Uncover Innovation

Discover the cleaning industry’s next wave of game changers

Uncover Innovation

Innovation helps drive competition, encourage a greener economy, and create jobs. This is evident in the latest technological advancements that have been happening in the cleaning industry. Product and service improvements have long been transforming the world where we live and do business.

In 1797, Levi Dickenson invented the first broom. Daniel Hess created the first vacuum in 1860 while 1913 saw the advent of bleach used for antibacterial properties. Microfiber was introduced in Sweden in 1990, and in the past few years, robotics and automated equipment have gained popularity.

To help recognize ongoing industry advancements, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, developed its ISSA Innovation Award program, which today consists of 11 awards: five Category winners, five Visitors’ Choice winners, and the prestigious overall ISSA Innovation of the Year. More than 450 products and services have been entered throughout the program’s 10-year history.

The 2016 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award winner was Autonomy by Brain Corp. Its A.I. technology that provides an automated navigation system for commercial-grade equipment garnered the most votes from voters and judges alike.

So what’s the next big innovation in clean? You can help determine that by participating in this year’s ISSA Innovation Award program!

As in years past, the ISSA Innovation Award program for 2017 will showcase some of the industry’s best cleaning-related inventions. As in years past, there are three ways to show support of your favorite entries:

Vote Online

Until September 8, 2017, building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house service providers can view all the entries in the innovation program at Online visitors can browse through images, literature, videos, and descriptions to evaluate what they find to be the most innovative products, then vote for their favorites in each of five categories: Cleaning Agents, Dispensers, Equipment, Services and Technology, and Supplies. Those tallied votes will determine the five 2017 ISSA Innovation Award Category winners, each of which will receive a trophy and recognition both online and at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America trade show that takes place September 11-14, 2017, in Las Vegas, NV.

Vote On Site

Where online voting ends, on-site voting picks up. If you’re able to experience these extraordinary innovations in person at this year’s ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show, visit the ISSA Innovation Showcase area in Booth 709. Here, attendees have a chance to see the exciting products in more detail, and can also cast their votes September 12–13 to select the five 2017 ISSA Innovation Visitors’ Choice Award winners.

For the second year in a row, the 2017 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award will be presented to the winner garnering the most votes on site, online, and from a panel of industry-expert judges. The judges will use five criteria—impact, practicality, sustainable, profitable and cost effective, and originality—to help determine the champion. Below gives a better idea of the criteria the judges will consider for each:

Impact. How much does the product or service directly affect the industry economy? The impact could influence only a small segment of the market or influence many sectors. Either way, that impact will be measured.

Practicality. How appropriate or suited for actual use is the entrant? Many factors will be weighed here, including ease of use, transportability, design simplicity, and more. For example, is the potential product too large or heavy for real-world scenarios? Practicality is very desirable for widespread adoption.

Sustainability. For how long will the product or service continue to function? Can the product or service typically be found in an environment where standard usage may degrade its usefulness? Sustainable usage and lifespan is important. To quote Timex, can this product “take a licking and keep on ticking?”

Profitability and cost savings. How effective is the service or product in terms of profitability and cost savings? Are there efficient ways to create the product or offer the service that could save a company money over time? Will there be strong demand that increases supply? Judges will consider all of these questions.

Originality. This unique criterion helps determine if there is a new need in the marketplace for this product. Has this product or service never been sold before or is it a good twist on an old classic? Could this be the innovation that revolutionizes the industry?

Time to Celebrate

The five category winners will be recognized during ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America’s 2017, Lunch and Learn, September 11, at 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Two other awards, the Visitor’s Choice Award and 2017 ISSA Innovation of the Year, will be announced during the ISSA Innovation Awards Ceremony on September 14, at 2 p.m. in the ISSA Innovation Showcase Booth 709.

What next big advancement in clean will the ISSA Innovation Award Ceremony unveil? You have the opportunity to help the industry determine that and see it live for yourself. For more information, visit

This article was adapted with permission from ISSA Today (June 2017).

Posted On July 24, 2017

Lou Centrella

Issa's Director of Digital Media

Lou Centrella is Issa’s director of digital media. He can be reached at

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