Aeris Technologies claims top prize at 2017 CCIA Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge

By: Steve Porter Friday September 8, 2017 0 comments Tags: Denver, CCIA 2017 Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge, Aeris Technologies, Jerome Pischella, Ed Williams, FlexGen, OndaVia

DENVER -- Aeris Technologies, a Redwood City, Calif.-based company offering a super accurate, laser-powered portable natural gas leak detection system, was the winner of the 2017 Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge hosted Thursday by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).ccia-inside1.fixed

Eleven companies -- some startups and others just entering the commercial market -- offered their business pitches before an audience of oil-and-gas industry representatives, with Aeris taking home the top prize of $5,000.

Aeris CEO Jim Scherer said his company’s device is “the world’s smallest, ultrasensitive laser-based gas detector for finding leaks" in oilfield drilling operations.

“The whole thing is as small as a child’s lunchbox,” Scherer said, noting that the system can pinpoint a natural gas leak.

“We can get a leak location within one foot,” he said. “We think it’s the best thing since sliced bread for the sensor market.”

Scherer said Aeris’ detector can be operated autonomously without human interaction and offers significant cost-savings.

Scherer said existing analyzers cost $50,000 to $60,000 and require a human with a car. He said he expects his company's mobile systems will cost half that and won't require vehicle modification or a dedicated driver.

Judges for the Cleantech Challenge named FlexGen, a Houston-based company with an energy management system for off-grid and grid-edge power generation, the No. 2 presenter, with Hayward, Calif.-based OndaVia, a provider of easy-to-use tools for water and chemical analysis, designated No. 3 following the day-long competition.

Other companies presenting included 5th Element Energy Services, CO2 Solutions, Exciter Energy Services, LCO Technologies, Materium, Monashee Pumps, ProOne Holdings and Strategic Environmental & Energy Resources (SEER).

Five of the competing companies this year were Canada-based, and the Denver Canadian Consulate was a sponsor of the Challenge for the second year.ccia-inside2.fixed

Jerome Pischella, Canadian consul and senior trade commissioner, said his country strongly supports the CCIA Cleantech Challenge.

“Our mandate here at the consulate is to support Canadian companies that need to do business in the U.S. or who want to find partners,” he said.

“Clean tech is a huge priority for the Trudeau government. The oil-and-gas industry is a very big part of the Canadian economy, and we’re trying to find clean companies that fit into that.”

Pischella said three Canadian companies competed in last year’s Oil & Gas Cleantech Challenge and that number nearly doubled this year.

Pischella said competing in the Challenge paid off for those companies that took part in 2016.

“All three found technology partners or sold their products and services to companies attending the event,” he said.

“I fully intend to partner with CCIA next year and for many years to come.”

Ed Williams, CCIA board chair, said the industry association has seen positive results in the four years the Challenge has been offered.

“What we’ve seen over the years are the connections that have been made, and many of these (presenting) companies have just flourished.”

Sponsors for this year’s Cleantech Challenge included Noble Energy, BP, ConocoPhillips, the Canadian government, Wells Fargo, Altira, Perkins Coie, Rocky Mountain Institute, the Colorado Energy Office and the University of Colorado Denver’s Global Energy Management Program Business School.

Steve Porter

About the Author: Steve Porter

Steve Porter, editor of InnovatioNews, has more than 20 years of newspaper experience in reporting, editing and managing news organizations. Steve brings a deep knowledge of the Colorado business landscape and award-winning writing and editing skills to the project.