WASHINGTON – August 5th 2014 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) presented Sentient Science with the honorable Tibbetts award for the role Sentient Science plays in research and development for the Government and for success in driving innovation into the industrial and energy marketplace. Sentient follows in the footsteps of past winners including Qualcomm, Symantec and iROBOT Corporation.

The Tibbetts Award is named after Roland Tibbetts, who was instrumental in developing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Tibbetts is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to honor outstanding technical and commercial achievements of small businesses under the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

“It is the innovative entrepreneurs and high growth businesses like Sentient who help power our economy and move it forward by creating new jobs and making our industries globally competitive,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator. “Their accomplishments remind us all of how integral the success of high growth small businesses are to making our country more globally competitive.”

“I am extremely honored and proud of our team for winning the National Science Foundation Tibbetts Award”, said Ward Thomas, President and CEO at Sentient Science. “I would like to thank our customers and partners for supporting Sentient in getting to this milestone. We are fortunate to have the world’s best minds in computational product testing and asset life extension. We look forward to continued success as we apply DigitalClone® to the life prediction, extension and remanufacturing of blades and gearboxes in helicopters and wind turbines.”

James O’Leary, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kaydon Corporation and now Co-Chairman of Sentient Science commented, “As Chairman and CEO of Kaydon, I had the opportunity to meet Ward and his team and gain an understanding of Sentient and its life extension technologies. After the sale of Kaydon to SKF late last year, I joined the Board of Sentient to help explore and develop opportunities in the energy, rotating equipment, and friction control industries to reduce enterprise risk and cost, enhance operating efficiencies and contract time to market for the mutual benefit of world-class manufacturers and their customers. This award validates our shared belief in the power of innovative technologies and the impact they bring to our current and future customers and partners.”

Ed Wagner, Vice President of Sentient Science credited the U.S. Army, PM Aviation, NAVAIR, Boeing, Bell and Sikorsky for the funding to validate DigitalClone for computational product testing of systems, components and materials, and for computational asset management; together, driving down the cost of new product testing and service ability.

Sentient Science’s Key Partners

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research is a key partner for Sentient Science, enabling the company to deploy multiphysics models and services to commercial and government customers. The University at Buffalo provides access to its supercomputing infrastructure to host DigitalClone models and run prognostic simulations, which allow Sentient Science to scale commercial revenues. This support is made possible through funding from the Division of Science Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) through its High Performance Computing Consortium (hpc2.org) and the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

First Wind, headquartered in Boston, MA, was the first wind turbine operator to deploy Sentient Science’s life extension services for its fleet of Clipper and GE wind turbine gearboxes. As the first commercial customer in wind energy, First Wind uses the service to help better manage their wind assets while providing direction for Sentient’s ongoing product development. Today, First Wind is the world leader in deploying the most advanced model-based prognostic health management (PHM) system to extend the life of existing gearboxes and their mechanical components.

Sentient Science credited the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for its contributions to Sentient’s commercialization of its innovative research. In 2011, NYSERDA provided financial support to Sentient to take its technology developed under a Department of Energy SBIR and package it as a commercial product for wind energy operators. Today, this product is helping to extend gearbox life for GE 1.5MW and Clipper 2.5MW Wind power operators in North America.

Sentient Science also thanks Senator Charles E. Schumer for his support of the company’s research and development proposals and new asset management facility in Buffalo, NY. For many years, Senator Schumer has been a vocal supporter of Sentient’s material science and engineering breakthroughs as a way to save commercial companies and the federal government time and money. With his support and Sentient’s recent commercial success, the company has significantly grown its workforce located in Buffalo, NY.

The SBA’s SBIR/STTR programs accounted for more than $2.5 billion in FY 2013 in federal research and development funds and are coordinated by the SBA in cooperation with 11 federal agencies.

The award was made on Monday, June 16 at the White House by Associate Administrator Javier Saade and featured guest speaker Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources Programs at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), former member of the National Science Board, and the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Natalie Hils
Marketing Programs Manager