Representatives of the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, received two awards at the Small Business Innovation Research Achievement Awards ceremony held at the Pentagon.

The annual awards ceremony highlights the most successful SBIR Phase II projects " those that successfully matured the most innovative technologies from the concept stage into successful demonstration prototypes, and that show the most promise for moving that equipment into the hands of the warfighter. The Army Achievement Awards are highly competitive: This year, of the 649 projects eligible to compete, 11 recipients were selected for this prestigious award across the Department of Defense. The Combat Feeding Directorate received awards for Combined Heat and Power System (CHPS), and Ethylene Control in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

John P. Pucci, operations manager for SBIR Program Management Office, began the proceedings and introduced Dr. Scott Fish, DOD chief scientist, who presided over the event. Major General Nick Justice, commanding general, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, and Dr. John Glenn, principal assistant for research and technology, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, were also in attendance.

The Army SBIR Program Management Office ensures that noteworthy Phase II projects receive widespread recognition. The office prepares an SBIR Achievement Award Winners brochure recognizing the top projects.

Anthony Patti, Equipment and Energy Technology Team senior project officer, accepted an award for his work on the CHPS program. The CHPS technology provides clean, quiet and reliable electrical power that also cogenerates heat into hot water or space-heating, maximizing the system efficiency well beyond other energy-producing equipment. This program successfully integrated an innovative external combustion Free-Piston Stirling Engine designed for low-cost mass-production as a solar dish engine product into a JP-8 fueled CHPS to simultaneously deliver electricity and useful hot water.

Stirling-engine technology has progressed into Phase III under an SBIR Commercialization Pilot Program contract with Infinia Corporation of Kennewick, Wash. The prototype CHPS is scheduled for demonstration and testing in early fiscal year 2012.

Peter Lavigne, EET senior project officer, received an award for his contributions to the Ethylene Control program. This program, in partnership with Primaira, LLC, was recognized for its development of a low-cost, compact, low-power technology that maximizes the shelf-life and quality of fresh produce being transported to our troops around the world. The successful development of the Bluezon technology has recently been demonstrated in full-scale, side-by-side comparative testing and has proven that the Bluezon technology safely and cost effectively removes ethylene, inhibits microbial growth, and improves the quality and longevity of fresh fruits and vegetables. This technology has benefits along the entire storage, distribution, transport, and end-use supply chain.