ORLANDO, Fla., (Aug. 13, 2015) — Semplastics, LLC, in Orlando was named one of five winners in the inaugural Open Innovation Challenge sponsored by GE and Statoil, the Norwegian-based energy company. Semplastics, along with companies from Montreal, New Brunswick, South Carolina and North Dakota, was selected from a pool of 100 submissions from applicants in 30 countries.
Semplastics CEO Bill Easter said the win means a $25,000 cash prize to the company and a future share of up to $375,000 in funds to further develop their innovation, a lightweight “proppant” that could replace sand used in hydraulic fracking, an oil recovery technique widely employed in the U.S.
“Sand plays a critical role in shale development and the hydraulic fracturing process,” said Lars Høier, senior vice president of research and development at Statoil.
“The proppant is mixed with water and injected into a formation to “prop open” tiny fractures in the shale, enabling oil and natural gas to flow freely,” he explained.
Semplastics’ innovation, called a Lightweight Proppant, is a polymer-derived ceramic-based compound that is half the density of sand, crush resistant and resilient to corrosion and extreme heat.
Fracking requires hundreds of truck loads of sand and water. A lighter, more efficient proppant could significantly reduce costs and environmental impacts at a fracking site.
Semplastics’ subsidiary – Dynamic Material Systems – has been developing X-MATTM materials for the last 3.5 years. Patented X-MATTM technologies provide superior lightweight ceramics and composites using low cost and low energy manufacturing processes. With the opening of Semplastics’ new laboratory in the Central Florida Research Park in September of 2015, the X-MATTM development schedule will be accelerated.
Semplastics’ is a client of the UCF Business Incubation Program at Central Florida Research Park in east Orange County.
# # #
For more information contact:
Bill Easter, Chief Executive Officer, Semplastics, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-353-6885
Carol Ann Dykes, Site Manager, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-207-7426 email@example.com
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications Inc. 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com
About Semplastics, LLC
Semplastics is a supplier of precision plastic components for the semiconductor industry. Semplastics’ materials expertise is a key driver to providing customer value. Recent Semplastics’ R&D innovations have produced the X-MAT™ material product family.
About the UCF Business Incubation Program
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth / impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.
With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. Participating companies sustain more than 3,600 local jobs and have had a total impact of $1.51 Billion on regional sales and $2.48 Billion on regional economic output. During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.