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Center for Technology Transfer: and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce Provide Funding to a Wisconsin High-Tech Business

Jennifer Dryburgh Neighbors / Tim Wirtz
Hoffman York
414-225-9535 / 414-225-9522
jdryburgh@hyc.com / twirtz@hyc.com


MADISON, Wis. (June 3, 2004) – The Center for Technology Transfer Inc. (CTT) announced the completion of agreements that will provide up to $250,000 in funding for Madison, Wis.-based Virent Energy Systems. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce will provide a $300,000 Technology Development Fund loan. Together the funds will offset expenses not covered under a $2 million federal Advanced Technology Program (ATP) grant Virent received recently.

The technology-based company is developing a new energy and fuel process, called Aqueous-Phase Carbohydrate Reforming (APR). The result is hydrogen and/or hydrocarbon fuel gas gathered from waste streams, waste biomass, and energy dedicated biomass crops using liquid phase reforming.

“The use of state matching funds to attract more federal dollars and create high paying jobs in Wisconsin is consistent with the objective I set out in my ‘Grow Wisconsin’ plan,” said Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

Based in Madison, CTT is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the Wisconsin Department of Administration through its Focus on Energy program. CTT helps early-stage, technology-based companies throughout Wisconsin bring their products and ideas to market by providing project funding, grant writing, intellectual property assistance and business mentoring.

“We are very excited about Virent’s technology and believe it has significant commercial potential,” said CTT President Masood Akhtar. “We are providing this loan in order to help the development of Virent’s new technologies and to nurture the expansion of this technology-based new business.”

Virent Energy Systems Inc. (Virent) was founded in Wisconsin in 2002 using technology developed by Dr. Randy Cortright and Professor James Dumesic, and licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). It has received several major government grants and has recently moved to larger premises. Eric Apfelbach, new Chief Executive Officer of Virent, remarked that the funds obtained from CTT and the Department of Commerce “are a key ingredient for Virent’s growth. Matching funds are a common requirement for attracting federal grants. Some of these funds will also enable Virent to undertake related corporate development projects.”

For more information about:
· CTT, call Masood Akhtar at 608-661-4081 or visit www.cttinc.org;
· Department of Commerce, call Todd Kearney at 608-266-6675 or visit www.wisconsin.gov;
· Virent, call Eric Apfelbach at 608-663-0228 or visit http://www.virent.com;
· Focus on Energy, call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com


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