Contributed by Victoria Conner

Innovations with a strong Northern Santa Barbara County connection and impact are now being accepted by EconAlliance for its annual Innovation Award. Submission deadline is October 13, 2017. The Innovation Award will be presented Nov. 9, at the EconAlliance Future Forum and Annual Dinner taking place at the Hotel Corque in Solvang. According to Innovation Committee Chair Ben Oakley, the rules of entry are fairly straight-forward:

  • Companies/organizations may nominate themselves
  • Nominee must have a “presence” and/or significant economic impact in Northern Santa Barbara County
  • The definition of innovation in terms of the award is broad-based. The innovation can be a device, a process, a concept, an operation, a computer program, etc.

Nominations will be evaluated based on the following three criteria: Innovation, Value, Overall Impact and nomination can include photos, written descriptions, and any additional materials deemed relevant for consideration. Innovation Award information is available on the EconAlliance website at and may be submitted:

The 2017 Future Forum and Annual Dinner at which the Innovation Award will be presented is featuring a panel discussion on “Artificial Intelligence – Friend or Foe”, moderated by Steve Burgess, President of The Foresight Institute in Palo Alto and principal of Burgess Forensics, heaquartered in Santa Maria with data associates worldwide.  A second dinner topic, “Broadband – Globally, Locally” will be presented by Digital West CEO Tim Williams. Dinner information is available at; with a registration link at the top of the page.