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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


Shale Gas Innovation Competition Expands to West Virginia


West Virginia businesses, inventors and entrepreneurs involved in the shale gas industry will now be able to participate in the 2013-14 Shale Gas Innovation Contest thanks to the involvement of the Benedum Foundation, TechConnect West Virginia, INNOVA Commercialization Group and West Virginia University.

Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnectWV, said, “The Shale Gas Innovation Contest is run by the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center ( in State College, Pennsylvania.  The goal of the competition is to identify and develop shale gas technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while creating high paying jobs.”

Barth said contest applications cover the entire gamut of the shale gas play – from exploration and extraction technologies, environmental and safety products and service concepts to water and wastewater focused technologies, data management concepts, and multiple downstream gas and NGL utilization technologies.  This is the third year of the competition and, up to this point, it had only been open to Pennsylvania-based entrants.

“The application process will open in November, however, now is the time to inform our gas industry and our innovators to begin preparing their concepts,” Barth said.  “More than $75,000 in prize money was awarded in this past year’s competition.”

TechConnectWV, INNOVA Commercialization Group and WVU’s Office of Research & Economic Development will assist with marketing the event and helping to identify potential applicants across the state.

Sponsors are already lining up to support the contest including: Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Acorn Energy, CONSOL Energy, First National Bank, Little Pine Resources, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Praxair. Additional sponsors are encouraged.

For additional information, contact Anne Barth at (304) 444-2918 or visit the website at