|By PR Newswire||
|November 15, 2012 07:27 PM EST||
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After a final "speed dating" round, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, and the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) announced today the three winners of the NOVA Innovation Competition 2012 held this year at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The NOVA Innovation Competition rewards start-ups offering the most innovative solutions in the field of habitat, energy and the environment. After being held twice in France and once in Germany, the international Saint-Gobain NOVA Innovation Competition occurred in the USA for the first time.
Heliotrope, the winner of the competition was awarded the top cash prize of $50,000 (about €38,000).
Based in Oakland, CA, Heliotrope is a developer of energy-efficient electrochromic (EC) glass that switch reversibly between three states: solar transparent, heat blocking, and heat and light blocking (i.e. darkened). Heliotrope's technology can be relevant to a range of windows products, including buildings, satellites and automobiles. The company is focused on the commercial window market given the immediate potential of its technology to improve the efficiency of building lighting, heating, and cooling. Heliotrope's smart window technology leverages a novel electrochromic effect discovered by the founders to control light and heat transmission dynamically. A small voltage controls the optical state of the device. Minimal power is consumed during switching and almost none is used to maintain either of the two solar blocking states. This yields great flexibility for system integration and low cost installation.
PlanGrid, the second-place winner received a cash-prize of $25,000 (about € 19,000).
Based in San Francisco, Calif., PlanGrid is a complete collaborative platform for construction information and the fastest PDF viewer in the universe. PlanGrid is a platform that combines the power of the cloud with the mobility of the iPad to provide a service that finally allows builders to view and communicate with all their project information right from the field. PlanGrid allows builders to easily distribute, version and view all their drawings, specifications, submittals, schedules and progress photos right on the iPad. PlanGrid is a SaaS (Software as a Service) business that charges a monthly recurring subscription fee per user. By leveraging cloud-based computing, PlanGrid can perform computation and image processing on people's construction documents to make the rendering of them instantaneous, even on relatively underpowered devices like tablets.
SmarterShade, the third-place winner was awarded a cash-prize of $10,000 (about €7,700).
Based in South Bend, Indiana, SmarterShade is a unique approach to the emerging technology being called "smart windows." A user can control the amount of light and heat entering a home or office through controlling the tint level on their window. The first generation of SmarterShade is a retrofit film system that is integrated into the window itself. This film is designed so that it will selectively tint at the push of a button. Unique features of the SmarterShade system are that it does not require wires or electricity, it is instantly switchable, and achieves full privacy- eliminating the need for blinds and shades. All of this while reducing energy usage in a home or office. SmarterShade not only gives the user the ability to tint the window, but also to control the level of tinting. A window can go from clear to dark or anywhere in between. Its products can be applied to windows that are positioned in difficult places where a traditional blind or shade is not possible; such as doors, skylights, and transportation windows. The SmarterShade system is also a well suited wire-free alternative to other "smart window" technologies that utilize electric current.
The bigger prize for all NOVA Innovation Competition contestants is the opportunity to partner with Saint-Gobain in exploring potential joint development, licensing or other collaboration agreements.
"This year's NOVA Innovation Competition attracted our largest and most innovative field of contestants yet," said Rakesh Kapoor, director of NOVA External Venturing. "We congratulate Heliotrope, PlanGrid and SmarterShade on their winning presentations, and we look forward to forging long lasting relationships with any NOVA Competition participant whose innovation and entrepreneurial drive aligns well with Saint-Gobain's market objectives."
The NOVA Innovation Competition involved several months of assessment using an open, transparent judging process with experts from MIT, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the USGBC-NCC and Webcor, one of the world's top commercial building contractors.
Of the 168 original entrants, eight finalists were notified at the end of September that they were selected to participate in the final speed-dating round at Greenbuild. The three winners were then chosen following the live speed-dating format where the eight finalists pitched their innovations to a judging panel of Saint-Gobain business leaders.
"We expect to be working with the industry to turn our lab discoveries into commercial technologies over the next few years. We were looking for partners to help us create revolutionary products, and to help us scale the manufacturing and production of those products, and ultimately to get those products into the hands of end users," said Andrew Lim, CEO, Heliotrope. "Saint-Gobain has a strong platform in window products. We believe we can provide additional features and functionality to those products and contribute to the success of Saint-Gobain in the future."
Saint-Gobain and Innovation
World leader in the habitat and construction markets, Saint-Gobain is present in 64 countries with nearly 195,000 employees. The Group designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet the key challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Innovation is at the heart of the Saint-Gobain strategy. This notably involves working closely with young companies. More than €430 million were invested in R&D last year. 3,700 researchers (37 nationalities) are working on more than 700 projects. 396 patents were registered in 2011 and more than one product out of five sold by the manufacturing sectors did not exist five years ago.
Saint-Gobain and start-ups
- NOVA examines how projects coming from innovative start-ups can be implemented faster by leaning on the industrial and commercial assets of Saint-Gobain, for the greatest benefit of each partner. NOVA serves as a unique interface for start-ups and helps create and develop links with all Group activities worldwide.
- 168 candidates from 28 nationalities participated in the 2012 Saint-Gobain innovation competition.
- Since 2006, Saint-Gobain partnered with 54 start-ups thanks to NOVA.
For more information about NOVA External Venturing, please visit http://www.saint-gobain.com/en/nova. To learn more about the NOVA Innovation Competition, visit www.saint-gobain.com/innovationcompetition2012.
About U.S. Green Building Council, Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC)
The USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.
USGBC-Northern California Chapter is one of the largest USGBC Chapters in the country, with 22,000 constituents, 10,000+ LEED credentialed professionals, and more than 5% of the world's LEED certified square footage. The Chapter hosts more than 150+ annual events, workshops, and conferences with regional, national and international organizations, and is a leading voice in green building public policy throughout Northern California. As the premier green building organization in the region, USGBC-NCC plays a pivotal role as a convener, mobilizer and educator in transforming the built environment.
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
Feb. 10, 2016 09:20 AM EST
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 10, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 378
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 10, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 180
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
Feb. 10, 2016 08:46 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 10, 2016 08:00 AM EST
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
Feb. 10, 2016 08:00 AM EST
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 10, 2016 07:45 AM EST Reads: 433
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Feb. 10, 2016 07:00 AM EST
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
Feb. 10, 2016 06:00 AM EST Reads: 280
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
Feb. 10, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 478
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
Feb. 10, 2016 03:00 AM EST Reads: 310
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
Feb. 10, 2016 01:15 AM EST Reads: 236
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 197
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, will discuss using predictive analytics to ...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 389
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
Feb. 10, 2016 12:00 AM EST Reads: 383