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NanoMech’s TuffTek® Chosen as Prestigious 2014 Tibbetts SBIR Award Winner

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that NanoMech’s TuffTek® is a winner of the coveted 2014 Best in SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) Award. This award places TuffTek® in an elite class of innovative products and recognizes it as one of the most technologically significant products introduced in the marketplace of the past year.

Ajay Malshe and Jim Phillips with EPA Program Manager April Richards (Photo: Business Wire)

Ajay Malshe and Jim Phillips with EPA Program Manager April Richards (Photo: Business Wire)

“This has certainly been an excellent year for NanoMech,” Chairman and CEO Jim Phillips said. “The company continues to gain momentum and receiving The 2014 Tibbetts Award as The Best in SBIR is a tremendous honor for the NanoMech team.”

Mr. Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for the SBA issued the following statement: "Today, we recognize the cream of the crop – those companies and individuals across the country that have used their SBIR funds to successfully advance technological innovation and stimulate economic growth."

“We congratulate EPA SBIR recipient, NanoMech, on their 2014 Tibbetts award and are proud to have helped support their development and commercialization of innovative green manufacturing technologies that help protect human health and the environment,” said Environmental Protection Agency Program Manager, April Richards.

As the world economy begins to ramp back up, it is the innovators, Phillips notes, who will help drive results, efficiencies and ultimately profitability. “TuffTek® is a ground-breaking product that is manufactured using Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM). When applied to cutting tools, TuffTek® dramatically increases the tool’s precision cutting performance, durability and sustainability while significantly decreasing the company’s costs to manufacture. It is a win-win product, for the customer, the market and the environment.”

Deborah Wince-Smith, CEO of the Council on Competitiveness ( and also a member of NanoMech’s Board of Directors, praises NanoMech for their innovative work. "In a world of turbulence, transition and transformation, nothing matters more to the competitiveness of companies and countries than innovation and manufacturing prowess. The ability to develop and deploy the most cutting-edge tools and products to bolster U.S. advanced manufacturing will deliver outsized benefits to the U.S. industrial base. NanoMech and TuffTek® are at the leading edge of a resurgent U.S. manufacturing capability - one that is not dumb, dirty, dangerous and disappearing; but is smart, safe, sustainable and surging."

Ajay P. Malshe, CTO/Founder of NanoMech and inventor said, "TuffTek® has redefined and revolutionized the cutting tool industry by significantly improving the wear resistance of the tools as well as their precision and heat resistance, especially through the world's first cubic boron nitride (cBN) coated products. TuffTek® suite of products' performance enhancement represent a monumental improvement in the cutting tools industry and are due in large part to the new products' cBN and nano-composite patents using bio-inspired and nano-engineered technology for advanced machining of energy, automotive and aerospace components. In addition, the new coatings save valuable and increasingly scarce materials such as carbide and can even significantly reduce the use of oil in industry through dry cutting, saving some of the millions of gallons of oil coolants used in machining."

NanoMech is the only Arkansas company to win The 2014 Tibbetts Award. In the last year, NanoMech has been recognized for winning The Edison Award and the R&D 100 Award as well, making it the only company in Arkansas history to sweep all three Awards.

The Tibbetts Award goes to the highest level of emerging technology companies and organizations in our Country. Previous winners have included Qualcomm, Symantec, iRobot, Genzyme Corporation, Goodrich, Northrup Grumman, the National Cancer Institute, Boeing, and many others. This year, previous winner Intuitive Surgical, Inc., who created the groundbreaking DaVinci Surgical System, a robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery system that has revolutionized the healthcare industry, received special recognition.

About the Tibbetts Awards

The Tibbetts awards are presented annually to those who are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high-technology. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and the extent to which that innovation served federal R&D needs, encouraged diverse participation and increased the commercialization of federal research. The Tibbetts Awards are presented to small businesses and individuals judged to exemplify the best in the SBIR program. The award is named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and is presented to companies and individuals that promote the mission and goals of the SBIR Program:

  • to stimulate technological innovation;
  • to use small business to meet federal research and development needs;
  • to encourage diverse participation in technological innovation;
  • to increase commercialization of Federal research.

About the SBA

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans to start, grow and succeed with their own companies. The Agency's mission is described as the three C's: facilitating access to capital, providing counseling, and ensuring emerging businesses receive a quarter of Federal contract dollars.

About NanoMech

NanoMech Inc. was founded in 2002 and creates advanced engineering materials through patent and patent-pending nano-engineered and nano-manufactured product development. NanoMech is a pioneer in applying breakthrough innovations to robust areas of national interest including machining and manufacturing, lubrication and energy, and strategic military applications. NanoMech is a member of President Obama’s Materials Genome Initiative, the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative (USMCI) and the U.S. Technology Leadership and Strategy Initiative, both based in Washington, DC. For more information please visit

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