San Francisco - Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building materials company, announces a partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC) to co-present the company's NOVA Innovation Competition. Organized by Saint-Gobain's NOVA External Venturing team, the competition rewards start-up businesses around the world offering innovations in sustainable products, advanced materials, high-efficiency building solutions, clean technology and renewable energy sources with cash prizes and access to partnership opportunities with Saint-Gobain.

The deadline to submit an entry is June 30; finalists will win the chance to pitch their innovative business to the senior leadership team of Saint-Gobain in a live speed-dating format at the 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco on November 15.

"We are investing in innovation across our family of companies to improve the way we construct, sustain and live within the built environment and we anticipate exceptional entries to the 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition as we co-host it alongside USGBC-NCC – a partner that shares our passion for innovation," said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Corporation and its largest North American subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation. "We believe we have a responsibility to nurture start-up companies that otherwise would not have had the access to bring their innovation, be it sustainable building solutions or renewable energy technologies, to the commercial market."

NOVA External Venturing, an international group of Saint-Gobain representatives that identify and evaluate start-up companies for strategic partnerships with all Saint-Gobain businesses, in partnership with USGBC-NCC, will award a 1st place winner with $50,000 and 2nd and 3rd place winners with $25,000 and $10,000 respectively. Winners will also work with NOVA to explore a variety of working partnerships with Saint-Gobain such as licensing, manufacturing or commercial agreements, equity investment or joint ventures.

"Our ability to bring clean technology and sustainability together in the global green movement will shape the future of green building," said Dan Geiger, Executive Director, USGBC-NCC. "Today, Saint-Gobain begins to identify elite start-up companies that hold solutions to tomorrow's sustainable building challenges, and we're honored to co-present a competition that will surely help foster the next generation of building products."

Companies that are poised for growth but lack the capacity to commercialize will have access to the global market through Saint-Gobain's established market knowledge and, most importantly, through the support, resources and expertise that comes from the company's nearly 350-year history of building materials innovation.

"Global partnerships have the potential to transform the cleantech industry, so I'm especially pleased that Saint-Gobain and USGBC-NCC will host an Innovation Competition that awards more than just funding," said Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group, creators of the i3 platform and producers of Cleantech Forums. "Rather, the NOVA Innovation Competition will offer emerging companies a partnership that yields access to hard-to-reach customers; the strength of an established brand; and the opportunity to leverage Saint-Gobain's technical and market depth to validate technology and improve business models."

The 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition entrants will join the extensive list of progressive companies that NOVA External Venturing has evaluated since 2006, and winners will become part of an elite group of more than 40 existing partnerships.

To learn more about the NOVA Innovation Competition, recommend a start-up or apply using the online form, please visit www.saint-gobain.com/innovationcompetition2012. To receive the latest updates on the Innovation Competition, connect with the NOVA External Venturing team on Twitter (@SGnova) and on Facebook.

Source: Saint-Gobain

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