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01-29-2008

Clarkson University Spin-off Vento Tek Receives $50K Grant for Smart Wind Turbine Blades

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/vento-tek.jpg

Vento Tek Inc., a spin-off business of Clarkson University, is one of four central upstate New York businesses that have received $50,000 Commercialization Assistance Program grants promoting the commercialization of new, green technologies from the Syracuse Center of Excellence Office for Industry Collaboration.Vento

A total amount of $115,000 has been committed to this project, including cost-share from various parties involved in the project. The funds will be used for the development and commercialization of advanced wind turbine blades.

Vento Tek Inc. is one of a number of small technology-based businesses that are an outgrowth of Clarkson University research. Located in Potsdam, Vento Tek intends to bring to market a revolutionary smart wind turbine blade, incorporating active control capabilities for more efficient power generation. This is accomplished by using flow control actuators as well as twisted-coupled blades constructed from composite materials.

Vento Tek specializes in the research and development of innovative designs for renewable-energy applications and has a strong interest in wind-energy conversion systems. Research by Clarkson Professors Piergiovanni Marzocca and Erik Bollt is allowing technological improvements of current wind-turbine designs that have the potential to lower the cost of energy well below the government proposed $0.25/kWhr within the next five years.

Vento Tek is also supported in their activities by ARI Renewable Energy Company, located in northern Virginia, specializing in hybrid wind and solar renewable-energy systems; Gradients LLC, located in Plattsburgh, N.Y., an aerospace manufacturing company focused on design, analysis, manufacturing and integration of advanced systems; and Clarkson University, with the synergistic collaborative effort of Prof. Ratan Jha of the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department and Prof. Goodarz Ahmadi, dean of the School of Engineering.

The project is on schedule and the team is progressing toward the development of a prototype technology that will be tested at the Vento Tek facility, located in a native American reservation, south of Buffalo, N.Y. Gradients LLC has established a facility at the Plattsburgh International Airport, while ARI has been relocating parts of their activities to upstate New York. Additional growth is expected in the near future.

Clarkson University President Tony Collins serves on the board of the Syracuse Center of Excellence Office for Industry Collaboration. University Provost Tom Young serves on the board's research and technology committee.

Clarkson University crosses the boundaries of disciplines, nations and cultures in order for discovery, engineering innovation and enterprise to come together. As a result, faculty and graduates grasp the full impact of their calling, direct their research to the world's pressing issues and lead with confidence and distinction. One in seven alumni is already a CEO or other senior executive. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., just outside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Clarkson is home to 3,000 students preparing for rewarding careers through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, science, and health sciences, as well as unparalleled outdoor recreation and life experiences beyond the classroom.

PHOTO CAPTION: Vento Tek Inc., a spin-off business of Clarkson University, is one of four central upstate New York businesses that have received $50,000 Commercialization Assistance Program grants promoting the commercialization of new, green technologies from the Syracuse Center of Excellence Office for Industry Collaboration. Here, Keegan O'Donnell '06, Prof. Pier Marzocca and Emanuele Nicolini, a visiting graduate student from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, hold a blade test section for wind tunnel investigations, which contains flow control actuators that are used to shape the flow around the blade.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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