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Applications due soon for the $100,000 Shale Gas Innovation Contest

Charleston, WVIf you are a small business, researcher, or entrepreneur in West Virginia or Pennsylvania focused on developing a new product or service for the shale energy space, you should be gearing up to submit your application soon to the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center’s 4th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest.

Four winners will each be awarded $25,000 for the top shale energy oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched. A simple online application can be found at Applications are due by February 1st.

We also want to recognize the generous support of the Benedum Foundation that once again extends the contest to include West Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania.

In addition to the cash prizes, successful applicants chosen to participate in the May 2015 Finals event will gain exposure to investors, potential partners, and industry sponsors.  This 4th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest is co-sponsored by Ben Franklin Technology Partners (, AquaTech (, Chevron Technology Ventures (, CONSOL Energy (, EQT (, First National Bank ( ), GE Oil & Gas (, INABATA America Corporation (, Little Pine Resources (, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (, PPG Industries (, Praxair (, Range Resources (, Shell (, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC ( ),Williams (,  and XTO Energy (

Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnect West Virginia, said the contest offers an excellent opportunity to West Virginia small businesses and entrepreneurs working in the shale gas sector.  “Having an idea vetted by the panel of experts in this event is a rare opportunity that shouldn’t be missed,” Barth said.

“Thanks to the sponsors of this contest, entrepreneurs and innovators have a chance to earn cash awards, exposure to potential investors and strategic partners, and visibility for their work,” Barth said.

Bill Hall, the SGICC Director commented, “The innovation contest shines a light on the best new innovations being developed in our region. Any idea or recently commercialized product or service related to the shale energy space is eligible. Examples include natural gas or NGL utilization products or services, novel materials or chemicals to enhance performance or, for instance coatings or materials that prevent corrosion or improve product yield. The industry is also always interested in novel remote site monitoring technologies, well pad EH&S products or services, natural gas or NGL conversion technologies, and water management or remediation technologies.”

Entering the competition is easy, requiring the completion of a simple online application found at Finalists will be chosen by the panel of industry experts. To download an application, visit and click on the $100,000 Shale Gas Innovation Contest tab.  Deadline to enter is February 1, 2015.

For details regarding eligibility or other questions, contact Bill Hall at either 814-933-8203 or