Uponor North America, the high-test plastic piping manufacturer for plumbing, heating and cooling systems, was a winner last Thursday at the annual Tekne Awards of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA). The winners span sizes and business models but share an innovative approach to technology in categories including advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, cybersecurity and community impact, according to MHTA.

“This year’s Tekne Award winners exemplify the diversity and strength of Minnesota’s innovative economy,” said CEO Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “The selected organizations all continuously challenge the status quo of the science and technology industries…”

Uponor won the “building design and infrastructure” award.

The Finland-based company has expanded its Twin Cities North American headquarters to more than 700 employees this year, including the acquisition and renovation of a Hutchinson plant and several multi-million dollar expansions in recent years of its U.S. flagship facilities in Apple Valley.

The Tekne judges said Uponor’s “intelligent plumbing and climate solutions” are “trusted products that move water where it needs to go” and that the company is making a difference in “conserving water and energy, supporting the future of skilled labor, and creating healthier places to live and work.”

Others among the 16 winners include:

* OATI, for its work on the electrical “grid of the future."

* Land O’Lakes, the farmer-owned cooperative for the growth of its dairy, crop-and-animal production systems that “optimize value” of crops through refining and improved products for consumers and farmers.

*Carrot Health, a several-year-old software firm that uses consumer data to provide insights that allow intervention early enough to avoid medical crisis and more expense. 

*Charter Solutions, a female-owned firm for 21 years that provides data analysis and IT professional services.

* Minnesota State University Mankato, for its work to train students in careers involving science, technology, engineering and math.

More information: www.mhta.org

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