DANBURY, Conn., Feb. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATMI, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATMI) today announced that the company was inducted into the inaugural Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Hall of Fame on February 15 th in Washington, D.C. An official ceremony followed at the White House, where Company co-founder and former CEO/Chairman of the Board, Dr. Gene Banucci, accepted the award on behalf of ATMI. The SBIR program nurtures the Nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses that form a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Its Hall of Fame, introduced this year, recognizes companies that have made advances in technological innovation, economic growth, and created new jobs. In his remarks at the ceremony, Dr. Banucci credited the SBIR program with providing the catalyst for both the creation and growth of ATMI, commenting, "Without the SBIR Program, ATMI would not have been able to become the public company it is today, with market leadership positions and over $350 million in annual revenues. The funding that we received under the SBIR Program has been paid back to the government more than ten-fold in taxes alone, and has led to the creation of literally hundreds of sustainable jobs." Dr. Banucci and four other scientists started ATMI in 1986 using early funding that came through SBIR grants, allowing ATMI to create innovative products and build the credibility it needed to enable additional funding from other sources. During its formative years, the company received a total of 182 SBIR grants. Now, as it approaches its 25 th anniversary, ATMI is a global leader in specialty semiconductor materials and packaging products, is currently emerging as a leader in single-use technologies for the life sciences industry, and is a publicly traded company with close to 800 employees and facilities throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. Without the early and subsequent funding, ATMI would not have been able to produce innovative solutions to solve process challenges in the semiconductor industry, which ultimately enabled advances in technology and electronics, further driving economic development and even saving lives. One of these solutions was its Safe Delivery Source (SDS®) technology, which eliminated accidents and deaths that were resulting from errors in handling, or damage to, high pressure cylinders containing highly-toxic gases. It is common for dangerous gases, such as arsine and phosphine, to be used in the making of computer chips. ATMI's SDS cylinders use an intrinsically safe technology which stores and delivers these gases at pressures below atmospheric levels which removes the high pressure risk and avoids catastrophic gas leaks. In over 17 years of delivering SDS cylinders to the semiconductor market, there has not been a single, reportable event.