PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
SBA INDIANA DISTRICT OFFICE
SBA Honors Indiana Firm
US Small Business Administration News Release - October 17, 2001
An Indiana company has joined sixty-seven other small businesses from around the country in receiving the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) prestigious Tibbetts Award for their exemplary achievement in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The award was recently presented to Bloomington, Indiana's Communication Disorders Technology, Inc. (CDT), at a luncheon during the Sixth Annual Tibbetts Award in Arlington, VA. CDT was the only Indiana company to achieve this honor this year.
"Small businesses are on the cutting edge of nearly every major technological development," said SBA Indiana District Director Janice Wolfe. "The SBA supports this kind of high-end innovation through our two technology programs and the Tibbetts Award recognizes those who have accomplished the most."
The award, named for Roland Tibbetts, who led the federal effort to create the SBA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, marks the accomplishments of those who work with or on behalf of the SBIR program.
Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., was started over a decade ago. CDT's mission is to be a leader in the development of new technologies for speech and hearing professionals (speech pathologists and teachers of the deaf), for teachers of foreign languages, and for teachers of people with developmental disabilities. The mission was conceived in 1984 when Charles Watson, Diane Kewley-Port, and Daniel Maki, professors at Indiana University, discovered that they had a mutual interest in speech recognition technology and its use in speech training systems. Their early research was supported by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a computer-based speech trainer for children with articulation disorders. This system became ISTRA, the Indiana Speech Training Aid. CDT was formed as a company in 1989 to improve and commercialize ISTRA with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To date, CDT has won ten SBIR Awards, seven Phase I's and three Phase II's totaling more than $2.5 million. Eight of these awards have been from NIH. Four products have emerged from CDT's SBIR-funded research and development effort.
The original group of three founders plus one programmer has grown to essentially seven full-time employees. A marketing initiative for three CDT products primarily based on internet sales at CDT's website, www.comdistec.com, is now in progress. Additionally, CDT attended the Techno Business Forum 2000 sponsored by the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) and has licensed HearSay to Mouse, Inc., of Osaka for sales in Japan. CDT plans shortly to launch an intensive marketing effort to include all its products and to secure licensing of SPATS-ESL in China.
Small businesses receiving the Tibbetts award are selected based on, among other considerations, the economic impact of the technological innovation, overall business achievement, and demonstration of effective collaborations.
The SBIR Program accounts for more than $1 billion per year in federal research and development funds and is coordinated by the SBA in cooperation with 10 other federal agencies. Details on the program and the award are available on the SBA's home page at http://www.sba.gov/sbir.