Portland, OR, San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) November 15, 2012
Architectural Applications (a2), a startup company that is commercializing a revolutionary new air conditioning technology for buildings, has been named one of eight finalists in the Saint-Gobain Nova Innovation Competition 2012. Saint-Gobain is the world’s largest building materials company. With assistance from the San Antonio Clean Energy Incubator (SACEI), a2 has successfully reached the finals of this prestigious competition for construction-sector clean technologies, out of 168 entries. SACEI is a member of the Clean Energy Alliance, a national association of clean energy incubators, and the mentoring services SACEI provided to a2 were supported by funding from the Department of Energy Small Business and Clean Energy Alliance Partnership. a2 is pitching today, November 15th at 11amPT at Greenbuild in San Francisco.
With initial funding from the innovation arm of the US Department of Energy–the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy program (ARPA-E), a2 has been collaborating with a team of experts to bring a2’s unique, hybrid air conditioning technology to market, including with talent from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Membrane Technology & Research, Inc.
Early discussions with Saint Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, had yielded a ‘wait and see’ response, but, with mentoring from SACEI, a2 was able to successfully advance to one of the eight finalist positions in the competition.
The Saint-Gobain Nova Innovation Competition is intended to reward innovative startups in the field of sustainable habitat and construction, from anywhere in the world. The eight finalists were selected from a field of 168 entrants using an open, transparent judging process involving experts from MIT, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the US Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter and Webcor, one of the world’s top commercial building contractors. They will pitch their innovative businesses to a judging panel consisting of Saint-Gobain business leaders in a live speed-dating format at the 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco on November 15, 2012, with winners announced later on the same day in the GreenBuild Expo Hall.
The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes of $50,000 (about €38,000), $25,000 (about €19,000) and $10,000 (about €7,700), respectively. However, the bigger “prize” is the opportunity for the NOVA Innovation Competition finalists to partner with Saint-Gobain’s NOVA External Venturing organization in exploring potential joint development, licensing or other collaboration agreements.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for us,” says John Breshears, President of a2. “Our technology saves energy in building air conditioning using large-scale, membrane-based heat and moisture exchangers integrated into the wall. Instead of performing the complete air conditioning process with energy-intensive mechanical systems, this technology enables some of that work to be done passively using materials and components that fall within Saint Gobain’s market expertise. SACEI helped us shape the message that landed us in this position. We look forward to discussing the potential impact of this technology with the world’s largest manufacturer of building materials and components.”
“We are thrilled that a2 made the finals of this prestigious Nova competition,” Andrew Trickett, Executive Director of SACEI said. “This is a great opportunity for them to showcase their remarkable HVAC technology to leading corporate and venture capital investment groups, and how it has the potential to make a huge impact in hot and humid climates like those in many parts of Texas.”
In addition to helping a2 secure a finalist spot, SACEI also helped a2 earn a Phase 2 STTR award, by serving as a committed partner to perform the product testing and in a qualified facility, as part of the proposal package.
For videos profiling a2 and the other finalists, and more about the competition, please visit:
About Architectural Applications:
Architectural Applications (a2) is developing an innovative air conditioning efficiency technology for commercial and residential buildings in humid climates--a market that is projected to reach US $5B globally by 2015. Invented by John Breshears, PE AIA LEED BD+C, the hybrid technology has received funding from the prestigious ARPA-E program and two awards from US DOE. The a2 team, based in Oregon, has teamed with research partners including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Arup, Membrane Technology & Research Inc., and dPoint Technologies to commercialize the product. http://www.architecturalapplications.com, contact: John E. Breshears: jbreshears(at)architecturalapplications(dot)com
The San Antonio Clean Energy Incubator (SACEI) is part of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute. SACEI’ s mission is to develop new companies and foster new business activity related to clean technology in San Antonio, in ways that can be expanded to Texas, our nation, and the world in order to promote socioeconomic prosperity. SACEI is a member of the Clean Energy Alliance, a national association of clean energy incubators.
About Clean Energy Alliance
The Clean Energy Alliance (CEA), a non-profit organization founded by National Renewable Energy Laboratories, is the national association of leading business incubators and other entities dedicated to providing technical, business and financial services tailored to the needs of the cleantech business development community. CEA focuses on developing practices and resources that support cleantech business incubation, entrepreneurial mentoring and development, and technology commercialization. http://www.cleanenergyalliance.com.
About Saint-Gobain NOVA External Venturing:
NOVA External Venturing joins entrepreneurial companies and Saint-Gobain, the $54 billion habitat and construction market leader, in mutually beneficial, long-term development partnerships. They combine Saint-Gobain’s marketing, manufacturing and R&D resources with the freshest ideas in construction and advanced materials. Together, Saint-Gobain and its partners start with a sound idea, scale it to the commercial level, and soar to success developing the next generation of advanced materials for construction, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
For more information about NOVA External Venturing, a unit of Saint-Gobain, please visit http://www.http://www.saint-gobain.com/en/NOVA.