C-Voltaics, a start-up nanotechnology company created by a University of Houston professor, has won the Young Technology Award at the Commercialization of Micro- and Nanosystems conference, held last month in The Netherlands.
The award is granted to companies that are less than 10 years old.
C-Voltaics, started by Seamus "Shay" Curran, director of UH's Institute for NanoEnergy, produces nanotechnology-based coatings designed to protect fabric, wood, glass and other products from water, stains, dust and other environmental hazards.
The University is a shareholder in the company.
Curran was in The Netherlands for the conference, where C-Voltaics was one of six nanotechnology companies competing for the award. Top prize was 5,000 euros, or about $6,685. The other companies were from the United States, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Janinka Feenstra, a spokeswoman for the conference, said judges selected C-Voltaics based on its potential to have the highest return on investment in the shortest period of time. Several people in the audience wanted to buy the C-Voltaics product immediately, she said.
C-Voltaics also has been named a finalist for the 2013 Goradia Innovation Prize. That competition, administered by the Houston Technology Center, recognizes the best innovations from the Houston Gulf Coast region and encourages bringing them to the marketplace.
The winners will be announced in October.