Detroit’s SurClean Wins 4th Annual Brinks Innovation Competition
Chicago-Area Companies HEVT and ARID Technologies named runners-up
CHICAGO – Intellectual property law firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione today announced that Detroit-based SurClean, a start-up that produces laser tools for removing coatings in an environmentally safe and energy-efficient manner, has won the 4th Annual Brinks Innovation Competition. Chicago-based Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) and ARID Technologies were runners-up in the competition.
The Brinks Innovation Competition is an annual juried contest that helps emerging and venture-ready clean and green tech companies in the Midwest gain visibility for their technology and make connections with early-stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and financiers. Each entry in the Competition is evaluated by a panel of experts from regional universities, venture capitalists and business executives familiar with clean and green technologies.
The Brinks Innovation Competition is the centerpiece of the annual Midwest Clean Tech Conference presented by the Global Midwest Alliance and the Midwest Research University Network. Top executives representing the winner and both runners-up were on hand to receive their awards on Wednesday, September 12, following presentations from four of the five finalists at the Midwest Clean Tech Conference 2012 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. This year's show was also held in conjunction with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
“We are grateful for the opportunity to present our laser-based coatings removal product before such an engaged and knowledgeable audience," said Susan Sprentall, CEO, who represented SurClean in the finalists’ presentations. "The Brinks Innovation Competition provided us a tremendous forum for meeting people who will help further develop our investor network necessary for future development."
“Winning a prestigious competition such as the Brinks Innovation Competition also lends credibility to SurClean's ongoing product development efforts," added Ms Sprentall. "That support is critical to our long-term goals in bringing our products to market.”
“Our hope is that the success of the finalists in this year’s Brinks Innovation Competition will inspire other Midwest entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize innovative new clean technology,” said Kelly Burris, a shareholder at Brinks and co-chair of the Brinks Innovation Competition. “The growing number of applications Brinks received for this year's Competition illustrates the Midwest’s potential for innovation and clean technology-driven economic growth.”
SurClean’s laser-based products incorporate a disruptive technology to replace the use of harmful chemicals, media blasting and other abrasives typically used in the removal of paint and other coatings from aircraft, vessels and bridges undergoing maintenance. The company’s system uses a laser beam to disintegrate and remove paint and other coatings like rust from substrate in a cost-effective, safe, energy-efficient, and earth-friendly way. SurClean addresses safety concerns, environmental issues and hazards associated with the control and use of chemicals used in coating stripping, and eliminates the production of contaminated waste products in most cases.
Two Chicago-area companies were runners-up in the Brinks Innovation Competition. The first runner-up, Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT), was represented at the Competition by Heidi Lubin, CEO. HEVT provides the transportation industry with high-performance, efficient and cost-effective components and integrated systems that foster the adoption of electrified transport and yield significant savings in fuel economy.
Second runner-up ARID Technologies, based in Wheaton, uses innovative membrane separation technology to reduce evaporation and harmful hydrocarbon emissions at gasoline stations. The company, represented at the Competition by Mary Ann Tiberi, currently offers four primary products, including PERMEATOR, for gasoline stations; Membrane CRU for retrofit of carbon adsorption systems at bulk loading terminals; ARIDAS 150, a stand-alone monitoring and data acquisition system that measures fueling station vent emissions and pressure profiles; and the Integrated On-Spot railcar loading and fuel-vapor recovery system.
The Brinks Innovation Competition is sponsored by Chicago-based Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the country and a firm focused on providing IP legal services to clients in the research sciences, engineering and technology.
For more information, visit www.brinkshofer.com/innovation.
Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 140 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Brinks has offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Research Triangle Park, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor and Indianapolis. More information is available at www.usebrinks.com.