A Knoxville start-up was one of five cleantech innovators that was recognized yesterday as the 26th annual “NREL Industry Growth Forum” (IGF) wrapped-up.
That company was Electro-Active Technologies Inc. which won the “Emerging Markets Outstanding Venture” award for its modular system designed to convert food waste and renewable electricity into affordable, renewable hydrogen. The company was launched by Abhijeet Borole, who spent more than 20 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Alex Lewis who, as a doctoral candidate in Energy Science and Engineering through the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, conducted his research under the mentorship of Borole.
Hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the IGF featured 40 companies that pitched their innovations to a panel of judges composed of investors. Earlier this year, those companies had been selected from a field of 154 companies that had applied to present.
“Every year, I’m amazed by the start-ups, investors, and industry experts that attend the IGF,” said NREL Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Director Richard Adams. “But this year, I’m particularly impressed and gratified that the cleantech ecosystem is stronger than ever. These start-ups — the winners and all that attended — are resilient; they survived a very difficult year.”