Press Release

Nominations Open for the 2022 Schwartz Innovation Award

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

BEEP Accepts the Schwartz Innovation Award at Synapse Orlando 2021
Beep received the Schwartz Innovation Award at Synapse Orlando 2021.
(From left to right) Racquel Asa, chief marketing officer at Beep, Mark Reid, SVP of public affairs at Beep, Robert D. Finfrock, PE, FINFROCK board chairman, Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and chief technology officer at Luminar Technologies, Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership president and CEO.

The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is now accepting nominations for the 2022 recipient of the Schwartz Innovation Award, with the winner announced during the return of Synapse Orlando on Friday, October 21. 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 Beep, FINFROCK, Luminar Technologies, the University of Central Florida and Quality Manufacturing Services, Inc.

“The Schwartz Innovation Award allows the Orlando region to honor the legacy of William Schwartz by recognizing a company whose innovation is responsible for catalyzing transformational progress in our region and beyond.”

Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO

“The history of impact of Orlando’s thriving innovation ecosystem has resulted in game-changing technological breakthroughs in defense, experiential entertainment and modeling, simulation and training,” says Partnership president and CEO Tim Giuliani. “I can’t think of a better way to honor and celebrate the company that has had the biggest impact over the last year than in front of our tech and innovation community at Synapse Orlando 2022.”

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 Friday, September 23, 2022. Follow this link to submit a Schwartz Innovation Award nomination.

For more information, contact Justin Braun at 407.902.0211 or at