M4 Sciences receives Tibbetts Award, recognized for exceptional innovation

February 15, 2011

Tibbetts Awards honor projects that bring federal R&D from the lab to the market

M4 Sciences CEO and founder James Mann works on a computer numerically controlled lathe machine used for the company's TriboMAM™ ultraprecision drilling technology. M4 Sciences received the 2011 Tibbetts Award for the innovation. The design provides greater precision and increases the speed of mechanical machining processes. The device can be used in the electronics, health-care and manufacturing industries. (Photo provided by the Purdue Research Park)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - James Mann, chief executive officer of M4 Sciences, on Tuesday (Feb. 15) announced that the company has received a Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for developing a new mechanical drilling technology called Modulation-Assisted Machining (MAM).

The Tibbetts Award, named for Roland Tibbetts, is presented to small businesses and individuals that represent excellence in achieving the mission and goals of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs while demonstrating advanced technological innovation and economic growth. Tibbetts is acknowledged as the father of the SBIR program.

"The Tibbetts Award recognizes M4 Sciences' commitment to excellence through the SBIR/STTR program," said Mann, who also is a professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University. "We are honored to be recognized by the SBA with this prestigious award. The National Science Foundation STTR program enabled development and commercialization of a front-line manufacturing technology that enables manufacturers to achieve more efficient machining. The NSF recognized the potential for our technology, and we are grateful for its leadership in fostering innovation for industry."

M4 Sciences' Tibbetts Award recognizes the company's work in mechanical drilling technology funded by SBIR/STTR awards from the NSF's division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP). IIP fosters partnerships to advance technological innovation and plays an important role in the public-private innovation partnership enterprise. The new MAM drilling technology developed by M4 Sciences can be used to manufacture a wide range of products such as orthopedic implants, automotive and aerospace power-train and fuel systems, and industrial safety and hydraulic systems. The technology also is enabling new routes for production of metal fibers.

"The NSF STTR program provided M4 Sciences funding to accelerate research that began at Purdue University and, ultimately, to commercialize a new machining technology for industry," Mann said. "Today, thanks to our success with the SBIR/STTR program, we have developed a new product for the machining industry that will enable users all over the world to access MAM drilling technology. The TriboMAM drilling system can radically increase efficiency and productivity in mechanical hole drilling processes and enable manufacture of product designs that were previously not practical."

Mann, M4 Sciences' co-founder and CEO, accepted the award at a ceremony Tuesday (Feb. 15) morning in Washington, D.C. Afterward, he met with SBA administrator Karen Mills and attended a reception at the White House.

"This is a proud day not only for M4Sciences but also for the city of West Lafayette," said Sean Greene, SBA's associate administrator for investment and senior adviser for innovation. "Companies like M4 Sciences represent the best in American ingenuity."

About M4 Sciences

M4 Sciences, co-founded by Mann in 2005, is based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. The company specializes in designing and developing new technologies and systems for ultraprecision machining. The company began development of the TriboMAM drilling system in 2005 and released the first commercial system to the machine tool accessory market in late 2009. M4 Sciences received the 2010 R&D 100 award for product innovation. The technology developed by M4 Sciences was discovered at Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering and licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization. In 2009 two separate patents covering MAM technology were granted from the U.S. Patent Office and are now under international filings. For more information visit https://www.m4sciences.com

About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

Source: James Mann, 765-479-6215, jbmann@m4sciences.com

Contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

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