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Green Bay's ENCAP wins tech transfer award

Madison, Wis. - A Green Bay soil-technology company that uses an all-encompassing method of transferring its products to market has won the 2006 Governor's Small Business Technology Transfer Award and the $5,000 prize that comes with it.

ENCAP, LLC, which manufactures and distributes Advanced Soil Technology products, was presented the award during the opening day of the 2006 Wisconsin Early-Stage Symposium presented by the Wisconsin Technology Council.

ENCAP beat out two Madison area biotech companies, Lucigen Corp. and Standard Imaging, Inc., for an award that recognizes companies that have been successful in transferring discoveries into commerce.

Michael Krysiak, president of ENCAP, expressed gratitude to the State of Wisconsin, particularly the Department of Natural Resources, which helped the company gain some traction with grant money.

"We are humbled," Krysiak said. "As technology development companies, we are all in this together. As we are advancing our companies, we are advancing the State of Wisconsin to become a leader in technology development and innovation."
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Encapsulating formula

ENCAP markets its proprietary Advanced Soil Technologies, which are designed to improve soil conditions, to consumers and commercial professionals in the lawn-and-garden, landscape, and forest fire restoration markets.

As part of a waste-material conversion, Krysiak took recycled office paper and combined it with seed and soil enhancers to create an environmentally beneficial, value-added product. His intent was to take recycled office paper and convert it into a soil technology that would improve the seed-growing process and reduce soil erosion.

According to Krysiak, the technology works by casting an invisible "net" over the soil, thereby helping to improve the soil environment. This net works though a simple magnetic attraction that holds soil and fertilizers in place, while helping to establish seeds and improve water utilization, creating ideal conditions for seed to grow.

Due to this ability to interface with soil, Krysiak said the market advantage of ENCAP's ASTs is that they require up to four times less the amount of material to accomplish what competitive products do.

ENCAP owns the exclusive rights to more than a dozen United States and international patents and applications.

The company, which is known for its lawn and grass repair kits, and lawn-starter products, brought its soil science to market with what Krysiak called a "circular commercialization process." The approach, he said, incorporates all facets of the organization - research and development, sales and marketing, account services, operations, and general corporate services - working together in unison.

Krysiak, who earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, serves on the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board as its business and industry representative.

Formidable finalists

Krysiak was humbled to beat out two Middleton-based companies operating in the molecular tool and medical imaging spaces. Lucigen Corp., a two-time finalist for the tech transfer award, has discovered new enzymes in environmental sources that can be used in biomedical research. Meanwhile, Standard Imaging, which employs 38 people, manufactures radiation calibration instruments that help physicians measure radiation implanted in capsule form into cancer patients.

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