CHAMPION Technology Company, Inc., a Richland knowledge-based cyber security business that uses logic programming to keep clients safe from hackers, was recognized at R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards Banquet in Las Vegas in November.
For more than half a century, the editors at R&D Magazine have honored leaders in the science and technology industries. Their innovative and high-tech processes are evaluated and celebrated at an annual event know as the R&D 100 Awards Banquet.
The 2015 banquet took place in mid-November at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., and more than 300 finalists were recognized for their high achievements within five categories — Analytical/Test, Software/Services, IT/Electrical, Mechanical/Materials, and Process/Prototyping.
“Software/Services was the last [category] to be announced,” said Denise Hohimer, operations manager for CHAMPION. “The winners are picked by a panel of judges at a black tie award ceremony. We were sitting on the edge of our seats by the time they got to the category and called our name. We must admit, once they announced that we won, we did not hear anything else they said!”
CHAMPION—which stands for Columnar Hierarchical Auto-associative Memory Processing in Ontological Networks—is the brainchild of Ryan Hohimer, who formerly was a chief technology officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. He designed and prototyped software to make logical decisions in the same way a human brain would. Hohimer left PNNL in December 2013 to focus on CHAMPION full time.
Because CHAMPION is considered intellectual property that was developed at PNNL, CHAMPION worked with Battelle, which operates PNNL, to obtain a permission to use the technology in the private sector.
Unlike many cyber-security technologies, CHAMPION doesn’t focus on statistical analysis for data breaches. The software uses a functional mimicry of the neocortex part of the brain stood out to the panel of judges.
“This was a particularly strong year for research and development, led by many outstanding technologies that broadened the scope of innovation,” said Lindsay Hock, R&D magazine’s editor. “We are honored to recognize the products and the project teams behind the design, development, testing and production of these remarkable innovations and their impact in the field.”
CHAMPION was the 92nd winner to be announced at the R&D 100 Awards Banquet. The Hohimers were called on stage to receive a plaque and pose for pictures.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Hohimer. “And a huge honor to have our software considered one of the top 100 technologies by the science and technology community.”
The Hohimers liken the recognition to receiving an Oscar, and although there’s no monetary award to go with the plaque, CHAMPION’s clients are impressed and excited.
“Most understand the significance and that it’s not easy to win,” said Hohimer.
Five other technologies submitted by PNNL were honored, including Genifuel Corporation for its hydrothermal processing to convert wet biomass into biofuels; power model integrator; and pressurized magic angle spinning technology for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Ardara Technologies LP was also recognized for its subambient pressure ionization with nanoelectrospray source.
A full list of the R&D 100 Awards is available at rdmag.com.
During the event, the magazine presented astronaut Scott Kelly with the Innovator of the Year Award. Kelly is currently on a space mission circling the earth and accepted the award in a video statement. The 2015 Innovator of the Year Award went to Skylar Tibbits, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Self-Assembly Lab.
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