Business Line: Fridley

Medtronic receives educational award

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) awarded Fridley-based Medtronic on Feb. 17 the AIMBE’s first STEM Educational Award for their work promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education in the United States.

The award was created in response to President Obama’s call to place a greater emphasis on STEM education during his recent Educate to Innovate call for reforms, and designed to recognize significant contributions to that effort.

As the global leader in medical technology, Medtronic employs more than 9,000 scientists, engineers and medical professionals devoted to finding innovative, life-saving solutions to many of today’s major chronic diseases, making future innovators in STEM subjects core to their continued success and the improved health of the world.

Medtronic’s employees are actively engaged in professional organizations and in youth-related outreach efforts.  Additionally, the Medtronic Foundation has a history of supporting programs that help ensure access to quality STEM education, including strategic partnerships with national organizations such as Teach for America, Science Buddies, Change the Equation, 50CAN, and FIRST Robotics. Additionally, the Medtronic Foundation has published Science Matters, a free family science guide for patents and teachers.Copies are available at

Metal forming company acquires tool and die company

EJ Ajax & Sons, a third-generation metal forming company headquartered in Fridley, has acquired Swirtz Tool & Manufacturing, a Minneapolis tool and die company. Paul Swirtz has joined the EJ Ajax tool room; he has been a tool and die maker since the late 1970s and founded his company in 1992. Swirtz Tool had a long history with EJ Ajax prior to the acquisition, said Erick Ajax, vice president.

Ajax said that the expansion of his company’s in-house tooling capability will provide faster turnaround time and lower costs for customers. Swirtz’s problem-solving and innovation will help find progressive stamping solutions to more expensive fabrication methods.