BERKELEY, Calif. and WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EnChroma – the company bringing color to the color blind – has received the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for its exemplary innovative spirit and economic achievements in developing glasses for the color blind. EnChroma's early stage research into optical assistive devices for color vision deficiency (CVD) was supported by three Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the direction of principle investigator Dr. Don McPherson.
"We are celebrating the critically important technological advances pioneered by these small high-tech firms, from breakthroughs in additive manufacturing, to genomic research, to novel cancer therapeutics. These innovators are creating jobs and creating new industries while helping to address many of the nation's most pressing challenges," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
"The EnChroma story would not have been possible without the support of the SBIR program," said Andy Schmeder, CEO of EnChroma. "SBIR funding in our formative years gave us the latitude to foster a company culture laser-focused on creativity, collaboration and developing the right solution for the color blind. This award acknowledges the years of intense effort by our team and will inspire us going forward."
EnChroma glasses contain a proprietary spectral filtering technology that is designed to help people with red-green color blindness see an enriched spectrum of color – without compromising color accuracy or balance. Numerous videos of color blind people trying EnChroma's life-changing glasses for the first time have gone viral. One in 12 men (8%), and one in 200 women (.05%), are color blind – an estimated 300 million worldwide. While color blindness is often considered a mild disability, many color blind people feel it is a significant handicap.
John Williams, Director of Innovation and Technology, SBA, presented the award to EnChroma co-founders Andy Schmeder, CEO, and Don McPherson, Ph.D., Chief Scientist. The awards ceremony was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House on January 10, 2017.
About the Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov.
EnChroma is dedicated to positively impacting the lives of the estimated 300 million people worldwide with color vision deficiency. EnChroma has developed a robust line of innovative eyewear products with cutting-edge optical technology for men, women and children. To reach us please call 510-497-0048, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit enchroma.com.
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