Fairborn safety innovation company named 2022 Soin award winner

Apr. 20—A safety-focused business in Fairborn has won the 2022 Soin Award for Innovation.

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday announced that Sentinel Occupational Safety is this year's Soin winner for its product called "SafeGuard."

"We're proud to partner with the Soin family once again to recognize Dayton's innovative business community," said Chris Kershner, the chamber's president and chief executive. "Sentinel's technology has many applications across several markets, and we believe the further development of SafeGuard will lead to opportunity and growth in the Dayton region."

Sentinel was spun off from Aptima, a Massachusetts company with a large Dayton presence, in March 2020.

The local startup was formed around a technology which employs a combination of wearable sensors, analytics and software to monitor the health of colleagues and at-risk individuals in a variety of situations.

Sentinel launched as a collaboration between Aptima, the Air Force Research Laboratory (based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), the Air Force Sustainment Center, and Lockheed Martin, Zachary Kiehl, Sentinel CEO and co-founder, said in a chamber announcement on the award.

"There was this idea that we could we use health and safety monitoring technologies to provide continuous oversight of individuals in risk-laden environments — specifically confined spaces," Kiehl said.

The technology behind SafeGuard was the result of that initial inquiry, and as Department of Defense interest in the product grew, Kiehl said he and his team saw a distinct opportunity.

"Knowing that Aptima leadership was very approachable and dedicated to innovation and commercialization, I said, 'Hey, I think this technology has a lot of potential in the commercial market, and I believe we'd be better positioned to unlock this potential if we spun it off as its own commercial venture,'" he said.

Since those early days, Sentinel's team has identified three applications for the technology, the chamber said.

SafeGuard is primarily marketed as a tool for worker safety, allowing one worker to monitor another.

The technology gathers biometric and environmental information in real time, using that data to determine whether a person is in danger.

"Dayton is a hotbed for innovation and talent, and that allows us to plant our roots here and attract the type of talent we need to have success," Kiehl said. "

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce held its 116th annual meeting at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Center Wednesday morning.