Associated Industries of Massachusetts today announced that its 22nd annual AIM Global Trade Awards will go to a developer of productivity software, a maker of abrasives that generates half of its revenue overseas, a UK-based technology consulting company and a startup bringing Internet connectivity to the developing world.
The awards recognize Massachusetts companies and public agencies of all sizes that have demonstrated excellence in international trade. The 2017 honorees, with locations across the region, represent a wide range of Massachusetts industries and include Aspen Technology, Darmann Abrasive Products, Cambridge Consultants and WrightGrid.
The four winners will be honored during the AIM Global Trade Symposium & Awards Breakfast on November 1 from 8-11am at Babson College’s Knight Auditorium in Wellesley. In addition to a panel with executives from New Balance, Greentown Labs, the Canada Consulate, Northeastern University and Kinefac, the event will feature keynote speaker Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist at Massachusetts-based IHS Markit who is ranked as Top Forecaster by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
The Symposium & Awards program is sponsored by MassPort, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Wolf & Co. and The Provident Bank.
“From innovation in product development to technologies that enhance traditional manufacturing, international trade plays a pivotal role in the health of the Massachusetts economy,” said Richard Lord, President and CEO of AIM. “We are delighted to honor the achievements of these local winners, who exhibit best practices in conducting and advancing global business. Massachusetts continues to be a world leader in exporting technology, products and ideas that make a difference.”
This year AIM launched the Global Innovation Award, presented to WrightGrid. This award recognizes early stage companies making valuable contributions to international trade and focusing on the global market as the business evolves.
President’s Award: Aspen Technology
Aspen Technology, founded in 1981 as a result of an MIT research project, creates software that optimizes manufacturing in multiple industries including oil and gas, chemicals, engineering and construction, transportation, pharmaceuticals and more.
More than 2,100 companies across the globe use AspenTech software to increase throughput, reduce unplanned downtime, improve margins, reduce costs, achieve operational excellence and become more energy efficient. More than 35 years after its founding, AspenTech’s US headquarters in Massachusetts is home to more than 500 employees who continue to push the boundaries of innovation.
A publicly-owned company with over half of its sales coming from international business, AspenTech has more than 30 offices around the world.
Ambassador’s Award: Darmann Abrasive Products
Darmann Abrasive Products, headquartered in Massachusetts, produces specialized abrasive products for customers that need to generate very fine finishes on their materials. Its fine grit abrasive stones and wheels serve precision manufacturing industries ranging from automotive parts to medical supply.
Darmann’s offices in Poland, Brazil, Mexico and China, staffed by locals, enable it to offer high-level global customer service. An employee-owned business, Darmann has adapted products for new foreign markets. The company invested in its manufacturing plant to add capacity to meet global demand. Exports represent more than 50 percent of the company’s annual sales.
Diplomat’s Award: Cambridge Consultants
Cambridge Consultants uses innovation and new technologies to help clients worldwide develop first-to-market products or improve existing products.
Working from a laboratory setting, the company’s engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers can take a product from concept to manufacturing. The Boston office features a 'virtual operating room' where surgeons undertake mock surgery to show how existing tools are inefficient and in need of innovation.
The company serves a diverse range of industries including medical device, industrial and consumer products, digital health and wireless. Cambridge Consultants is headquartered in the U.K. and has 80 employees in Boston, with plans to add 60 new jobs in Massachusetts by 2018.
Global Innovation Award: WrightGrid,
WrightGrid, a startup based in Somerville's clean-tech incubator Greentown Labs, is focused on bringing internet connectivity to the developing world. Its seven-foot-tall, solar-powered WiFi and phone-charging machines are made for people with mobile phones but no reliable electricity or Internet connection. The company’s technology is specifically designed for the Africa market and its products are being deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana. WrightGrid's stations are entirely manufactured in Massachusetts. Metal Crafters in Methuen develops the frame of the units and Circuit Hub in Deerfield creates the circuit board and electronics.
The AIM International Business Council helps Massachusetts employers engage in international trade and expand their global business activities. Through seminars, referrals, and e-newsletters, the AIM International Business Council provides companies with the resources they need. For more, visit www.aimnet.org/international.