping patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Moe Dube, the state SBA district director, said he was proud that a Maine company was awarded a Tibbetts, and felt that FHC was a “truly deserving recipient.”

“It is another example of the innovative spirit and hard work of Maine’s entrepreneurs,” Dube said.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who has been a supporter of the SBIR program and its companion program, the Small Business Technology Transfer program, said they both “foster an environment of innovative entrepreneurship for the nation’s small firms most likely to create jobs and commercialize their products”

” … they were designed precisely for companies like FHC in Bowdoin, which is producing remarkable technologies for use in the neuroscience field.  I congratulate FHC and its dedicated employees for being one of only 18 companies nationwide to receive a Tibbetts Award today by living up to the spirit and hallmarks of the SBIR program as envisioned by its founder, Roland Tibbetts,” Snowe said in a statement. “Furthermore, I am pleased that, after nearly six years of work, we were able to pass a comprehensive reauthorization of these critical initiatives late last year, in order to assist a new generation of pioneering small businesses like FHC for years to come.”