Global Midwest Alliance
HomeAbout UsProgramsPSLOMeetings & EventsPartnershipSponsorshipNews

Driving Innovation and Growth
Press Release
September 14, 2011

Global Midwest Alliance Announces 2011 Brinks Innovation Competition Winners

CHICAGO – Global Midwest Alliance is pleased to announce that Garrettsville, Ohio-based Catacel Corporation, which designs and manufacturers energy-efficient catalytic materials, has won the 3rd Annual Brinks Innovation Competition, a competition for business-ready ventures that are developing new products in the green and clean technology sector.

Columbia, Mo.-based Ecologic Tech, which engineers and manufactures environmentally responsible building materials, placed second in the competition. Madison, Wisc.-based AquaMost, Inc., which has developed new water purification technology, placed third. All winners were on hand to receive their awards on September 14, 2011, at the Midwest Clean Tech Conference 2011, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Sponsored by Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the country and one with a specific focus on the research sciences, engineering and technology, the Brinks Innovation Competition helps emerging and venture-ready clean and green tech companies gain visibility for their technology and make connections with early-stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and financiers that are focused on clean technologies, along with corporate R&D and business development executives.

“Collectively, the winners in this year’s competition represent a variety of exciting new products in the clean technology sector, with products that offer gains in energy efficiency, better and more environmentally responsible building materials, and clean water technologies,” said James P. Naughton, a shareholder and chair of the firm's Green Technology Group. “The diversity in technology in the competition this year is a testament to the growing potential of the Midwest as a hotbed for innovation,” adds Naughton.

Catacel Corporation, represented at the competition by its CFO Graham Evans, engineers and manufactures novel, proprietary catalytic materials that significantly increase process output and improve energy and operating efficiencies by combining and improving heat transfer and catalytic functions. Catacel's reactors are smaller, lighter, lower-cost and more energy-efficient than alternatives. Catacel primarily serves the advanced energy and chemical industries with a focus on the fuel cell, hydrogen, gas-to-liquid, petrochemical and aerospace sectors, and has engineered solutions for a range of global clients.

Ecologic Tech focuses on green technologies that solve problems in the building materials and biomass sectors. Represented at the competition by its CEO Jerry Liu, Ecologic Tech utilizes fly ash and other innovative materials to create new products. About 40 percent of the fly ash generated nationwide is used as a concrete ingredient or for constructing roadbeds, but the remaining 60 percent is unused and disposed of in landfills. Ecologic Tech manufactures bricks out of fly ash removed from the smoke of coal-fired power plants, and the new brick technology will significantly increase fly ash recovery rates.

AquaMost, Inc., whose President and CEO Todd Asmuth presented his company's technology at the competition, has developed a unique water purification device based on a patented technology developed by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The AquaMost device rapidly, economically and effectively destroys a variety of pathogens in water, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The device also destroys harmful chemicals that contaminate drinking water, including hormone mimics such as bisphenol-A (BPA) found in plastics, as well as chemicals in pharmaceuticals and industrial contaminants.

Each entry in this year's competition was evaluated by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and business executives familiar with clean and green technologies.

The Brinks Innovation Competition is presented by the Global Midwest Alliance, the Midwest Research University Network and the Economic Development Council and is sponsored by Brinks.

About Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States and serves the intellectual property needs of clients around the world. Brinks has 150 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark and copyright law. The firm also advises on issues relating to intellectual asset management, trade secret, unfair competition, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments for companies in the electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering sectors; the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and nanotechnology industries; and for companies whose work relates to Internet and computer technology law. The firm’s trademark practice works on behalf of clients who deal in a wide variety of products and services. Founded in 1917, Brinks is based in Chicago and has five additional offices across the country, including its newest office in Washington D.C. Visit

About MRUN
The Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) is an alliance of university business development professionals dedicated to facilitating growth of technology spinout companies through start–up formation. MRUN provides a forum for universities, investors and entrepreneurs to work regionally in pursuit of local venture formation. More information about MRUN is available at

Global Midwest Alliance is the only business-led economic development group for the Midwest region. The Alliance facilitates collaboration among key stakeholders to provide access to global business opportunities to the Midwest and realize economic value from existing world-class assets in the Midwest. The Alliance focuses on programs and platforms that help high growth companies develop and expand markets for businesses based in the Midwest, encourage and assist international business activities in the region, and integrate business, financial and scientific resources for successful commercialization of technology in the Midwest.  For more information, visit

Copyright © Global Midwest Alliance, 2017.  All rights reserved.  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use