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News Release: NREL's Industry Growth Forum Brings Together Energy Innovators

November 10, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 24th Industry Growth Forum this week attracted more than 500 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers to Denver. 

The three-day forum highlighted clean energy industry technology and business developments. As part of the forum, NREL also hosted the Partnership Accelerator, a unique program designed to cultivate collaborative opportunities within the research and industry communities working on energy issues in commercial and residential buildings.

 “The necessity to approach our energy issues differently in the future requires a high level of innovation. This forum brings together the entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers needed to bring about transformational change that will be critical to nurturing that innovation,” said Bill Farris, NREL Vice President for Commercialization and Technology Transfer. 

Almost $4 billion has been raised by companies presenting at the Forum since 2003. 

Three entrepreneurial companies were singled out from the 30 competitively-selected presenters to win the 2011 Clean Energy Venture Awards sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

"The range of technologies represented by the participating companies highlights the breadth of creative solutions being deployed to address our greatest energy challenges,” said Bob O’Connor, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. “We are pleased to support this forum to help these young companies develop their ideas into commercial solutions."

Cash prizes include $10,000 for Best Venture and $5,000 each for the two Outstanding Presentation Awards. NREL, along with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, will provide the winners with in-kind commercialization support matching the cash award to help increase their chances of becoming commercially successful.

Arctic Sand Technologies (located in Cambridge, Mass.) received the top prize, the Best Venture award. Arctic Sand is commercializing a groundbreaking power conversion technology.

An Outstanding Venture award went to ICR Turbine Engine Corporation (Hampton, N.H.). ICR is developing an innovative gas turbine engine.

The second Outstanding Venture award went to LimeLite Technologies (Austin, Tex.). LimeLite’s safety lighting technologies optimize the performance of electroluminescent lighting.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

For a list of participating companies and sponsors, please visit the Industry Growth Forum online at

Visit NREL online at

—David Glickson