Maryland’s top innovators in science, tech honored at ICON Awards

Leaders, businesses and even students in Maryland’s science and tech sectors received high praise for accomplishments, with applications spanning fields as varied as quantum computing and pharmaceuticals, at a special ceremony last Thursday evening.

The 36th annual ICON Awards, hosted by the Maryland Tech Council, honored several executives and companies throughout the state. Winners came from throughout the state’s main commercial hubs, including the DC suburbs, Baltimore and Frederick.

The awards especially recognize excellence in government contracting and life sciences technology, including biotech and cybersecurity. Both major firms like the global pharma giant AstraZeneca and newer businesses like the Frederick-based nanosensor healthcare company NanoBioFAB walked away with recognition.

More than 500 people gathered for the ceremonies in North Bethesda, which this year added the Pava LaPere Young Innovator Award to honor the late founder and CEO from Baltimore. That award went to EcoMap Technologies, which LaPere cofounded.

The ICON Awards also recognized educators and young people for STEM accomplishments. For the latter group, eight students each received $5,000 to support their education at various Maryland public and private universities.

“This year’s ICON Award winners and nominees have taken excellence in their fields to a new level,” said Kelly Schulz, the CEO of the organizing statewide trade association, in an announcement. “The world depends on Maryland’s life sciences and technology community for life-changing therapies and treatments and technologies that connect and safeguard the world. This year’s ICON Award winners are testaments to how our community is truly shaping innovation in the 21st century.”

Maryland Tech Council representatives did not immediately answer questions about how the awardees were selected, what they received nor how much the students’ scholarships are worth.

Below are the winners of this year’s ICON Awards:

  • Chief Executive Officer of the Year – Government Contracting: Delali Dzirasa, Fearless
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Year – Life Sciences: Benjamin Holmes, Nanochon
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Year – Technology: Andrew Coy, Digital Harbor Foundation
  • Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year: RoosterBio
  • Emerging Technology Company of the Year: NanoBioFAB
  • Government Contracting Company of the Year: N4 Solutions, LLC
  • Life Science Company of the Year: AstraZeneca

  • Technology Company of the Year: IonQ
  • Deal of the Year: RealmOne
  • C-Suite: Jesse Damsker, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, ReveraGen BioPharma
  • Pava LaPere Young Innovator Award: EcoMap Technologies
  • CEO Icon Award: Quantum Loophole
  • Venture Mentoring Services Mentor of the Year: Doug Holly
  • Venture Mentoring Services Venture of the Year: Solaxa
  • STEM Educators of the Year Award: Anthony J. Calise, Owings Mills High School (Baltimore County) and Liliia Khmarskaia, James M. Bennett High School (Wicomico County)
  • Alexandria Real Estate STEM Scholarship Winners:
    • Andy Ying, biomedical engineering, school to be determined
    • Anne Victoria Sefen, biomedical engineering, school to be determined
    • Jehan Idassi, neuroscience/pre-med, Johns Hopkins University
    • Joey Piper Mullenax, health sciences, Frostburg State University
    • Nicholas Angel, biomedical engineering, Stevenson University
    • Nicholas Dang Hoang Tran, computer engineering, school to be determined
    • Oluwatoyin Blessing Olaniyi, computer sciences, school to be determined
    • Samragyee Dhakal, computer engineering, University Of Maryland, College Park

This article mentions Fearless, a client. That relationship had no impact on this report.

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