Heliae rings in New Year with new hires, intellectual property
Heliae, an Arizona-based algae technology company, announced on Jan. 10 the hiring of three key team members, as well as three significant additions to its expanding portfolio of intellectual property.
"These new hires and intellectual property build on the tremendous momentum we generated in 2011," said Heliae's President and CEO Dan Simon. "The progress we've achieved at our demonstration facility coupled with the addition of seasoned industry experts represents the final step in preparing Heliae for commercial operations."
The three new team members are Adrian Galvez as vice president of manufacturing, Anna Lee Tonkovich as vice president of research and development, and Mike Rohlfsen as director of business development for food & feed.
Galvez, an internationally recognized expert in biomass processing, has a proven track record of successfully commercializing new technologies. He joins Heliae from his recent role as senior vice president of engineering at Solazyme. Tonkovich, a named inventor on more than 90 patents, joins Heliae from her recent post as founder and chief technology officer at Velocys where she helped take a variety of bioenergy products and processes from the lab to the marketplace. And Rohlfsen, an industry veteran who held several positions at agri-business giant Cargill, joins Heliae from his recent role as vice president of business development at PetroAlgae.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 8,084,038 to Heliae entitled "Methods of and Systems for Isolating Nutraceutical Products from Algae" on Dec. 27. Heliae has received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO for two additional patent applications focused on Heliae's breakthrough extraction technology.
These patents are expected to issue in the first half of February.
"Heliae is simultaneously committed to innovation and commercialization," said Tonkovich. "Because Heliae's state-of-the-art demonstration facility is engineered for rapid learning and product refinement we can offer a continuous pipeline of valuable technical solutions. I'm very excited to join the team."
"Clients are eager for technical solutions that will lead to the viable, scaled production of algae biomass," said Galvez. "Heliae is well positioned to unlock the potential of algae as a cost-effective, renewable feedstock for food, feed, fuel and bio-chemicals. It's an exciting time to join the effort."
"Actually delivering commercial volumes of algae to the market has been a challenge," added Rohlfsen. "With the momentum and support Heliae has, I'm eager to join this team to help fulfill the strong demand that exists for algae-based products."
"We're pleased that Adrian, Lee and Mike have joined the Heliae team," said Simon. "Our company is poised to deliver on the promise of algae—we're excited for 2012."
Heliae is developing and designing cost-effective technology solutions that will enable sustainable, industrial-scale production of food, fuel, and biochemicals from algae.