Recombinetics, a 35-employee biotechnology firm in St. Paul, was named the winner in the food-and-agriculture category at the annual Tekne awards of the Minnesota High Tech Association.

Recombinetics (RCI), which has raised $24 million from individual investors, is moving from research to commercial operations for its “gene-edited” pigs for disease research and healthier livestock. RCI was one of 14 award-winning companies at the high tech association’s annual gathering on Wednesday. The group also honored college students who are studying science and technology.

“Minnesota continues to be a national leader in technology and science and these 14 companies showcase the innovation that continues to occur in our own backyard,” Margaret Anderson Kelliher, association CEO, said.

The state’s technology industry was buoyed recently when the Milken Institute ranked Minnesota seventh in its State Technology and Science Index 2016, thanks to the state’s strong tech workforce and strong investment in human capital.

The Tekne award winners included:

• Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT), in the cybersecurity category, for the research-and-development consulting company’s strengths in automated planning, cybersecurity, health care and human-automation interaction technologies.

• Minnesota Computers for Schools, in the community impact category, for its training and employment of Stillwater prison inmates who have refurbished 80,000-plus computers donated by businesses, schools and nonprofits since 1997.

• 75F, in energy and clean tech, for its internet-based heating-and-cooling system control systems that offer individual-room temperature control while saving up to 40 percent of energy costs for small commercial buildings.

• Proto Labs, for advanced manufacturing. The start-up of 15 years ago has grown to employ 1,700 around the globe thanks to its proprietary software that translates internet-transmitted design into product prototypes and low-volume, high-margin production runs for companies in a variety of industries.

• Tech Dump Electronics Recycling, in the workforce development category, for providing stable jobs and pathways to self-sufficiency for adults with criminal and chemical dependency history through its work of recycling and refurbishing “anything with a cable, cord or battery.”

More information on the Tekne competitors at