On Tuesday, Yale University received a special achievement award at the Connecticut Innovations’ Eleventh Annual Technology Exhibition and Dinner. Yale was one of the six entrepreneurs that received commendation for impressive contributions to economic growth in Connecticut and to the expansion of innovative technology.

Connecticut Innovations, a group committed to increasing the technological economy in the state through investments in growing companies, determined the winners of the six yearly awards by considering five attributes: passion, perseverance, ingenuity, courage and spirit.

This year, Anthony J. DeMaria, chief scientist of the laser division of Coherent Inc., received the other special achievement award. Katherine N. Vick got the distinguished service award for her role in Connecticut Innovations’ investments and management. Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company doing trials on personalizing health care according to the patient’s DNA, won the job growth award. Cybergnostic, a company devoted to providing data transmission for mid-sized companies and had a 345 percent increase in revenue last year, won the under $5 million sales growth award. A financial management institution, Open Solutions Inc., won in the sales growth over $5 million category.

Gov. John G. Rowland was the dinner’s guest of honor. He made remarks on the growth of Connecticut industry and the state’s commitment to encouraging young entrepreneurs.

“In all the rankings, Connecticut is in the top five” in terms of economic growth, Rowland said. The governor cited Pfizer’s decision to base its operations in New London as evidence of the future potential of Connecticut industry, as well as mentioning the importance of the Biobus, a van equipped to teach children about emerging science technology.

Moderating the forum with local businessmen that followed the award ceremony was Diane Sawyer, who said, “every one of these companies [at the event] is a beachhead against the fundamentalists” responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Echoing the hopeful note of all the attendees in the aftermath of the disaster, she told the crowd of 1,000 that our greatness as a nation “still lies in our ability to dream and believe.”