Announcement of the 10th Annual Innovation Award of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

About the winners:

Grand St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation – Category: Not-for-Profit / Established (in operation for over 3 years)

The Foundation created the St. Cloud Rotary Community Outpost (COP House), which opened in 2017 with the aim of implementing an innovative approach to community policing. Located on a property that had generated over 200 calls for service by public safety in the three years leading up to 2017, at 600 13th St. S., the COP House continues to help stabilize the neighborhood by building relationships with various members of the community, reducing crime, offering development and enrichment activities for young people, providing access to social and medical services on site and enabling citizens to become more involved. CentraCare medical resources; and a 24/7/365 Mayo Medical paramedic ambulance.

MK1 Engineering – Category: Profit / Emerging (operating for 3 years or less)

MK1 Engineering has created the world’s first system to orient corn seeds during planting, in order to precisely optimize and increase yield. Called AeroTube, the technology uses innovative aerodynamics to orient a tip of corn seed downward with the germ facing the adjacent row to optimize the plant-to-plant relationship.

In the spring of 2021, the MK1 team set up over 100 acres of trial plots with the AeroTube system across the Midwest. In formal university studies, orientation of seeds increased yield by 9 to 29 percent.

With extremely tight margins in agriculture, AeroTube could potentially double a producer’s income in an environmentally friendly way, as the technology does not use harmful chemicals or complex mechanical systems.

City of Waite Park – Category: Non-Profit / Established (in operation for over 3 years)

The City’s creation of the Ledge Amphitheater was shortlisted for an innovation award because of its creative reuse of an old quarry and an excellent public-private partnership that has made the venue affordable. .

The City started with the land donated by Martin Marietta and worked with many local contractors to reduce the costs associated with the project. In addition, the City has also found innovative ways to seek help from some of the local nonprofit agencies in return for financial support from their organizations. All of these efforts have helped to reduce the cost of building the site.

The result is a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater that features walking trails and a unique pocket park that provides opportunities for smaller events. The Town of Waite Park estimates that The Ledge, which opened in July 2021, will attract 60,000 to 80,000 visitors each year.

Wolters Kluwer – Category: For Profit / Established (in business for over 3 years)

The St. Cloud-based technology team at Wolters Kluwer, a global provider of information services and solutions for professionals in the healthcare, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, and corporate sectors. finance and law, helped the company launch its TSoftPlus (PPP) paycheck protection program delivering near the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

TSoftPlus supports the efforts of lenders to help small business clients access essential stimulus financing, helping to retain more than one million American worker jobs and thus help save many small businesses. The St. Cloud team at Wolters Kluwer delivered nine separate versions of TSoftPlus software upgrades within 18 days of product launch, working long hours to quickly add servers and optimize code to reduce bottlenecks. performance bottleneck. It’s an incredible timeline, as Wolters Kluwer normally releases software updates about quarterly.

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Perry Perrie

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