Press Releases
Brinks Announces Finalists in 4th Annual Brinks Innovation Competition
July 27, 2012

CHICAGO – Brinks Gilson & Lione today announced the five finalists in the 4th Annual Brinks Innovation Competition: Arid Technologies, based in Wheaton, Ill.; GreenSand, based in Lake Linden, Mich.; Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT), based in Chicago, Ill.; SiNode, a faculty-student team from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill; and SurClean, based in Detroit, Mich.

The Brinks Innovation Competition is a leading competition for entrepreneurs in clean and green technology held annually in conjunction with Midwest Clean Tech 2012, on September 12 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The five Competition finalists will present their technology to an international audience of early stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, clean tech-focused venture capitalists and financiers, and corporate R&D and business development executives who are attending Midwest Clean Tech 2012, at which time the judges will announce the Competition winner.

Entries in the competition are required to provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community improvements, or green building science, and these solutions must offer competitive returns for investors and customers. Products, services and processes eligible for entry must improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources; reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact; and provide superior performance at lower costs compared to other approaches.

Arid Technologies produces products based on innovative membrane separation technology to recover evaporative losses from gasoline storage tanks and reduce harmful hydrocarbon emissions, save fuel and create a healthier environment for consumers. Arid offers four primary products: PERMEATOR, for gasoline stations; Membrane CRU for retrofit of carbon adsorption systems at bulk loading terminals; ARIDAS 150, a stand-alone monitoring and data acquisition system that measures fueling station vent emissions and pressure profiles; and the Integrated On-Spot railcar loading and fuel-vapor recovery system.

GreenSand recycles “stamp sand,” a widely available type of mining waste resulting from crushing copper ore, into G-Sand, a proprietary material used as a filler and as surface granules for asphalt shingles. G-Sand is an ideal construction material because it contains copper, which prevents algae and mold growth. Stamp sand is widely available on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, the former copper mining region in which GreenSand is located.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies (HEVT) provides the transportation industry with high-performance, efficient and cost-effective components and integrated systems that foster the adoption of electrified transport and yield significant savings in fuel economy.

SiNode is commercializing a new kind of battery made with silicone grapheme composite anodes, developed by Northwestern University research chemist Harold Kung, Ph.D. SiNode's anodes can hold a charge up to 10 times greater than regular batteries and charge 10 times more quickly.

SurClean has developed handheld laser-based products for removing coatings, to replace chemicals, media blasting and abrasives. The system uses a laser beam to disintegrate paint and rust from substrate in a cost-effective, safe, energy-efficient and earth-friendly way. SurClean removes safety concerns, environmental issues and hazards associated with the control and use of chemicals as well as the disposal of contaminated waste product.

The Brinks Innovation Competition has become a preeminent venue for entrepreneurs in new clean and green technologies to present venture-ready business ideas to the scientific and research communities and potential investors. Inventors submit their products, services or processes to a qualified panel of experts—competing not only for a cash award, but also for opportunities to explore licensing and funding, network with investors and help their ideas become reality. Submissions are judged by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and clean tech business executives.

The Brinks Innovation Competition is held annually in conjunction with the Midwest Clean Tech Expo, presented by the Global Midwest Alliance and jointly sponsored by Brinks, the Midwest Research University Network and the Economic Development Council. This year's Midwest Clean Tech 2012 is also being held in conjunction with the International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 140 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Brinks has offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Research Triangle Park, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor and Indianapolis. More information is available at

Global Midwest Alliance
Global Midwest Alliance (GMA) is the only business-led economic development group for the Midwest region. GMA facilitates collaboration among key stakeholders to provide access to global business opportunities to the Midwest and realize economic value from world-class assets in the Midwest. GMA 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

Midwest Research University Network (MRUN)
The Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) is an alliance of university business development professionals focused on start-up enterprise development as a means to promote university research. MRUN works closely with patent and licensing officers to assist the growth of start-up companies in the Midwest, assisting them with financing and collaboration opportunities. For more information, visit