News / Events / Resources WINTER 2012
NEW AT UTP: ForeLight, LLC
Imagine a technology that can be used to produce health-giving nutrition supplements at greatly reduced costs. What if the same approach could also help grow nutrient-rich livestock feed -- even produce cleaner-burning fuels to protect our environment?
The founders of ForeLight, the newest company to arrive at UTP, are part of a green revolution they believe will yield these benefits and more.
The key, say principals Adam Flynn and Jeff Kantarek, is to tap the vast potential of algae as a food and fuel source. "We've created a photobioreactor enabling us to produce high-yield crops indoors under ideal conditions," explains Adam. "Now it's possible to grow as much high-quality algae in a 1-acre facility as we could on a tropical outdoor farm 80 times that size."
Since locating at UTP last fall, Flynn and Kantarek have moved from a 10-liter prototype to a 4,000-liter pilot plant, one of the most advanced photobioreactors in the Midwest. ForeLight aims to become the first North American producer of organic omega-3 supplements from plant sources, enabling vegetarians to benefit while cutting costs for all consumers.
The same technology may someday be harnessed to grow food in impoverished regions or emergency food stores following natural disasters, Kantarek says. "We're exploring all the ways we can support the well-being of humans, animals and the earth."
|GOV. QUINN Dedicates Incubator-South |
University Tech Park is an ideal place for innovation to flourish, said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
at the recent dedication of UTP's new, 28,000-square -foot Incubator-South facility.
Praising IIT's commitment to the start-up companies who will fuel our economy's growth, Quinn said, "Jobs follow brain power, and when we make it possible for creative people to come together, there's no stopping us."
Guests at the November dedication also heard from Don Kathan, area director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, whose $4.5 million grant came together with a $2 million grant from the State of Illinois to make Incubator-South possible. View dedication highlights here.
|"KNOW YOUR CHICAGO" Visits UTP |
University Tech Park recently welcomed some 300 guests who share a keen interest in Chicago's entrepreneurial scene.
The group came as part of a tour hosted by Know Your Chicago, an organization that since 1948 has given local women an inside look at everything new and notable in their city.
Guests heard perspectives on innovation from venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker before touring the Technology Business Center, Pritzker Institute and Incubator-South. Read more in the Chicago Tribune.
|AWARD for Incubator Architects |
Praising the transformation of IIT's once-abandoned Engineering Research Building into the new Incubator-South, the Association of Licensed Architects honored LCM Architects and Harboe Architects with an Award of Merit for 2011.
Judges noted the designers' skillful reuse of the historic Mies Van der Rohe structure to create an ideal home for high-tech companies.
EXPANDING Young Minds
This winter, high-school juniors from Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy gained a stimulating look inside the start-up firms housed at UTP.
"Our goal was to give students real-world experience, including the chance to talk with leaders of some of our resident companies," says UTP Executive Director David Baker. Baker and UTP Director Dan Marselle guided students Ariya Taylor, Jhamilah Levy and Demarlo Safford through a series of intern experiences and projects with the companies, including a full day in IIT's Idea Shop.
IN THE NEWS
Chromatin, Inc. receives $5.7 million from U.S. Department of Energy to develop drop-in biofuels. More>
ProOnGo connects Android, BlackBerry and iPhone to QuickBooks expense tracking capabilities. More>
View all press releases from UTP companies
EVENTS & RESOURCES
Grant Writing Workshop
When: Jan. 31 - Feb. 1
Where: McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP, 300 South Wacker Drive, Chicago
Cost: $200 first registrant; $150 each for additional registrants from same company
Learn how to write a successful grant proposal for Small Business Tech Transfer (SBTT) or Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds offered through the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy or National Science Foundation. This intensive course places special focus on writing and filing electronic submissions for NIH funds.
REGISTER BY Jan. 25: online or 312.422.1111 ext. 6
Opportunity in Europe: Barcelona Business Ready
Tech companies looking for opportunities abroad will find helpful resources at Barcelona Business Ready -- a business center located inside the Barcelona Science Park.
Like UTP, this center provides office space for short-term or intermittent use by companies interested in southern Europe's most vibrant biotech cluster.
Through a new government grant, BBR now offers travel and accommodation expenses for select companies. To learn more, contact Jesus Purroy or view the full program here.