WASHINGTON – June 16th, 2014 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) presented 25 high-tech small businesses with the Tibbetts award, and Mainstream Engineering Corporation was one of the two Florida companies to win. In fact, Mainstream is in the rather unique position of having won this award twice; initially in 1997 and now again in 2014. According to the company President and Founder, Dr. Robert P. Scaringe, “Mainstream does not exist for the narrow purpose of making a profit, but rather to create and develop technology and product innovations which benefit mankind. Mainstream exists to provide a meaningful contribution by performing the best research and engineering in the world, as such, we are once again honored to have been selected for the Tibbetts award.”
The Tibbetts Award, given by SBA, honors outstanding small businesses who participate in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. “It is the innovative entrepreneurs and high growth small businesses like our award recipients and Hall of Fame inductees who help power our economy and move it forward by creating new jobs and making our industries globally competitive,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator. “Their accomplishments remind us all of how integral the success of high growth small businesses are to making our country more globally competitive.”
Mainstream has been at the forefront of thermal control and energy conversion technology development since 1986. Their philosophy is to use the government funded SBIR research dollars to solve problems for the government, and then spin-off the technology advancements into products for the commercial sector. Among other products, Mainstream has a complete line of air conditioning and refrigeration products, referred to as QwikProducts (www.qwik.com). All Mainstream products are made in the USA.
Mainstream also actively seeks out local universities for joint collaborations. Three excellent examples are:
- The development of the world’s first commercial Electron-Beam Manufacturing facility. This facility is the result of a cooperative partnership initiated by Mainstream and including NASA, Office of Naval Research, Space Florida, CareerSource Brevard, Space Coast Economic Development Council, and Florida Institute of Technology. It will provide a unique world-class additive manufacturing facility that can be used by local business and universities.
- Key support in the development of the automotive engineering program at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). To supplement FIT’s new automotive program, Mainstream has not only donated equipment, it has provided access to their engine test facilities for use by FIT faculty and students.
- Key support in the development of the Nano Technology and Science program at FIT. To nurture this new program, Mainstream has provided their Nano fabrication and analysis facilities for use by FIT faculty and students.
Starting with only one employee in 1986, Mainstream has grown to more than 100 employees. It has also created the spin-off, Rivian Automotive, which has also had substantial growth and profitability. Additional spin-off companies are now being developed in the biomass conversion and energy conversion areas. Mainstream Biomass is being developed to use Mainstream’s patent-pending fast pyrolysis technology to create a portable self-contained tractor-trailer unit, that can be driven to any location where trash or waste is available and convert 10 tons per day of waste material directly into number 6 fuel oil. This oil can be sold directly for use in the shipping industry and at fuel-fired power plants. Mainstream is also exploring the spin-off of an engine manufacturing company to pursue diesel and diesel-electric hybrid applications for their highly advanced AMD engine.
The Tibbetts Awards are presented to companies and individuals from all over the United States who are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology. Tibbetts award winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and on whether they have met federal research and development needs, encouraged diverse participation in technological innovation, and increased the commercialization of federal research.