Press Release

Nominations Open for 2021 Schwartz Innovation Award

The winner of William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award, which recognizes the Orlando region’s most innovative company, will be awarded at Synapse Orlando.

Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Economic Partnership is now accepting nominations for the 2021 recipient of the Schwartz Innovation Award, with the winner announced during the return of Synapse Orlando on Friday, October 15. The award honors a local company that has made the greatest impact on the Orlando region’s economy through innovation.

The award is named after the late William C. Schwartz, a pioneer in the field of laser technology who founded two companies in the Orlando region that advanced his field by creating first-of-its-kind products. The Schwartz Innovation Award honors his legacy by recognizing a company that has successfully created, developed and implemented innovative products, ideas and processes that have contributed to the region’s competitiveness and stimulates future advancements in Orlando.

Recent recipients of the Schwartz Innovation Award include FINFROCK, Luminar Technologies, the University of Central Florida and Quality Manufacturing Services, Inc.

“The award offers us a chance to recognize innovation and to stimulate future advancements that are based in the seven-county region (Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Volusia, and City of Orlando), and have successfully created, developed and implemented innovative products, ideas and processes.”

Tim Giuliani, Partnership President and CEO

“With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to postpone the 2020 Orlando Economic Partnership awards, the 2021 Synapse Orlando event presents the perfect opportunity to honor and recognize the winner of the Schwartz Innovation Award in front of our region’s tech and innovation community,” said Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani.

Companies nominated for the Schwartz Innovation Award will be evaluated on criteria including:

  • Extent and significance of the corporate innovation impact on the region  
  • Extent and significance of the corporate innovation impact on the company or the employees   
  • Overall contribution to the region’s competitiveness  
  • Actual and future return on investment  
  • Impact of patents, copyrights, and trademarks relevant to achievements  
  • Innovation’s impact on the region’s prestige through national and international recognition or significant benefits to society in general  
  • The vision created by the individual or the team and the development and execution of a plan to accomplish the vision  
  • Degree of resolve, persistence, barriers overcome, risk-taking and methods of risk management shown by the individual or the team in the innovative process  
  • Evidence of extraordinary achievement and of entrepreneurial skills demonstrated relevant to cited achievements to make the innovation a success  
  • Evidence regarding the environment and/or culture created to enable effective use of the innovation in meeting customer needs 

Elected and appointed officials of government organizations are not eligible for any Orlando Economic Partnership award while they hold that position. Such officials can, however, be nominated after they leave office or public service. Additionally, current Partnership officers are not eligible for any award.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, September 20, 2021. Follow this link to submit a Schwartz Innovation Award nomination.

For more information on the Schwartz Innovation Award, please contact or at 407-242-3982.