Press Release

Block MEMS Receives Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Southborough, MA – January 20, 2021

Block MEMS, a developer of chemical detection products for safety and security, recently was honored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with a Tibbetts Award for technological achievements and commercial success involving its laser-based chemical detection systems. Block's products are used to protect people from chemical threats at distances of hundreds of meters away. Past Tibbetts Award recipients include Qualcomm, Symantec and Broadcom.

Al Weggeman, Block's President, stated, "The Tibbetts Award is an honor and recognition of Block's commitment to commercializing its laser-based technology by delivering safety and security products to keep people safe. I thank all of the team in our business that have made this possible. I commend our fellow recipients on their efforts in receiving this great honor, too. We profoundly thank the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and our other government partners who supported us with multiple SBIR Phase 3 R&D contracts."

Block's quantum cascade laser-based systems are commercially available and are used to protect transportation hubs, critical infrastructure sites, government buildings, and forward operating bases from chemical threats. Block's recent participation in the IARPA SILMARILS program has produced technology for real-time non-contact detection of trace explosives, toxic drugs, and other chemical residues at safe distances.

Daniel J. Cavicchio, Jr., CEO of Block, added, "This all started with a Phase 1 SBIR to develop a laser spectrometer. Following success with Phase 1 and 2 SBIRs, Block went on to receive over $30 million from US government agencies to develop new chemical detection technology. For example, we are currently working with the Department of Homeland Security on parcel screening technology to detect contraband. Block appreciates the recognition by the Small Business Administration."

About Block:

Block MEMS and its affiliate Block Engineering are developers of laser-based chemical detection systems for the safety, security, and environmental markets. For more than 50 years, Block has developed and manufactured mid-infrared chemical identification instruments using FTIR and Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) technology. Block's solutions are used by the aviation and transportation industries, regulatory and customs authorities, government agencies and military, commercial facilities and venues, and other secure facilities. Applications include the screening of clothing, vehicles, baggage, cargo and packages for explosives, drugs, and chemical agents and gases.

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