Three manufacturers win Green Launching Pad funds
Three New Hampshire companies have been chosen to participate in the latest round of funding through the Green Launching Pad.This year, judges for the program -- a partnership of the University of New Hampshire and the state -- chose firms that can help the state achieve the objectives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy Program and the state's Climate Action Plan, with an emphasis on green manufacturing.The winning firms, announced last month by Gov. John Lynch, are: • LDI Corp., Portsmouth, which plans to make green upholstery fabric for architects and interior designers who are looking to buy green products. LDI, which has designed a coated furniture upholstery fabric that is made with more sustainable and eco-friendly materials, has developed a manufacturing process to decoratively print this fabric with eco-friendly inks and using a low-energy consumption process. • RAS-Tech LLC, Brentwood, which plans to enter the road crack sealant business. The raw materials to be used will be rubber-containing factory scrap, waste shingles and re-refined used motor oil. The company said it will expand their manufacturing facilities with these funds. • Earthtec, Portsmouth, an apparel company dedicated to sustainability, responsible manufacturing and green business practices.Some 20 businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications to compete in the latest round of funding. A panel of judges drawn from the industry selected the winners.Since its inception in February 2010, 14 companies have received Green Launching Pad funding, and more than 450 people have attended Green Launching Pad seminars and events designed to help them commercialize their green products and services.Lynch, who spearheaded the effort to create the Green Launching Pad, said, "Over the last two years, this partnership has had tremendous results, helping to launch 11 New Hampshire companies and create good jobs in the process. It only makes sense that we do what we can to help bolster this important sector of our economy," he said.The Green Launching Pad is funded with $1.5 million of federal economic stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy."Our green manufacturing focus will help address economic and environmental concerns simultaneously through job creation and help stimulate the manufacturing sector through use of environmentally friendly materials and a reduction in energy use in the manufacturing process and in unwanted byproducts and waste," said Venky Venkatachalam, project director of the Green Launching Pad and a UNH professor of decision sciences.For more information, visit greenlaunchingpad.org.