C-Voltaics Wins Goradia Innovation Prize

C-Voltaics Wins Goradia Innovation Prize
UH Nanotech Company Named Grand Prize Winner in Gulf Coast Competition

Juice Droplet
Juice droplet on carpet treated with C-Voltaic’s self-cleaning nano-coating; the juice will not stain the carpet even after being left there for 24 hours.

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C-Voltaics, the nanotechnology company started by a University of Houston physics researcher, has been named the grand prize winner of this year’s Goradia Innovation Prize.

The Houston Technology Center, a technology business incubator, announced the prize winners this week. The Goradia Innovation Prize is based on commercial potential, soundness of the business plan, the potential for job growth within the region and the likelihood of significant long-term success.

C-Voltaics was started by Seamus “Shay” Curran, director of the UH Institute for NanoEnergy, and launched this fall in the University’s Energy Research Park. The company produces nano-coatings designed to protect fabric, wood, glass and a variety of other products from water, stains, dust and other environmental hazards.

Shay Curran
Shay Curran, physics associate professor and director of UH’s Institute for Nanotechnology, is the CEO of C-Voltaics.
“This is confirmation on the direction we’re taking, confirmation from the marketplace that there is a need for the product,” said Curran, who is an associate professor of physics. “It doesn’t change what we’re doing. We still have deadlines.”

The company received the Young Technology Award in August at the Commercialization of Micro- and Nanosystems Conference in The Netherlands, a competition for nanotechnology companies that are less than 10 years old. That competition is based on expected return on investment.

UH is a shareholder in C-Voltaics, the first nanotechnology company to be spun off from the University.

The Goradia Innovation Prize is named for Vijay Goradia and his wife, Dr. Maria Goradia, and their family, who donated $1 million to be distributed over 10 years. The Greater Houston Partnership donated $100,000, to be distributed over two years.

C-Voltaics will receive $50,000 for its grand prize win.

- Jeannie Kever, University Communication