Wednesday, August 17, 2011

GREEN TECH 2011: Mizzou professor's firm named innovation prize finalist

COLUMBIA, 8/17/11  (Beat Byte) --  Long-time University of Missouri civil engineering professor Henry Liu (left) didn't live long enough to see some much-deserved recognition for his novel process that makes building bricks (pictured) out of fly ash waste that coal-fired power plants generate. 
 
Liu -- who lost his life in a 2009 auto accident -- founded Columbia-based Ecologic Tech in 2001, after he retired from Mizzou.  The company is among five finalists in the 3rd Annual Brinks Innovation Competition, one of the nation's top prizes for entrepreneurs in clean energy and green technology. 
 
Held annually in conjunction with the Midwest Clean Tech Conference, the competition -- named for Chicago-based intellectual property law firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione -- seeks companies offering environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, and green building supplies. 
 
"Products, services, and processes eligible for entry must improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources, reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact, and provide superior performance at lower costs compared to other approaches," said Brinks Hofer spokesperson Jennifer Stuart.  "Each entry was evaluated by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists, and business executives familiar with clean technology." 
 
Other finalists include AquaMost, based in Madison, Wis., which offers a water purification device developed by University of Wisconsin scientists;  Catacel Corp., based in Garrettsville, Ohio, which engineers and manufactures novel, proprietary catalytic materials that improve energy production; cycleWood Solutions, based in Fayetteville, Ark., which has created a biodegradable and compostable plastic; and Lightweight Structures, based in Hartland, Wis., which developed a lightweight, eco-friendly building system.
 
Finalists will present their clean technologies to an international audience of investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists at the Midwest Clean Tech conference September 14, 2011 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  Winners will be announced at the event. 
 
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