Skyven Technologies Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

DALLAS, TX, March 28 2019 – Skyven Technologies has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant for $750,000 to commercialize innovative technology by conducting research and development (R&D) work on a renewable solar energy system, reducing the need for burning fossil fuels in industrial applications.

Today, roughly 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are produced from industry, making it the largest contributor of greenhouse gases of any sector. This is the last bastion of fossil fuels. Skyven Technologies changes this status quo with its Intelligent Mirror Array (IMA™) technology, which curbs fuel consumption by capturing high-temperature heat from the sun and injecting it into the industrial processes.

NSF-supported projects will focus on large-scale deployment of the IMA™ technology, demonstrating system performance at temperatures up to 400°C on live industrial facilities. The project will help accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge zero-fuel solutions in the process heat space.

“For 40 years, America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF has helped startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services,” said Linda Molnar, Program Director of the Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division at the National Science Foundation “I trust Skyven has the potential to change the way industrial manufacturers produce heat while reducing both their cost and their emissions. I look forward to observing Skyvens success, with the support of the National Science Foundation”

“I’m most thankful for this repeated recognition of the National Science Foundation,” said Arun Gupta, CEO of Skyven Technologies. “With our Phase II project, we will deploy our emissions-free solution for industrial heat at large scale in food processing industries across the country. This will be a stepping stone for air pollution reduction from the industrial sector in the United States.”

Small businesses can receive up to $1.5 million in funding from NSF. Companies must first have received a Phase I award (up to $225,000) to become eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000) to further develop and commercialize the technology. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential across almost all areas of technology are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. NSF’s deadlines for Phase I small business proposals occur twice annually, in June and December.

To learn more about Skyven, visit: www.skyven.co  

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.4 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

Skyven Intelligent Mirror Array now commercially available

"Never before seen technology is making its way to the Southern tier."
- NBC WETM18 News

"Tech that powers boilers using solar heat unveiled in Elmira."
- Spectrum News

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"New solar tech (...) will save energy costs for industry" 
- WSKG

"Skyven’s Intelligent Mirror Array technology is a renewable solution for industrial steam that can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial boilers." 
- Star Gazette

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NYSERDA Announces Completion of 76West Grand Prize Winner Skyven’s First Order in the Southern Tier

Technology is One of the First Renewable Solar Solutions for Industrial Steam in the World

July 30, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the completion of Skyven Technologies’ first shipment of Intelligent Mirror Array, one of the world’s first solar solutions for industrial steam, which was manufactured in the Southern Tier. Skyven was the $1 million grand prize winner of last year’s 76West Clean Energy Competition, launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2016. 76West is one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean energy businesses and economic development. The competition complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

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“The 76West competition is supporting clean energy and helping to grow the technology industry in New York,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Skyven Technologies’ shipment of one of the world’s first solar solutions for industrial steam is a testament of the advanced manufacturing in the Southern Tier region that is generating economic growth and complementing the Southern Tier Soaring strategy.”

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “The 76West competition enables emerging clean technology companies like Skyven to become integrated into this clean energy ecosystem that Governor Cuomo is building in the Southern Tier. Today’s announcement is a significant step forward for Skyven and reflective of the innovative companies that are bringing their business to New York.”

Skyven’s Intelligent Mirror Array technology is a unique renewable solution for industrial steam that can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial boilers. It uses panels, similar to solar panels, that magnify the sun’s heat by concentrating sunlight, which can then be used to provide energy to industrial buildings at reduced costs.

Skyven, which is based in Dallas, was named the $1 million grand prize winner at a 76West award ceremony in Binghamton last year. As a condition of the award, all companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that increases wealth creation and creates jobs. Skyven, has been working with Cameron Manufacturing and Design in Horseheads to finalize the technology and manufacturing specifications. The first order of panels has been completed. Skyven is working with The Radiant Store, based in Troy, to install the system at Copses Farms, in Valley Falls. Due in part to Skyven’s technology order, Cameron has expanded its operations.

Arun Gupta, PhD, CEO and Founder of Skyven said, “We work with our customer to reduce their carbon footprint and save them money. We’re extremely happy to see our first commercial production and deployment take place in Upstate New York and look forward to continuing our work with our partners in the Southern Tier to install many more systems throughout the state.”

Michael Chevalier, New Business Development and Sales Account Executive said, “Cameron is always looking for growth opportunities and partners, as we have been manufacturing the future since 1983. We are thrilled to be partnering with Skyven Technologies on their unique renewable system that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a healthier environment for industrial buildings.”

Terry Moag, owner, The Radiant Store, said, “This is ground-breaking technology that focuses on a market that is currently under-served. This system has a lot of potential to create opportunities for both manufacturers and installers and I look forward to helping Skyven integrate its technology in New York State.”

Eric Mayer, owner of Copses Farms said, “We’re very excited to be part of this project. Their new technology is very interesting and we are thrilled to be the first in New York State to have it installed on our property.”

Currently in its third year, 76West is a $20 million competition and support program administered by NYSERDA that started in 2016 and will run through 2019. Each year applicants compete for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, 76West is providing $10 million in awards and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.

As part of this year’s 76West competition, 20 finalists will visit the Cornell University campus to pitch their companies to a panel of judges on July 31 and August 1. The finalists were chosen from a pool of 152 applicants based in more than a dozen countries and 27 states. The companies represent a diverse spectrum of clean energy technologies such as energy storage, wastewater treatment, energy efficiency and solar. After the pitches are complete, judges will recommend the six final award winners who will receive a total of $2.5 million in prizes. Winners will be revealed in the fall.

Source: NYSERDA

The Future of Solar: A Technology and Innovation Story from Texas

by Ellen Scholl of the Atlantic Council

Solar power has been gaining ground in the global energy mix, and its importance will likely only continue to grow. However, the contribution that solar ultimately makes in the power sector, and whether it will make inroads in other energy intensive sectors, will be shaped by a range of factors, including technology development and innovation and a the enabling policy framework.

In a recent visit to their office in a Dallas, Texas technology park, the Global Energy Center’s Ellen Scholl discussed the future of solar with Arun Gupta, CEO and founder of Skyven Technologies, a solar technology startup focused on using new technology to improve the efficiency of solar panels.

The following is an excerpt of their interview.

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Q: What is Skyven and what issue does you technology address?

Gupta: We are Skyven Technologies, and we are pioneering a revolutionary technology that captures the heat of the sun and raises the temperature of that heat for use in industrial manufacturing operations.

If you look around you, all the stuff that you use and consume on a daily basis is processed in a factory and all it requires a tremendous amount of heat. That heat is supplied by a boiler in a factory, and that boiler is burning fuel—a lot of fuel—which can be natural gas, propane, diesel, coal, or even biomass, but something has to be burned. While people don’t think about it, this actually accounts for 20 to 30 percent of all fuel burned globally, almost as much as all the gasoline burned by all the cars in the world. Essentially, we are talking about something like a trillion dollars’ worth of fuel a year is spent in factories to power boilers.

Q: How does your technology work?

Gupta: It is a panel which takes the form of an array of mirrors embedded inside the panel, and the panel focuses sunlight to a separate unit called a receiver. That receiver further concentrates the light and shines it on to an absorber. The absorber is a pipe that is heated all of that light, which is concentrated by a factor of thirty. If you think the sun is hot, imagine how hot thirty suns would be. We then pump a heat transfer fluid (which could be as simple as water) through that pipe to transfer that heat into the facility, into the boiler.

Q: When did you found the company and what motivated you to do so?

Gupta: I founded the company in 2013. I think climate change is the biggest problem we have ever faced as a species and I fear it has the potential to cause massive destruction in the form of extreme weather, which can punish again and again and again. So, we need to do something about it. So if I can do something to help make a difference with that problem, I want to do it.

The other impetus is technology.

I am a technologist, a PhD engineer, and I was working on this technology from Texas Instruments (TI), essentially a massive array of mirrors, and I realized we have all this heat, and yet we burn these fossilized dinosaurs even though it causes problems. The reason we still do that is because the technology isn’t yet there in the ways it needs to be when it comes to cost, reliability, and dependability. In that problem, I saw a fit where I could use my technology expertise to meet and solve a big energy problem.

It is the combination of the social mission plus the technology fit that made me leave a well-paying job, take a leap, and start eating ramen noodles at a startup.

Q: As a technologist, how do you respond to the argument that is sometimes made that policy solutions are not necessary because technology will solve the problem?

Gupta: I would rather say that it is a bit of all of the above. I am not a policy person. As a technologist, I see a problem and I look to solve it. As a business guy, I see a financial opportunity and aim to capitalize on it. I am very much a triple bottom line type of guy and think that in order to create change, it needs to be financially sustainable. It needs to make money. Making money in our current social structure is the fastest way to drive change, and we need to choose the ways that derive environmental and social benefit.

From a policy standpoint, policy can enable people like me, or stop us in our tracks. I would not be able to be here today or do what we are doing without policy help—I can say that with certainty. We have had help from the national government, from the National Science Foundation, and from state governments, like the state of New York, and that has been crucial for us to have impact.

Q: When it comes to climate change, debate or attention is often focused on the power sector and the transportation sector. Is industrial use missing from the conversation?

Gupta: It is missing from the conversation and it is a big hole.

It is really unfortunate, as there has been amazing progress in cleaning up the transportation sector, there has been amazing progress in cleaning up the electrical generation sector, solar and wind are making great headway, and combined cycle natural gas is much cleaner than coal. But then you have these industrial boilers and there is no renewable solution in existence today that meets these needs.

We are changing that. We have this huge ball of fire in the sky and we all know the sun is hot, but it’s not hot enough on your skin to melt plastic or bake bread—to do industrial things—so we have developed a technology that raises the temperature of the sun’s heat by concentrating the sun’s energy.

Q: Why Dallas?

Gupta: The company is related to my previous work at Texas Instruments, which is why we started here, but Dallas has an amazing resource of talent and what I call convenience. By that I mean that we are able to put together a tremendous amount of resources—and you need a lot of resources for hard technology start up like ours—and are able to put together those resources at a cost that is five times lower than we would be able to do in a hub like Boston or San Francisco. I know it is five times because I have looked and I have priced out what it would take for us to do this there versus here.

Then there is the outlook issue. What we find is that people here do care about sustainability and the world, and people are excited about doing something new and revolutionary anywhere, that is not something that is owned by Boston and San Francisco. People are looking for opportunities to do something important.

The only place where it is challenging is that our customer base is not here. Our customer focus is on areas where people and businesses and local governments are more deeply supporting sustainability, and as an early stage startup, that is California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Q: When it comes to those customers, in addition to the opportunity to do something sustainable, what kind of economic rationale or benefit does your technology provide?

Gupta: For companies based in the United States and developed nations, for multinational companies, they are concerned about several things which this technology can help with.

First, companies find, and we find, that consumer preferences are changing. Sustainability is becoming a big buying decision for millennial consumers, and millennials are becoming a big part of companies’ consumer base. For example, Unilever owns hundreds of brands, and they found that brands which are incorporating sustainability into their mission and purpose are growing thirty percent faster than the rest of the business. They did a big market study and found a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity for sustainable businesses and sustainable brands, so they see a huge business opportunity, and they are not alone. The world’s biggest companies from Apple to Starbucks to AB InBev, all are seeing this. But now they have to do something.

Ultimately, these companies need to be able to stay relevant without raising the cost of doing business, so they are looking for opportunities for sustainability that are cost parity or even savings over what they are doing today. They also can’t handle operational risk, which means the risk of bringing down the factory—even an hour of downtime is millions of dollars in lost productions, even a quality issue is a nightmare—so they are looking at sustainability solutions that don’t risk that nightmare scenario.

We are able to offer all three. We are able to reduce carbon emissions, provide clean energy for their boilers in a way that doesn’t increase their operating risk, and do it in a way that doesn’t increase cost. In fact, it is going to result in savings.

Q: How do you interpret the political debates over climate change happening at the state, federal, and international level?

Gupta: Ultimately, progress is not really driven by the top level. Change is driven by consumers, by shifting preferences of the people who are feeling the impact of climate change, who see the effects of environmental degradation, who care about their health, who care about their water quality. These people are making decisions based on these considerations, and that trickles up.

Q: There is an ongoing debate, particularly when it comes to solar, about the need for and value of innovation versus deployment of existing technology. Where do you come out in that debate?

Gupta: It has to be both. Innovation without deployment is useless and pure deployment without innovation gets us stuck. And we can’t afford to be stuck, so you need both. In order to spur that deployment, you need innovation that spurs benefits and pushes people to use them.


Arun Gupta is CEO and founder of Skyven Technologies. You can follow him on Twitter @ArunToTheSun and @SkyvenTech
 

Source: www.atlanticcouncil.org

Skyven Technologies Featured as Texas Success Story

Dallas, TX – Skyven Technologies was featured as a Texas success story at EarthX E-Capital Summit 2018 in Dallas earlier this month. The summit brought together foundations, family offices, philanthropists, incubators, national laboratories, and cutting-edge clean technology companies to form new relationships and partnerships to accelerate our future economy.

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Arun Gupta, PhD, CEO and Founder of Skyven Technologies presented on stage to over 40 cleantech investors. "I was honored and thrilled to present Skyven’s zero-fuel zero-emissions thermal energy solution to a terrific audience of prominent cleantech investors" – said Dr. Gupta. “Our Intelligent Mirror Array technology raises the temperature of the sun’s heat by concentrating sunlight. We work with our customers to reduce their carbon footprint and save them money” – he added.

E-Capital Summit was part of the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival from April 13-22, 2018, at locations throughout Dallas, organized by Texas-based nonprofit EarthX.  The seventh annual event attracted more than 100,000 people to experience new exhibits, programs, films, and educational opportunities, as well as provided new conferences and events to engage the business community. 

Media coverage: Dallas Innovates

For more information please contact:

Agata Hinc
agata@skyventechnologies.com                         
818.858.6836