Sun Catalytix Signs $4M ARPA-E Contract, Grows Team

MIT Chemistry Professor John Deutch Chairs Scientific Advisory Board

Jan 25, 2010, 09:00 ET from Sun Catalytix Corporation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Catalytix Corporation, a distributed energy storage and renewable fuels company, today announced that it has signed a contract for over $4 million in federal funding from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).  DOE selected Sun Catalytix as one of only 37 recipients from over 3,600 applicants for ARPA-E's first-round of funding for transformational energy technologies.  

Sun Catalytix has recruited Scott Wilshire, former president of Thar Geothermal, as Chief Operating Officer and Mark Barnett, formerly of Foley Hoag LLP, as VP Business Development and General Counsel.  Wilshire and Barnett will provide senior leadership for the company and help guide Sun Catalytix through the successful execution of its new ARPA-E contract.  

Prior to joining Sun Catalytix and leading Thar Geothermal, Scott Wilshire served as COO of HydroGen, a Pittsburgh-based fuel cell developer, and as Director of Marketing Engagement for Plug Power, an Albany-based fuel cell developer.  Wilshire has over 25 years of experience in the energy industry with 10 years in the alternative energy sector and 15 years in the Naval Reactors program with GE and Lockheed Martin.  He received a Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and completed the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Engineering School.

Mark Barnett co-founded and co-chaired the Energy Technology & Renewables (ETR) practice at Foley Hoag before joining Sun Catalytix, helping to build the ETR practice into one of the leading practices of its kind in the region.  A graduate of Yale Law School, Mark has spent over 15 years working in the energy and environmental technology sector in various capacities.  Immediately prior to Foley Hoag, Mark served as Counsel to the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.

"The ability to convert electrical energy into hydrogen reducing equivalents is fundamental to an enormous number of processes," added Dr. Eric Toone, ARPA-E program director.  "To date, most approaches to this vital task have shown poor efficiencies or relied on expensive, rare and easily-poisoned catalysts.  Sun Catalytix work, based on robust, self-healing, earth-abundant catalysts, will revolutionize the transformation and transportation of energy, and we are delighted to support this novel and transformative technology."

Additionally, Sun Catalytix has formed a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) which will guide the company on technology development.  The SAB is chaired by John Deutch, Institute Professor at MIT, whose government experience includes service as Director of Energy Research and Undersecretary of the Department of Energy, and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology.  In addition to Deutch, the SAB includes: MIT Chemistry Professor Daniel Nocera (Sun Catalytix founder), Harvard University Professor George Whitesides, Washington University Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry Mark Wrighton, MIT Chemical Engineering Professor Kenneth Smith, and University of Utah Distinguished Professor Henry White.

The SAB will advise Sun Catalytix as it develops catalysts that use intermittent renewable energy, including solar and wind energy, to split water (H2O) into storable Hydrogen and Oxygen – a process that mimics photosynthesis.

"The ARPA-E program is enormously important because it provides promising startups with the financial support they need to move high-risk, high-payoff innovations from the laboratory to practical application," said John Deutch, MIT chemistry professor and chair of the Sun Catalytix SAB.  "With technology based on patents developed right here at MIT by Daniel Nocera, Sun Catalytix now has the support it needs to bring breakthrough energy storage technologies to market more quickly."


Laureen McGowan Sanderson, Greenough Communications


Bob Metcalfe


SOURCE Sun Catalytix Corporation