Thursday, Jul. 15, 2010
Water Prevention Solutions LLC
Water Prevention Solutions LLC, Utah State University’s third spinout company in fiscal year 2010 is centered on a USU technology created by former USU employees Jim Reese and Ron White.
The new technology is a patent pending wastewater backflow valve that can be installed in new construction homes and businesses or retrofitted to work on existing pipes, even those made of clay. The self-cleaning valve requires no maintenance and, because of its design, resists damage caused by pipe snakes which remove tree roots from sewer lines.
“Valves that currently exist on the market are at risk for damage because of the nature of the pipe snake,” said Reese. “Doors that open and shut one way can be broken when a pipe snake is pushed or pulled through a pipe. The design of the wastewater backflow valve resists this damage.”
Additionally, the valve itself is designed with an alert system in place. Once installed on a sewer or septic system, an alarm is linked to a telephone line. If water reaches a critical level where sewage backflow is a possibility, the valve closes to prevent backup and customers receive a phone call notifying them of the danger.
“Nearly 500,000 homes in the United States experience sewage back up yearly,” said Reese. “This back up can introduce deadly pathogens into a home and result in a number of very serious health concerns.”
Hazardous waste cleanup can cost homeowners more than $15,000, said White.
“If you have a drain in your home lower than a manhole on the street, we recommend you have a wastewater backflow valve installed,” said White.
“We are delighted to work with Jim and Ron on this technology,” said Glenn Whichard, commercialization associate for USU’s Technology Commercialization Office. “The TCO has been a part of the process from the beginning as we worked to protect the intellectual property of the invention. We believe this patent pending technology has great commercialization potential.”
The USU Utah Water Research Laboratory will be involved in performance testing and design for manufacturability studies. Reese and White are working to secure a manufacturing facility to begin mass production of the wastewater backflow valve. They are also communicating with home insurance companies and city planners to make the valve part of new construction plumbing code.
To learn more about Water Prevention Solutions, contact by phone 435-764-3200 or contact Whichard of USU’s TCO at email@example.com and 435-797-9604.
Contact: Glenn Whichard, 435-797-9604, firstname.lastname@example.org
Utah State University’s fourth spinout company of fiscal year 2010, Teton Botanicals Inc., is determined to create a new paradigm in the skin care industry.
Teton Botanicals was conceived by a small group of foreign investors that recognized the many advantages to building a natural skin care business in northern Utah. A few years ago, Steve Bernet, Teton Botanicals general manager, and his business partner Alejandro Marangoni began experimenting with ways to create healthy edible fats for the baking industry.
Their patented technology is now used by major multi-national food companies around the world. Their initial attempt to extend the application of their technology to the skin care industry proved elusive. Recently, however, Bernet and Marangoni have tweaked their formula to create an emulsion with sensory characteristics exceeding their expectations.
“Our real breakthrough occurred when Karin Allen of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences at USU found a solution to extend the shelf life of our new formula,” said Bernet. “Karin has been instrumental in helping to create a shelf-stable product.”
Using the knowledge of essential oils and the research Allen had done in the past, including work done to extend the life of meat, Allen was able to solve one of Teton Botanical’s largest problems. How to make an all-natural product that would not go bad in a matter of weeks or months?
Teton Botanicals has been successful in creating an all-natural, petroleum-free product with an acceptable shelf-life — a breakthrough that excites Bernet.
The breakthrough allows Teton Botanicals enough time to get through the distribution chain and into the hands of customers for use before the expiration date. Teton Botanicals skin care products are made with edible oils such as avocado oil and scented with natural essential oils. No petroleum-based ingredients are used in its formula. With USU’s help, Bernet believes Teton Botanicals products have the potential to dominate the natural skin care business.
“Our skin care line is absolutely unique,” said Bernet. “With USU’s help we have a product that contains no petroleum derived mineral oils or petrolatums, no chemical preservatives or colors, and no alcohols. In fact, our product is made from 100 percent human edible ingredients. As in the food industry, the demand for simple products without unfamiliar ingredients is growing.”
The all-natural skincare product line can be found weekly at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market. Teton Botanicals is also available in Logan, Utah, retail establishments and for purchase on the web
Teton Botanicals has big plans to commercialize its latest product and to create new products containing beneficial bio-actives. The company’s work with USU has only just begun, according to Bernet.
“We have a strong history of working with universities and plan to collaborate with USU in the future,” said Bernet. “We decided to grow Teton Botanicals in Utah given the strength of its universities, important state government initiatives such as USTAR and the strength of the Technology Commercialization office at USU.”
USU’s Technology Commercialization Office
The USU Technology Commercialization Office is designed to have a positive impact the university, local and state economies. The TCO at USU is comprised of experienced tech-savvy professionals with backgrounds in the commercial sector and academia and is knowledgeable in all areas of the commercialization process, including licensing, business formation and intellectual property law. The Technology Commercialization Office is responsible for creating value for USU, the community and society through the commercialization of university intellectual property. Information about the TCO at USU can be found online
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Writer: Jacoba Mendelkow Poppleton, 435-797-9608, email@example.com