February, 2020 | The eight finalists of the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2019/20 in Sustainable Building and Living are (in alphabetical order):
8. ZILA Works, USA: 100% BPA-free epoxy resin made from industrial hemp – a plant that is easy to grow and has strong, durable fibres – which produces benefits for farmers, reduces health risks for manufacturing workers, and decreases toxins to consumers. This technology is an innovative bio epoxy resin based on the fatty acids (FA) of hemp seed oil for use in composites and other industrial applications, such as coatings.
January 24, 2020 | Electrical & computer engineering professor Brian B. Johnson will develop power electronics to integrate solar with grid; BlueDot Photonics will develop new solar manufacturing technology.
A food scientist by trade, Emily Darchuk has worked at NASA, Kellogg, and Coca-Cola developing new products. But when the Oregon native began consulting in the dairy industry, she saw a problem—and set out to solve it.
Matthew Mead’s and Tommy Gibbons company Hempitecture built the country’s first public-use building made of hempcrete, hemp-based building materials that absorb C02 emissions and improves insulation. The mission-based company based in Ketchum, Idaho, where Mead served as a planning and zoning commissioner, works with architects, engineers and developers to bring eco-friendly designs to life.
November 6, 2019 | The Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2019 (SETO FY2019) funding program supports projects that will improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the national grid. This program funds projects that advance early-stage photovoltaic, concentrating solar-thermal power, and systems integration technologies, and reduce the non-hardware costs associated with installing solar energy systems.
Project Name: Single-Source Vapor Deposition Equipment for High-Throughput Manufacturing of Thin-Film Perovskite Solar Absorbers
Location: Kirkland, WA
DOE Award Amount: $1 million, Cost Share: $300,000
Project Summary: This project team will develop modular, single-source vapor deposition (SSVD) hardware to enable high-throughput processing and manufacturing of thin-film perovskite solar absorbers. SSVD has the potential to be a rapid, cost-effective technique in which powder is turned directly to vapor and coated onto a substrate, the base of a solar cell. The team will design, build, and test a manufacturing platform that will improve the coating’s uniformity on the cell, as well as its optical and electronic quality. This work will enable the next generation of solar manufacturing equipment for thin-film solar cell technology.
November 2, 2019 | Shining a spotlight on women-led startups from around the world, last year’s 5th Annual WCS Talks featured the first ever pitch competition in the United States to focus on female entrepreneurs from the cleantech and sustainability industry.
To recognise the breadth of innovation in the chemical sector, ICIS Innovation Awards are given in four categories, as detailed below.
As well as a winner in each category, ICIS selects an overall winner each year, chosen from the four category winners. This Award will be presented by BASF, as lead sponsor of the ICIS Innovation Awards 2019.
Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)
The Best Innovation by a SME category gives SMEs, that great source and reservoir of innovation, a chance to shine.
Winner: Sironix Renewables
Hundredfold improved hard water performance with Eosix surfactants
October 10, 2019 | PORTLAND, Ore. – VertueLab and CleanTech Alliance today announced the four winning startups that participated in the 2019 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, a 15-week program that offers Pacific Northwest startups cleantech-specific training in business planning, customer discovery, manufacturing and planning for environmental and social sustainability.
September 23, 2019 | In Florida, the Digest recognized the NEXT 50, “the 50 Next Companies to Disrupt the World”, bioeconomy companies that are on the journey to commercial scale with an emerging technology.
The advanced bioeconomy has diversified significantly and the NEXT 50 includes companies focused on fuels, chemicals, foods, new crops and crop protection, animal feeds, and synthetic biology-based services.
In all, 13 chemicals & materials companies were recognized, 9 from crop development and crop protection, 8 in advanced foods and feed, 8 from fuels, 7 in synbio services, and two in engines and gasifiers.
August 27, 2019 | Today, in partnership with Microsoft for Startups, we announced the Class of 2019 for Ready Set Raise. Of the 400 women and non-binary-led companies that applied to participate in this year’s program, less than two percent were selected. Participants represent companies with huge upside potential, across a variety of sectors and geographies, who are solving substantial problems in unique ways.
July 29, 2019 | Node’s net-zero modern homes take three months to assemble.
Across the country, cities are facing an affordable housing crisis that has left people unable to make a down payment on a home or pay rent. Solutions can be approached from multiple directions—rethinking policy, raising wages, getting creative, and, of course, creating more housing stock.
Seattle-based Node, like other prefab housing startups, is looking to chip away at low housing stock with a kit home that comes fully fabricated and easily assembled.
June 22, 2019 | Three years ago, Christoph Krumm was still a PhD student working on surfactants at the University of Minnesota. Now he’s the cofounder and CEO of Sironix Renewables, which is hoping to compete in the market of biorenewable surfactants, potentially reducing the environmental impact of detergents and other products. Krumm was recently named to the 2019 Grist 50, a list of emerging sustainability leaders. Mark Peplow spoke to Krumm about his plans to clean up our laundry.
June 15, 2019 | It’s not easy being an entrepreneur – let alone one working in a non-traditional field like clean technology. Add to the executive leadership and sales roles the mindset of a scientist and you have a high-octane recipe for burnout.
Anna Brown is learning all about this, but in typical left-brain fashion she is getting it all planned out. The founder of two-person firm Stark Street Materials, the material scientist has just been included in the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator.
June 6, 2019 | SEATTLE and PORTLAND, Ore. – The Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator today announced its 2019 cohort of eight Pacific Northwest startups that will receive cleantech-specific training in business planning, customer discovery, manufacturing and planning for environmental and social sustainability over the next 15 weeks.
Hosted by VertueLab in Portland and CleanTech Alliance in Seattle, the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator is now in its fourth year helping early-stage cleantech startups speed their technologies to market through curriculum, mentorship and business connections.
May 24, 2019 | Surfactants derived from plants, eco-friendly membranes, and miniature sensors were among the eight winning ideas in the 2019 Imagine Chemistry collaborative innovation challenge, organized by Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals). More than 160 submissions from 30 countries were received, and the winners were chosen from 14 finalists at a three-day event at the company’s RD&I center in Deventer, the Netherlands.
Two overall winners were awarded joint development agreements (JDA): Sironix Renewables (USA) received a JDA from Nouryon and Imagine Chemistry partner Unilever for its technology to make surfactants from plants; and Ionomr (Canada) received a JDA from Nouryon for its eco-friendly membrane technology.
April 19, 2019 | Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) has announced the 13 finalists for the 2019 edition of its Imagine Chemistry collaborative innovation challenge. Imagine Chemistry was launched to tackle chemistry-related challenges and uncover new ways to create value for customers. The 2019 edition generated more than 160 innovative ideas from startups, scale-ups, university spin-outs, and other potential partners.
March 18, 2019 | While the nation’s attention has largely focused on the big five tech giants over the last year — Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook — we’ve been keeping an eye on the Seattle startup scene. And we’re pleased to report that, while Amazon shifts its center of gravity away from the Northwest, Seattle’s pipeline of locally based tech startups remains remarkably strong.
The first Founders Project mentor-mentee pairing you’ll meet this year–Gary Hirshberg and Emily Darchuk–speak the common tongue of dairy. Hirshberg co-founded Stonyfield Farm, the pioneering organics company. Darchuk, a food scientist and freshly minted MBA who also helped develop soup for NASA’s astronauts, is launching Wheyward Spirit, which ferments discarded byproducts of cheesemaking to create distinctive alcoholic beverages. The following is an edited excerpt from the first conversation of their yearlong mentoring relationship.
December 27, 2018 | Here’s something to toast: A sippable alcohol made from liquid whey.
For every 10 pounds of milk a cheesemaker brings in, nine pounds will remain as whey, explains Emily Darchuk. The recent University of Oregon grad has been turning that “liquid gold” into a unique spirit that compares to vodka. Darchuk plans to bring the product to market in 2019, selling bottles of Wheyward Spirit to the masses.
December 27, 2018 | Knock knock! Who’s there? Whey! Whey who? There’s a whey better drink to try this holiday season than a candy cane schnapp, that’s who!
Start-up Wheyward Spirit is making headlines of late thanks to its innovative strategy to minimize the toll food waste has on the cheese industry. The brain child of Oregon State University alum Emily Darchuk, Wheyward Spirit is churning out a “farm-to-flask” alcohol drink derived from leftover liquid whey that’s already changing the cheese game.
October 19, 2018 | SEATTLE and PORTLAND, Ore. – The Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, powered by CleanTech Alliance in Seattle and VertueLab in Portland, has announced cash prizes and awards to four of the eight early-stage cleantech startup companies that participated in the 2018 cohort.
October 2, 2018 | Portland, Ore., — The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural F&B Showcase, presented October 2 at North Portland’s Leftbank Annex. The Food and Beverage (F&B) Showcase convened food and beverage entrepreneurs and other professionals in the space, as well as investors and service providers.
August 7, 2018 | In the conservation world, we’re always looking for new ways to scale up our work. Lately, some of our best ideas have come from the private sector. One especially promising strategy we’re borrowing from business is early-stage investing in technology start-ups.
Last week I was excited to participate in the official launch of a program that’s putting this strategy to the test—the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator. The Accelerator aims to scale up start-ups with disruptive, commercially viable technologies that can help solve the world’s food, water and climate challenges.
July 16, 2018 | With ten companies arriving today in Denver, Colo. – we are thrilled to announce Techstars Class 145 – the inaugural class of Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Rooted in hope, urgency and action – we are honored to be supporting these companies that wake up everyday to solve for a future where both humans and nature thrive.
June 14, 2018 | SEATTLE and PORTLAND, Ore. — The Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator today announced its 2018 cohort of eight Pacific Northwest clean technology startups that will receive cleantech-specific training in business planning, customer discovery, manufacturing and sustainability planning over the next 15 weeks. The accelerator also announced a rebrand and launched a new website.
April 9, 2018 | ZILA Works has pressed the world’s first snowboard created with industrial hemp oil-based epoxy resin. Funds from our $100,000 EPA grant allowed us to prove viability and create a proof of concept.
September 19, 2017 | SEATTLE– Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $1.6 million in funding for ZILA Works, in Renton, Washington, and 14 other small businesses across the United States to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment by detecting chemicals in the air, ensuring cleaner water, and creating greener materials.