CQIA Innovation Prize Requirements


The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership, Inc. founded in 1986 is America’s first state level quality award using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence. Before Mac Baldrige became Secretary of Commerce during the Reagan Administration, he was CEO of Scovill Brass Company in Waterbury. Sadly, he died during a rodeo accident.

CQIA sponsors Five Steps to the Baldrige Award. The popular Step One, CQIA Innovation Prize, begun in 1995 encourages all organizations with a presence in Connecticut to apply by recognizing accomplishments during the first stages of their Baldrige journey. It is meant to stimulate organizations to foster recognition of innovative improvements.


Application Requirements: On letterhead stationery with your company’s name and logo, please give your application a title followed by a short phrase explaining the innovation. Applications are limited to one typewritten 8×11 inch page, with no less than 10 point font size having half inch margins on all sides. Each application must include the following four sections with section 2 having two parts, a and b.

1) Opportunity/Problem: A description of an organizational problem that was solved or an opportunity that was leveraged by the innovation.

2) Innovative Response/Solution: A clear and concise description of the new product, service or process innovation introduced in the last five years.

3) Why you consider it innovative in the marketplace or your industry.

4) Results: Using numbers show how this innovation benefited your organization. Examples are increased sales/members/enrollment, added jobs, expenses saved, 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 2013 CQIA Innovation Prize Winning Applications benchmark book.

Again using stationery with your organization’s name and logo, prepare your cover page listing your name, time, company address, telephone number and e-mail address as well as signatures 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 2013 CQIA conference for this particular application if it achieves 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. Please use one cover sheet for each application.

Fee: $150 included with each application. Please make check 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 money from either state of federal government. All funding comes from application fees, conference registration and generous Sponsors.

Deadline: Applications must be postmarked no later than Thursday, April 18, 2023 and mailed to CQIA, PO Box 1396, Stamford, CT 06904-1396.

Judges: A minimum of 10 CQIA 2012 Examiners knowledgeable 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. Three levels of CQIA Innovation Prize are Silver, Gold and the highest, Platinum. 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.


26th Anniversary Conference: Our conference will be held at the elegant, Saint Clements Castle in Portland, Connecticut near Hartford. The date is Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

All winning applications will be published in the 2013 Connecticut best practices book, Connecticut’s eighteenth benchmarking book to be distributed along with recognition plaques and photographs at The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Partnership’s 26th Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation. Senior leaders from Platinum and Gold winning organization may be requested to speak at the 26th Anniversary Conference and will be invited to serve with CQIA’s 2013/2014 Advisory Group.

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

With best regards,

Sheila Carmine

Founder and Executive Director

CQIA Innovation Prize
Stamford, Connecticut


2012 CQIA Innovation Prize Recipients


  • PerkinElmer, Shelton - Innovative Technology in Mass Spectrometry; AxION(r) Direct Sample Analysis(tm) System
  • Covidien, North Haven - Tri-Staple(tm) technology
  • Yardney Lithion, Pawcatuck - New, state of the art lithium ion cell design for demanding military applications


  • Brain Parade, Stamford - See, Touch, Learn. New approach to learning for special needs children
  • C&M; Corporation, Wauregan - Answering the U.S. Military’s COTS initiatives in the area of Interconnect Products
  • Cartus, Danbury - Cartus Mobile eBusiness
  • Energizer Personal Care, Milford -  - Hydro Silk ™  Razor Hydrates Skin Like NO Other Razor Can
  • GoECart 360, Bridgeport -  - The All-in-One SaaS Ecommerce Suite Fully Integrated Multi-Channel Retail Software
  • Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich - Yale New Haven Health System, Pain Management in Joint Replacement Surgery
  • MedAdherence, Norwalk -  - Cloud-based, automated mHealth engagement for better health and lower costs
  • MedPricer, Guilford - Helping hospitals negotiate contracts without paper
  • New Milford Hospital, New Milford - Plow to Plate (R)
  • Pfizer, Groton -  - For the discovery, manufacturing, development and approval of XALKORI(r) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer
  • Quinnipiac University, Hamden - For the Media Innovation Collaborative (MIC) Project: bridging interdisciplinary gaps
  • Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford - Implementation of a Surgical Safety Checklist to Decrease Patient Harm.  Changing culture through an Operating Room Team Training Program
  • The WorkPlace, Bridgeport - Platform to Employment: Putting the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work
  • TRUMPF, Farmington -  TRUMPF TruMicro 5000 lasers for athermal micro machining
  • United Health Group, Hartford - Personal Rewards Program, Incentivizing individuals to live healthier lives
  • WAHOO Swim Monitor Systems, Redding - Makers of Swim Monitor System


  • American Eagle, East Hartford
  • aptMetrics®, Darien
  • Cartus, Danbury  (17)
  • Cigna, Hartford
  • Community Health Center, Middletown
  • Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, Hartford
  • CT Department of Labor, Wethersfield
  • CTTransit, Hartford
  • Defibtech, Guilford
  • Dr. Energy Saver, Seymour
  • Funkoos, Danbury
  • Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich
  • Hallmark Cards, Enfield
  • Insightexpress, Stamford
  • LiveClips, Stamford
  • Pathways to Technology, Windsor
  • Perimeter Security, Milford
  • Stoptips, Westport
  • WFSB-TV/DT, Hartford
  • William Raveis, Shelton
  • Yale Medical Group, New Haven
  • Yale University, New Haven

1995 - 2012 Winners