The Tech 50 Awards gala event is only a few weeks away so be sure to learn a little bit about each finalist beforehand. Below, are brief descriptions of finalists in the INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR category. More information on each finalist can be found by navigating to each company’s website. Look for a preview of each Tech 50 category on TechBurgher every other business day until the event on November 1.

For more information on the Tech 50 event or to register, contact the PTC Events Team at (412) 918-4229.

Aquion Energy, Inc.

Aquion Energy is developing and commercializing a safe, reliable and affordable battery for stationary energy storage applications. Aquion recently selected the Westmoreland RIDC facility as the site for its full-scale battery manufacturing plant, opening in 2013.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC

Bayer MaterialScience manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The company invested $17M in green renovations
to its Pittsburgh headquarters, which recently garnered LEED-CI gold level certification.

CombineNet, Inc.

CombineNet is the leader in advanced sourcing and spending management technology solutions for today’s global supply chains and business, with 21 U.S. patents and 12 years of market experience in delivering solutions to nearly every industry.

Epiphany Solar Water Systems, LLC

Epiphany SWS designs and assembles concentrated solar-powered water purification systems. The solution can provide clean water from contaminated or sea water in volumes from 100 to 100,000 gallons per day economically and reliably.


kWantera provides leading-edge energy management software to large commercial buildings, industrial manufacturers, universities, hospitals, data centers and other business applications. kWantera’s Analytics product analyzes large volumes of data and uncovers hidden anomalies in the power infrastructure that lead to significant cost savings.

Liquid X Printed Metals

A Carnegie Mellon University spin-out company, Liquid X Printed Metals is an advanced materials manufacturer of functional metallic inks that can be printed and, upon heating, convert to metal films or lines with conductivities close to that of bulk metal, even at nanometer-scale thickness.

Metis Secure Solutions

Metis Secure Solutions delivers breakthrough in-building and outdoor emergency communications and notification systems for office buildings, industrial and research facilities, and university campuses.

nanoGriptech Inc.

Spun off from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, nanoGriptech is developing and mass-producing contamination-resistant adhesive materials inspired by the foot hairs of geckos. The startup was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Phase II SBIR grant to optimize the mass production of biologically-inspired micro/nano-scale adhesives.


Netronome is a fables semiconductor company and leader in flow processing. Netronome’s solutions include flow processing silicon, software, tools and acceleration platforms that scale from 1 to 200 Gbps. Don’t miss Tech 50 on November 1.

PPG Industries Inc., Architectural Coatings

PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. PPG’s Digital Color Platform digitizes the consumer paint color selection and purchase process like never before. Proprietary technology gives consumers the most powerful suite of color tools available to them on any device.

RE2, Inc.

RE2 creates innovative and cost-effective robotic solutions for warfighters and first responders. RE2’s modular mobile manipulators provide operators with greater dexterity and control than with any other robot on the market.


Seegrid was founded in 2003 to bring robotic vision-guided technology to the materials handling industry. Seegrid robots are revolutionizing material movement in the manufacturing and distribution environments.

By The Prossman | October 31, 2012
Published by TechBurgher
Read the pdf of the article: Preview Tech 50: Innovator of the Year – 2012
View Tech 50 Finalists in all categories: Tech 50 Finalists – 2012