ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Ann Arbor SPARK vice president Skip Simms and GLEQ executive director Diane Durance presented InPore Technologies the first SmartZone Award at the GLEQ Awards Banquet recently. InPore Technologies was selected for the strength of its business plan, the industry, technical and entrepreneurial experience of its management team, and its ability to raise funds.
The SmartZone Award was created to benefit early-stage entrepreneurial companies that have written a strong, technology-based business plan and are already moving ahead with implementation. Statewide, 84 companies initially applied and of those, 21 competitors submitted full plans which were reviewed by venture capital firms located in Boston, the Bay Area, and Chicago.
InPore CEO Gerry Roston accepted the award on behalf of InPore Technologies product inventor, Thomas Pinnavaia, a Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University.
InPore, using technology invented by Pinnavaia and patented by Michigan State University, is producing a unique platform technology in the form of Silapore™ particles, highly porous, sub-micron sized silica material that vice president of business development Mike Brooks describes as "tiny asteroids." Silapore™ particles will be used as an additive for reinforcement in many polymer based products.
The first application they hope to develop for Silapore™ particles is wind turbine blades, which will gain strength and rigidity with Silapore™ particles while improving productivity of the blade manufacturing operation. Blades are produced in large, costly molds using composite materials such as fiberglass and epoxy resins which require anywhere from 8 to 48 hours to cure. Silapore™ particles will reduce cure time by up to 50% thus increasing production and reducing expenditures for additional molds and equipment.
InPore Technologies' Roston intends to utilize the SmartZone award to quickly expand product testing and to enhance the development of Silapore™ to integrate characteristics most critical to the wind turbine manufacturers.
SOURCE Ann Arbor SPARK