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Pacific Northwest Hosts First 2010 Regional Cleantech Open Awards

Posted by at 5:17 PM, 10/06/2010

Featuring a remarkable expo of the Northwest's best clean tech innovators and partnering innovation organizations, the Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open named its 2010 winners in its culminating moments of the year's regional competition. The Seattle event was sponsored by Lane Powell and Silicon Valley Bank.

Out of the 16 Pacific Northwest semi-finalists named in June, three teams offering innovations in energy efficiency, water purification, and alternative transportation took the Region's Final prizes. This year's winners (photos below) of cash and in-kind prizes are: Seattle-based Nanocel, revolutionizing the cooling of electronic devices with its microfluidic polymer cooling system that can cool specific areas that generate the heat; Puralytics of Beaverton, Ore., maker of unique water purification devices that remove all types of pollutants in a single step without using chemicals or producing waste water; and Eugene, Oregon-based Arcimoto, builder of a fun and cost-effective electric vehicle for the around-town drives that typify most vehicle use.

PNW winners at Expo

Cash prizes were awarded by representatives of the region's Competition Sponsors: Avista, Puget Sound Energy, Wells Fargo Bank, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Deloitte. Numerous in-kind sponsors also provide significant portions of the Cleantech Open prizes.

For the first time, the region also granted its own Sustainability Award, which went this year to Hydrovolts, winner of the National Cleantech Open 2009 Sustainability Award based on their top-tier sustainability plan (downloadable from their website).

The region's 2010 semifinalists exhibited and demo'd their technologies to the attendees, which included corporate and civic leaders, investors and the media:

  • Aquapulser - high-performance ignition system (Seattle, WA)
  • Current Motors - electric scooters (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • CyVolt - fuel-cell based energy storage (Seattle, WA)
  • EnVitrum - masonry materials from waste glass (Seattle, WA)
  • Greenstone International - green road materials (Seattle, WA)
  • HydroVolts - instream power generation (Seattle, WA)
  • LaserMotive - wireless power transmission (Kent, WA)
  • Mercurius Biofuels - cellulosic biofuel technology (Ferndale, WA)
  • viaCycle - bicycle sharing technology (Bellevue, WA)
  • Zebigo - online ride-sharing community (Spokane, WA)

Exhibitors also included Innovation Partners who have provided support to both contestants and to the Cleantech Open itself:

The region's 2009 semifinalists were also invited to exhibit, and demonstrating their progress since last year were Portlanders Green Lite Motors showing a prototype of their hybrid electric vehicle and Shorepower Technologies with their electric vehicle charging station and truck-stop electrification platform; and Seattle's Clarian Power offering plug-in renewable energy for homeowners.

Bill Lemon, regional Judging Chair, spoke of the difficulty of choosing winners this year from a field of very strong teams and technologies. All the semi-finalists are on a positive track, and we encourage them to join the competition again next year.

Photos by Karen Johanson Photography.

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Spotlight on Washington State University

Posted by at 1:40 PM, 04/16/2010

First in a Series on Cleantech Open Pacific Northwest Innovation Partners

Washington State University is a founding Innovation Partner of the Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open. Reflecting the timely potential of green science, around the same time that Cleantech Open started our national expansion, WSU launched the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Lab at its Tri-Cities campus, focusing on breakthrough research on the next-generation of biomass energy that avoids food-fuel trade-offs; a new interdisciplinary Institute for Sustainable Design at the Pullman campus, focused on blending bio-materials, structural design and neighborhood-planning; and also a new smartFARM program, aimed at building-to-field sensor-rich environment where interactive intelligence realizes major environmental and economic efficiencies.

The Energy Program of WSU Extension, based out of Olympia, has long provided a technical clearinghouse for construction professionals, industrial engineers, policy makers and developers to foster the most advanced green building techniques and practices. WSU Vancouver’s Mechanical Engineering program provides education in the fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer and micro and nanotechnology that are pivotal to advanced process efficiency. And for well over a dozen years, WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering [MME] has invented whole new classes of materials engineered at the molecular level to improve photovoltaics, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and advanced batteries.

In our first Pacific Northwest competition, a commercial spin-off of this WSU MME research was selected as a semi-finalist to undergo the Open's summer-long program. GoNano Technologies, Inc. was launched in 2007 by Dr. Grant Norton, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in the WSU College of Engineering and Architecture, and his research partner at the University of Idaho, Dr. David McIlroy, in collaboration with the WSU Research Foundation and UI Tech Transfer Office.

Washington State University has a strong focus on clean tech development throughout its statewide programs. For more information, go to

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