CALUMET, Michigan (December 17, 2014) – The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) honored Calumet-based REL, Inc., as the state’s Business of the Year at the Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in East Lansing last month. REL, Inc., an advanced materials and process developer, was recognized for its conformable, compressed natural gas storage tank technology currently being developed for natural gas cars and trucks.
The Michigan EIBC is a business trade association representing companies in Michigan’s growing advanced energy industry. The annual event celebrates the industry’s most outstanding innovators. Michigan EIBC President Dan Scripps noted, “These companies are creating economic opportunities in Michigan and growing an industry that represents the future of our state. This year’s winners have identified real business opportunities in the advanced energy industry. We’re honored to recognize them on behalf of the industry for their leadership.”
Legislators in attendance included State Rep. Scott Dianda and State Senator Tom Casperson who presented REL Founder Robert Loukus and CFO and Vice President of Business Development David Rowe with a “State of Michigan Special Tribute” signed by Governor Rick Snyder. Sakti3, an Ann Arbor-based battery company, shared Business of the Year honors with REL.
REL, Inc.’s innovation is adapting the traditional cumbersome natural gas storage tanks to fit into a variety of vehicles. REL is developing small-scale prototypes that meet durability, safety and cost goals before scaling up to full-sized prototypes.
The technology is being developed under the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy’s (ARPA-E) Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE) Program.
REL executives were delighted with the award and what it means for the UP. Rowe noted, “One of the presenters at the gala described REL as the ‘most innovative technology company in Michigan.’ As a small company from Calumet, Michigan, we’re very proud to have brought that kind of recognition to our region.”
MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark, who has supported REL, echoed that sentiment. “We’re proud to have REL in our community and to have the opportunity to support their emergence as a local innovator,” she said. “MTEC SmartZone is watching this stage two company closely. We believe they have outstanding potential for additional growth and job creation.”
For more information about the Michigan EIBC, please visit http://www.mieibc.org/.
For more information about REL, Inc., please visit http://www.relinc.net/.