Press Release

Maine company one of 18 in U.S. to win OSS Tibbetts Award

BANGOR, Maine — Orono Spectral Solutions, Inc. of Bangor received the prestigious SBIR Tibbetts Award on May 16, 2013, at the White House, South Court Auditorium. Present to receive the award at the ceremony were: Dr. Carl Tripp (Orono), OSS president, Mr. Luke Doucette (Hampden), OSS Vice President, and Dean Smith (Dover-Foxcroft) OSS Vice President for Engineering.

[This award is] named after Roland Tibbetts, who was instrumental in developing the SBIR program, the Tibbetts Awards are presented annually to those who are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and the extent to which that innovation served federal R&D needs, encouraged diverse participation and increased the practical commercial use of federal research. There are two types of Tibbetts Awards: awards for businesses that have participated in the SBIR Phase I and II award programs, and awards for individuals who have supported the SBIR program.

Orono Spectral Solutions, Inc. (OSS) based in Bangor, Maine, specializes in developing sampling materials, systems and methods for collection of trace to bulk quantities of chemical and biological species such as warfare agents and toxic industrial materials for detection and identification with commercially available optical instrumentation. In essence “We don’t make the detectors, we make them work better.” OSS’ Mission Statement is to be the world-wide leader in sampling and analysis solutions for optical detection systems.

The company was founded in 2004 and spun out of research conducted in Dr. Carl Tripp’s lab at the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST) at the University of Maine. In 2003, Dr. Tripp was awarded a Department of Defense (DoD) contract to develop infrared based sensors for the detection of chemical and biological warfare agents in water. It was quickly realized that the research had the potential for the development of both military and commercial products. OSS is co-owned by Dr. Tripp along with University of Maine alumni, Luke Doucette, and Dean Smith and was established to provide an avenue for transitioning the university research into commercial products.

The company received its first SBIR Phase I award in 2006 and success with this grant led to a Phase II and to a larger Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract that were both funded in 2007. This allowed OSS to invest heavily in infrastructure and personnel to support DoD research and development projects. By March 2008, OSS had increased in size to six employees and to accommodate this expansion, opened its first research facility in Old Town, Maine. Continued programmatic success increased the number of employees to eleven and this required that OSS expand its laboratory space once again. In November 2011, OSS moved its business to its present location at 689 Odlin Road in Bangor, Maine. The current facility has over double the space and was designed for research, development, and prototyping and has provided the necessary space for current operations while also providing space for future research and/or light manufacturing growth.


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