Four Winners Announced at $100,000 Shale Gas Innovation Contest Finals Event

Posted: May 18, 2014

Over 80 entries were submitted for this year's contest...and four entrepreneurs walked home as winners.
KCF Technologies accepts Winner’s Check. Pictured from left are Bill Hall, SGICC Director, Jeremy Frank, KCF President and Co-Founder, Gary Koopman, KCF Co-Founder & Sr. Technologist, and John Siggins, SGICC Assistant Director

KCF Technologies accepts Winner’s Check. Pictured from left are Bill Hall, SGICC Director, Jeremy Frank, KCF President and Co-Founder, Gary Koopman, KCF Co-Founder & Sr. Technologist, and John Siggins, SGICC Assistant Director

On May 15th in Southpointe, PA during the 3rd Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest the following four companies each walked away with a winner’s check for $25,000:
•    KCF Technologies, Inc. - SmartDiagnostics® wireless system that enables low cost predictive maintenance for rotating O&G Equipment
•    NG Innovations, Inc. - “C-FIT” unit identifies the density and amount  of fluid being transported and identifies the loading/unloading points, tracking and date/time stamping truck movement via satellite
•    OPTIMUM Pumping Technology - High-performance manifolds for reciprocating NG compressors that eliminates pulsation control bottles and their vibration-related failures, and significantly improving compressor reliability and operating efficiency
•    TM Industrial Supply- Filtration technology to effectively separate for removal the NGL’s and other contaminates from natural gas through the use of their Gas Flow Membrane Technology

The entire list of the 13 Finalists with technology descriptions can be found on the Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (SGICC) website .

Bill Hall, SGICC Director commented, “We were very pleased with the quality of this year’s applications.  Reducing from over 80 entries to the 13 finalists was an arduous task. The judges did a fantastic job analyzing all of the applications. The four winners are all impressive examples of innovation on display. These companies identified a challenge the shale energy industry faces and developed impressive solutions ready to be implemented.” 

Jeremy Frank, President of KCF Technologies noted, “We are very pleased to be named a winner.  After presenting as a finalist last year, we dedicated ourselves to understand the shale energy industry’s needs and provide valuable solutions.  SGICC support has been instrumental by funding trial installations with Universal Well Services and initiating Shale Net workforce training at Westmoreland County Community College and Penn College of Technology, and we look forward to building upon this success.”

Glen Chatfield, President of Optimum Pumping Technology noted, “We’ve been on a long journey to bring our product to market, and this award is so exciting for us! The competition is so stiff, and to be named a winner in this contest lets the industry know that we have developed a product that they need to investigate. The interactions we’ve had with the Shale Gas Innovation Center have been great, and as a Ben Franklin funded company through Innovation Works here in Pittsburgh, I can personally attest to the value of the Ben Franklin organization to entrepreneurs across the state of Pennsylvania.”

Carl Steiner, CEO of TM Industrial Supply from Erie, PA also walked away with a check for $25,000. “We are excited to be honored as a winner in this year’s Shale Gas Innovation Contest,” Steiner commented. “We’ve been offering our product to the shale energy industry for some time, and we’ve had some success with gaining acceptance for our product in the industry. But we know that the additional exposure winning the contest will provide us will be a great bonus. Just knowing that the judges chose us as a winner in such a competitive contest, and knowing that the sponsors have all been exposed to our company and our product opens up significant opportunities for us.”

This year the contest also included a winner from the state of West Virginia thanks to a grant provided to the SGICC from the Benedum Foundation. That winner was NG Innovations. Mike Gardner, CEO of NGInnovations was thrilled to be chosen as the first winner from West Virginia. “This is a great honor for our company! We’ve worked very hard to provide a product that provides the shale energy producers peace of mind that when frac or produced water leaves their site, it will be handled in an environmentally responsible manner by use of the NGPureTM C-FIT system.  It’s exciting that the SGICC was afforded the opportunity to expand the contest to include West Virginia. We want to thank both Bill Hall as well as the Benedum Foundation that provided the center the funding to include our state in the contest. The exposure that we’ve already received has been great.” 

Joe Frantz, Vice President of Engineering for Range Resources-Appalachia was one of the judges at this year finals event. He noted, “I’ve worked with SGICC since its inception, and I really enjoyed the engagement in the Innovation Contest this year. Their process used to uncover innovations is a real value for the industry.”
Dante Bonaquist, Senior Corporate Fellow, R&D at Praxair, a sponsor company and judge noted, “Through the Shale Gas Innovation Contest, SGICC brings together a broad range of promising ideas covering production, transportation and utilization.  From the technology scouting perspective, there is no better opportunity to see high caliber shale gas related innovations on display at a single event.”

The sponsors for this year’s contest were: Ben Franklin Technology Partners , ANGA, Aquatech, Baker Hughes , Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation , CONSOL Energy, Chesapeake Energy , Chevron , EQT, First National Bank , GE Oil & Gas , Little Pine Resources , the Marcellus Shale Coalition, PPG Industries  , Praxair, Range Resources , Seneca Resources , and Williams.
 The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center supports and commercializes early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this energy asset. 

courtesy SGICC