Innovation Prize

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Previous Winners

To download a PDF version of the criteria click here





Systems, Inc.

Assa Abloy

Cartus, Inc.

Department of Labor

Life Safety

Mr. ComputerHead

Northeast Utilities

Robinson &
Cole, LLP


For additional clarification and assistance with preparing CQIA Innovation Prize applications, please contact:

Sheila Carmine,
Founder and Executive Director
The Connecticut Quality
Improvement Award
Partnership, Inc.

PO Box 1396
Stamford, CT 06904-1396

Telephone: 203 322-9534
Fax: 203 329-2465

2009 CQIA Innovation Prize Recipients


Southern Connecticut State University


Assa Abloy


Basement Systems Inc.

Ikonisys, Inc.

Newport Corporation

Northeast Utilities

Oil Purification Systems, Inc.

Owl Computing Technologies, Inc.

Pratt & Whitney

Analyzer, Inc.

Optimization, Inc.

Schick/Wilkinson Sword

Smart Equip

Sonic Golf

Terra Technology

UCONN School of Dental


Vertigo, Inc.



Acme United Corporation

Allegient Systems



Automatic Rolls of
New England

Bartron Medical
Imaging Inc.

Basement Systems, Inc.

Cable Components Group




Competitive Technologies, Inc.

The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund

ePath Learning, Inc.

GoECart 8

Greenwich Hospital

Hartford Hospital

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital

LifeCare, Inc.

Life Care, Inc. and Aetna


Philips Consumer Lifestyle

Post University

Rockville Bank

RSL Fiber Systems, LLC



StructuredSolutions II

Telenity Inc.

The Identity Circle, LLC

TournamentOne Corp

Travelers Claim University


UCONN Office of Technology


The Workplace, Inc.

William Raveis Real Estate

The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award, America's oldest state-level award using The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence has five levels of Baldrige-based awards:

• CQIA Innovation Prize (CIP) • CQIA Organizational Profile • CQIA Categories and Items • Connecticut Breakthrough Quality Award • Connecticut Leadership Quality Award

Eligibility for the CQIA Innovation Prize: All organizations with a facility located in Connecticut are eligible: manufacturing, service, health care, education, and not for profit, as well as municipal, state and federal governments. No limit is imposed on the number of applications from any one organization. Groups within an organization are also eligible for CQIA Innovation Prizes.

"The Gold Plaque hangs proudly on our wall. The CQIA is a tremendous organization with nothing but excellence on their minds. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them as they seek out the best of the best."
– Vince Yevoli, President, Yardney Technical Product, Inc.

"TOPEX is very proud to receive the distinguished gold CQIA Innovation Prize from the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership. We are pleased for the recognition from such a quality focused organization for our innovative engineering efforts and clinical application of a specially designed x-ray system for the treatment of skin cancer."
– John Brenna, President, TOPEX, Inc.

"Yale is striving to be the "greenest" University campus in the world. The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award's Innovation Prize validates our efforts in the use of bio-diesel fuels in our transit system, and spurs us to strive for future innovations to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet! We're very proud to receive this award."
– Janet Lindner, Associate Vice President for Administration, Yale University

"Robinson & Cole is honored to have won a gold award for our SUCCESS program. We are pleased that the hard work, innovation and results of SUCCESS, which seeks to make attainment of a college degree more achievable for our urban youth, are so well in tune with CQIA."
– Eric Daniels, Managing Partner, Robinson & Cole, LLP

"We are very proud to receive this honor from the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership. Innovation is a hallmark of Pitney Bowes. We invest significant time and resources to deliver leading-edge mailstream solutions that help meet our customer's needs.
– Jon Love, President, Pitney Bowes Government Solutions

"The Gold CQIA Innovation Prize validates our commitment to improving patient surgical outcomes by reducing the transfusion of blood bank products with their associated problems and exponential costs."
– Keith A. Samolyk, CCP, PCP, President and CEO, Global Blood Resources LLC

"It was a great honor to receive a gold innovation prize from CQIA. The award validates Xerox's efforts in developing an innovative Toner Technology with many customer required attributes."
– Dr. Hadi Mahabadi, VP and Director, Xerox Research Centre of Canada

"Cartus is thrilled to have received a gold award two years in a row. The CQIA awards are clearly the best proof of Cartus' ability to consistently seek opportunities to enhance and improve daily processes that will ultimately benefit our global mobility clients."
– Kevin J. Kelleher, President and CEO, Cartus

"Being awarded an innovation prize adds credibility to our marketing efforts, and instills confidence in our customers."
– Lawrence Janesky, President, Basement Systems Inc.

"We are proud to be included with companies that are the State's best innovators. It validates Griffin's efforts to be an innovator and trendsetter in the change-allergic healthcare industry."
– Bill Powanda, Vice President, Griffin Hospital

"Receiving a gold CIP allows us to effectively communicate Trumpf 's innovation goals to our current and prospective clients."
– Rolf Biekert, President and CEO, TRUMPF Inc

"The recognition we received from CQIA is like a giant pat on the back. The affirmation inspires us to further innovation. This yields performance improvement."
– Fred Sexton, Vice President, Northeast Foods, Inc.

"Winning a Gold (and Silver) prize is an honor for which we are most proud. The Award has provided our products with valuable exposure, reinforced our company's innovative image, and added focus to quality innovation- results based issues."
– Mort Wallach, President/CEO, PEL Associates

"As a mid-sized nonprofit in the human services field, we are constantly striving to hold our quality standards equal to those of the corporate world. Our CIP award recognized our advances and encouraged our staff to continue their efforts toward high quality and innovative programming."
– Besty Perlato, Executive Director, ChapelHaven

"The CQIA Innovation Prize has prompted many requests from peers interested in seeing our robotic technology. We are pleased to share our experience and results with other industry leaders."
– Mary Inguanti, Vice President Operations, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center

"Winning a CIP had an immediate and very positive impact on the pride of our employees that has carried over into all aspects of our work. PR has been fantastic and helps us stay above our competition.
– Philip L. White, President and CEO, Better Packages, Inc.

"Being recognized as a CQIA Innovation Prize winner encouraged our staff, but applying for and winning the Connecticut Breakthrough Quality Award actually moved us closer toward ultimately submitting a Baldrige application."
– Lucille Janatka, President and CEO, Midstate Medical Center

"The Platinum CIP assured us that the large public companies in Connecticut ARE our peers. The opportunity to attend the luncheon, take pause from our day-to-day, and reaffirm why we all do what we do, regardless of the size, mission or product of the organization is priceless. It refills our fuel tanks and reenergizes our resolve."
– Frank Hersey, President, Z-Medica

"The next step is to dip into the waters of the Connecticut Breakthrough Quality Award. Our biggest customer expects us to receive recognition from outside organizations as validation of the improvements we've made."
– Steve Giacalone, Quality Systems Manager, Automatic Rolls of New England

Application Requirements: On your first letterhead stationery, please give your application a title followed by a short phrase explaining the innovation. Applications are limited to one 8 x 11 inch, with no less than 10 point font size having ½ inch margins all sides of typewritten page that includes the following three sections:

  1. Opportunity/Problem: A description of organizational problem solved or opportunity leveraged by innovation
  2. Innovative Response/Solution: a) A clear and concise description of a new product, service, or process innovation introduced in the last five years, and b) why you consider it innovative in the marketplace or your industry.
  3. Results: Using numbers show how this innovation benefited your organization. Examples are expenses saved, increased sales/members/enrollment, improved customer satisfaction ratings. Although greatest emphasis is placed on the innovation, no application will be considered without historical numerical results.

All winning applications will be published in the 2010 CQIA Innovation Prize Winning Applications benchmarking book.

On the cover sheet written on your second piece of stationery – using one sheet for each CIP application -- please list the name, title, company, address, telephone number and e-mail address, as well as signature of the following three people: 1) the organization's highest ranking officer, 2) the contact person who wrote the application, and 3) the person who will speak at the 2010 CQIA conference for this particular application if it reaches the gold or platinum level. Also include the number of organization employees in Connecticut and a statement that all applications may be copied and distributed for use by The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc.

Fee: $150 each included with the application, check made payable to Connecticut Quality Improvement Award -- 501(c)(3) Federal tax ID 061231938 -- and mailed to
CQIA, PO Box 1396
Stamford, CT 06904-1396.

The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not for profit Connecticut organization, receives no funds from either state or federal government. All funding comes from Sponsors, application fees and conference registration.

Deadline: Applications must be postmarked no later than Thursday, May 20, 2021. For clarification, draft submissions must be e-mailed to no later than Thursday, May 13, 2021. Winners will be notified by August 9, 2021.
If after five business days since mailing a CQIA Innovation Prize application, you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement, immediately contact Sheila Carmine at 203 322-9534.

Judges: A minimum of 15 CQIA 2010 Examiners trained in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence. To receive information about becoming a CQIA Examiner, please contact Sheila Carmine, Founder and Executive Director,
203 322-9534.

Prizes: Winners will be recognized on three levels based on careful and thorough understanding and completion of the three application requirements listed above. The three levels are Silver, Gold and the highest, Platinum. The selection of award winners at Platinum, Gold, or Silver levels involves a comparison with other applications. It is, by necessity, a subjective task based on the experience and judgment of the examiners although historically it has been shown that the highest level awards involve applications with at least some of the following characteristics: a) a new or significant improvement for the creating or adopting organization; b) a novel product, service or process, and c) potential for long-term impact or fostering ongoing innovation.

23rd Anniversary Conference: All winning applications will be published in 2010 Connecticut best practices book, Connecticut's fifteenth benchmarking book that will be distributed along with recognition plaques and photographs at The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership's 23rd Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation, Friday, October 29, 2021 at Water's Edge Resort in Westbrook. Senior leadership from Platinum and Gold winning organizations may be requested to speak at the 2010 Conference and will be invited to serve with CQIA's 2010/2011 Advisory Group.

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Copyright - 2007 - 2010 Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc.
Last modified: 09/26/08