Who are the best innovators of 2011?

One upstart and two long time players in the government market saw their chief technology officers honored as the best innovators of 2011.

Tim Hoechst of Agilex Technologies, H. Gilbert Miller of Noblis and Neil Siegel of Northrop Grumman were named the winners of the second annual Northern Virginia Technology Council/Washington Technology Government Contractor CTO Innovator Awards.

The winners were honored for their innovative use of technology to help their customers and their companies succeed.

At Agilex, Hoechst is part of the company’s senior management team and manages in-house research and product development. He also established and supervises Agilex’ college recruitment program.

He won in the small business category.

Agilex was founded in 2007 and has experienced rapid growth supported by Hoechst’s efforts development delivery processes. He works in partnership with the company’s chief marketing officer to shape and execute Agilex’s go to market strategy. He also has led more than half of the company’s successful capture and sales pursuits during the past year.

In 2010, Agilex grew by 65 percent and is expected to have similar growth in 2011.

In the midsized company category, Gil Miller was named the winner. He is a corporate vice president and CTO for Noblis and is responsible for moving forward Nobis’ science and technology base to meet client needs. He led the efforts to establish the Noblis Innovation and Collaboration Center, which merged 24 separate laboratories into one facility.

The consolidation gives Noblis researchers, project managers and customers more tools to explore new ideas, collaborate and take concepts to the next level, the company said. Performance and capabilities were expanded while administrative costs were lowered by 90 percent.

Siegel captured the top innovator award in the large business category. His crowning achievement was the creation of the Blue Force Tracker for the Army. Recently, the Marine Corps adopted the system, which increases battlefield awareness by putting IT on the battlefield on every type and class of combat platform.

The system is credited with increasing combat effectiveness and with saving hundreds of U.S. and United Kingdom solider lives. Systems are in use in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.

A panel of judges picked the winners from a field of nominees. The judges were James Bohland, Virginia Tech; Harold Gracey ,Topside Consulting; Jim Williams, Daon; and Craig Wolff, Pillsbury Shaw Pittman.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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