William F. Austin,
founder and CEO of Starkey

In conjunction with the recent Tekne Awards, the Minnesota Science Museum and the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) have inducted William F. Austin, founder and CEO of Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, into the Minnesota Science & Technology Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors Minnesotans whose achievements in science and technology have made a lasting impact on Minnesota and the world. Austin joins Earl Bakken, Lawrence Perlman, and many others who have made a difference in technology over the years.

Held recently at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Tekne Awards honor companies and individuals who have demonstrated superior technology advancement and leadership in Minnesota.

The MHTA  in partnership with Enterprise Minnesota and LifeScience Alley, has named Starkey as the recipient of the 2009 Tekne Award in the medical technology award category.

Starkey received the award for its new S Series hearing aid line, which offers the new features T2 and Sweep Technology. T2 allows patients to control their hearing aid’s volume or setting using any cell or touch-tone phone without the need for additional hardware. Sweep Technology allows patients to adjust the volume and settings on their behind-the-ear hearing aids with the sweep or touch of a finger.

“We are so proud to accept the Tekne Award for our innovative work in the hearing industry,” said Tim Trine, Starkey’s chief technical officer. “It is an honor to be associated with Minnesota companies like Ecolab and Honeywell, who have longstanding reputations for innovation.”

Playing a key role in bringing new technology to life, the award recipients represent large global companies and small startup ventures, which have positively impacted the quality of life in Minnesota and throughout the world, says Starkey. Judges selected one recipient out of the three finalists in each of the 14 award categories, recognizing the top contenders in development, education, commercialization, and management of technology. Company awards included separate categories for small and growing businesses—with annual revenues under $50 million—and established businesses, with annual revenues of $50 million or more.

“Over the past 10 years, we have seen the quality and originality of each entry improve. This year’s winners are no exception in setting outstanding examples of innovation and leadership,” said Kate Rubin, president, MHTA. “Starkey impressed the judges in how it is helping to secure Minnesota’s place as a center of innovation in the global economy.”

MHTA supports the growth, sustainability, and global competitiveness of Minnesota’s technology-based economy through advocacy, member collaboration, education, and community outreach, and it is the only association that advocates for technology growth that benefits the entire spectrum of technology companies and organizations that are dependent on technology, according to its Web site. Its members include organizations of all sizes, involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application, and education in Minnesota. MHTA works in partnership with TechAmerica, which represents Minnesota’s technology organizations nationally.

[Source: Starkey]