ANN ARBOR — Applications are due June 29 for the Fourth Annual Brinks Innovation Competition, sponsored by Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms.

Five finalists will present their innovations Sept. 12 at McCormick Place in Chicago in conjunction with the Midwest Clean Tech 2012 conference and the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Sept. 10-15.

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Entries in the Brinks Innovation Competition must provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community, or green building science or related fields, and must offer competitive returns for investors. Products, services and processes eligible for entry should improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources, reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact and provide superior performance at a lower cost than alternatives. Applicants should also have a sound, venture-ready business plan and ideally will have already completed an initial or angel round of funding.

Kelly Burris, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks and the chair of the firm’s Green Tech Practice, says the awards competition presents an important opportunity for Michigan start-ups to tell their story to an influential audience.

“The Brinks Innovation Competition recognizes promising new concepts in clean and green technology,” Burris said. “We are excited to open new doors for entrepreneurs and to help match their technologies with commercial opportunities through this competition.”

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The Brinks Innovation Competition allows entrepreneurs with new green products or services to present venture-ready business plans to an audience of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business consultants and corporate representatives. Applicants compete not only for cash awards, but also for the opportunity to gain exposure, network with potential investors and business partners, and have their ideas become reality. Submissions are judged by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and clean tech business executives.

The top five competition finalists in the 2012 Brinks Innovation Competition will be invited to present their technologies at Midwest Clean Tech 2012 before an international audience of early-stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, clean tech-focused venture capitalists and financiers and corporate R&D and business development executives. All finalists receive recognition in conference print materials and at the event website.

Founded in 2009 and now a vital part of the annual Midwest Clean Tech conference, presented by the Global Midwest Alliance, the Brinks Innovation Competition is sponsored by Brinks and the Midwest Research University Network. Midwest Clean Tech 2012 will be held in conjunction with the International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place.

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To learn more about the Brinks Innovation Competition and to download an application, visit or