KINGSTON, ON -- SPARQ Systems Inc., the Canadian leader in developing advanced photovoltaic (PV) microinverter products and systems, is pleased to announce the completion of $2.75 million in investment from three Ontario cleantech venture funds.
The investment, from the MaRS Cleantech Fund, the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) and the Ontario Centres of Excellence Market Readiness program, will enable SPARQ to advance its smart grid-ready solar microinverter product to market.
SPARQ’s technology provides industry and homeowners with lighter, more efficient and more economically prized solutions for harvesting solar power.
The product of research by Dr. Praveen Jain, Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, and his team at the ePower Lab at Queen’s University, the solar PV technology was protected and licensed to SPARQ by Queen’s University’s PARTEQ Innovations, which founded the company in 2009. PARTEQ provided early business, intellectual property, and financial management to SPARQ, and assisted in getting the company ready for this first round of investment.
SPARQ is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Randall (Randy) MacEwen as CEO of SPARQ, effective immediately. Mr. MacEwen comes to SPARQ from NextCleanTech of Newport Beach, CA, a private clean technology consulting company he founded. He has more than a decade of experience in leading and growing and developing renewable energy and clean technology companies.
“2013 has been a transformational year for SPARQ,” said Mr. MacEwen. “We have successfully commercialized our first generation microinverter with sales in Canada, the United States and Mexico. With our recent financing, we have strengthened our management team and are commercializing our next generation microinverter — a product, that we believe, will reset the industry standard for cost, reliability, performance, ease of installation and advanced grid functions.”
“We are thrilled that another one of our start-ups has succeeded in attracting interest from the investment community. SPARQ’s innovative product line is a testament to the depth and breadth of university-based research. Our recent success with securing several issued patents for SPARQ affirms its value. We wish the company every success,” says Anne Vivian Scott, President and CEO (acting) of PARTEQ.
SPARQ will be meeting with channel partners at Solar Power International 2013 in Chicago from October 21-24, 2013.
About PARTEQ Innovations:
PARTEQ Innovations is a not-for-profit corporation formed in December 1987 to act as the technology transfer agent for Queen's University at Kingston. PARTEQ has the exclusive rights to all intellectual property owned by the University. PARTEQ's mission is to stimulate and facilitate the commercialization of intellectual property generated at Queen's and to enhance and foster linkages between the Queen's research community and industry. Social responsibility and potential economic return drive PARTEQ’s mission. Queen's is a research-intensive university and PARTEQ provides a means to ensure that discoveries with potential public benefit are commercialized effectively.
About SPARQ Systems:
SPARQ Systems has designed the next generation of smart grid enabled photovoltaic micro-inverter technology, enabling access to the rapidly growing distributed solar market. This disruptive technology is based on novel power electronics topology with fewer conversion stages and high-frequency resonant switching, eliminating electrolytic capacitors and allowing for a higher power density at a reduced cost. SPARQ’s software-based approach ensures maximum energy harvesting from photovoltaic solar modules in a very safe and simple way, making it compatible with both existing power distribution networks and the smart grid of the future.
About the MaRS Cleantech Fund
The MaRS Cleantech Fund (www.marsvf.com) is a private venture fund focused on early-stage cleantech investing. The Fund will invest in capital-efficient companies with strong intellectual property, a global market opportunity and experienced management teams. Portfolio companies will be encouraged to seek maximum support from MaRS. The fund is managed by two experienced entrepreneurs: Dr. Tom Rand (Twitter: @tomrand, website: www.tomrand.net) and Murray McCaig (Twitter: @murraymccaig).
Contact at PARTEQ:
Director, Commercial Development
P: 613. 533. 6000 ext. 79108
M: 613. 483. 9661