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Blog Archive: October 2010

Pacific Northwest Hosts First 2010 Regional Cleantech Open Awards

Posted by Mary Sullivan 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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Call for Green Building Ideas!

Posted by Katie Payer at 7:15 PM, 10/13/2010

Amberix, a 2010 California semifinalist company, is in the business of optimizing air flow in new and retrofit buildings for energy efficiency.  The company is particularly interested in distribution efficiency as it relates to other efficiencies.

Currently Amberix is working on the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) building under construction in San Francisco. Amberix invites you to submit any and all of your products/proposals that could potentially benefit this building.
The government wants to make this project an example of energy efficient and Net Zero Energy building, so the budget is almost infinite and the possibilities for new product installations are there (with the approval of the contractor).
The 254,000 square feet building is 13 floors high. They are using state of the art materials and sources for energy efficient buildings.
If you think you have a product that could fit into this building and improve the R-ratings, energy usage, energy production, energy storage, energy monitoring and control, please send an "elevator pitch" of your product and its approximate cost to, and Amberix will present it to the building owners. The company will also list your product on under Amberix partners.

Thank you for your participation!

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2009 Alumni Success: ZERE

Posted by Katie Payer at 7:30 PM, 10/13/2010

ZERE has been selected to present at the 23rd Annual National Renewable Energy Laboratory Industry Growth Forum (NREL IGF), the premier event of innovative cleantech companies, venture capitalists, corporate investors, and strategic partners. Since 2003, the presenting seed, early stage, and expanding cleantech companies have collectively raised more than $3.4 billion in growth financing.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 23rd Industry Growth Forum is to be held in Denver, Colorado on October 19-21, 2010. ZERE was a 2009 Cleantech Open runner-up in the Renewable Energy category. For more information and registration, please see 

ZERE has also been selected for participation in National Renewable Energy Laboratory Commercialization Assistance Program (NREL NCAP) in which NREL will work with ZERE on technical analysis leading towards commercialization of ZERE's biofuels system. ZERE's pilot test rig is being designed for construction and testing at NREL.

This news follows on the heels of ZERE being awarded $100,000 funding and $50,000 services from Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) to move research towards commercialization. With these funds, ZERE will model and design its test reactor system for generating zero emissions heat and power, sized for the pilot to follow at NREL.

“The Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) transforms clean energy ideas into sustainable businesses. With a focus on renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency, NIREC launches early stage companies centered on the commercialization and widespread deployment of renewable energy solutions.”

In addition, ZERE has been selected to submit a full proposal for a joint DOE/USDA funding opportunity, Biomass Research and Development Initiative.  ZERE is leading a consortium formed with Stanford University, University of Nevada, Reno,  the Desert Research Institute (DRI), National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL), and a former EPRI expert to lead biomass research. This follows having received a positive assessment and recommendation for future funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC), for completion of ZERE/Stanford California Energy Commission Energy Innovation Small Grant (EISG) Phase I funded research ($95,000) in 2008 - 2010.  ZERE has worked with Dr. Reginald Mitchell, Professor of Mechanical Engineer and Director of the High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory at Stanford University to perform the CEC grant work and will continue this research at Stanford and University of Nevada Reno, with potential DOE/USDA grant funding awarded in early 2011.

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