C-Voltaics, Houston, Texas, recently was awarded a Special Edition COMS Young Technology Award for its new coating that protects fabrics from liquids. Shay Curran, associate professor of physics and director of the Institute for NanoEnergy at the University of Houston, is the CEO of C-Voltaics, a company that manufactures nano-materials for macro-scale coating applications. The underlying technology was developed from federal, state and private funds and is exclusively licensed to C-Voltaics by the University of Houston.
C-Voltaics produces the SCHN range of nano-coatings, the “invisible protector” for glass, fabrics, plastics and metals against the damage caused by water, moisture and salt water. It can serve as a self-cleaning coating when used on glass in buildings, solar panels and cars. The SCHN coatings can also be used as a waterproof protector for wood, masonry and tarpaulin.
The selection of C-Voltaics as the winner was based on the venture capital point of view: which company would have the highest return on investment in the shortest period of time. The judges were also impressed by the proven customer demand; in fact, several people in the audience wanted to buy the product on the spot.
The COMS Young Technology Award was part of COMS 2013, an annual international conference on commercializing micro- and nanotechnology held in The Netherlands. COMS focuses on entrepreneurship and marketable solutions, not just science and technology. It is a hands-on, practical meeting to assist companies in bringing products to market and in finding new customers or a development partner.