Environmental Protection

Gulf Tech Expo Looks for Best Cleanup Invention

The "Gulf Tech Expo - Oil Spill Technology & Recovery Show," to be held at the Mobile, Ala., Convention Center on Aug. 13-15, is being billed as a clearinghouse for those who spent countless hours and dollars on ideas ranging from a rake to remove tar balls to a "triage boat" used to treat oiled wildlife.

"The show is an open platform for anyone who has an idea, invention, concept, or theory pertaining to any aspect of the restoration of the Gulf coastline," says Gary Gibson, show spokesperson. "All concepts will be examined by representatives from a variety of onsite agencies and foreign scientists. Over 20 countries provided help in our disaster, and we believe we can return the favor by exhibiting the new containment and cleanup technologies developed in response to our own oil spill."

One skimmer inventor not only received a BP contract, but also received another contract from an Alaskan oil company as well.

A panel of judges will determine the best overall invention, which will win $20,000 in development grants from the show's producers. Sponsors may be contributing additional funds for additional winners.

Gulf Tech Expo expects hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors to view a variety of exhibits including charter helicopters and airboats, oil spill engineering firms, containment boom suppliers, skimmer companies, disaster contractors, environmental consultants, boat builders, aerial photographers, and many more.

The show is closed to the public on Friday when various agencies will review the exhibits. Public admission for Saturday or Sunday is $8.

"Somewhere in America someone is working on the next million-dollar invention that will make our lives better after this horrible oil spill accident," says Gibson. "Let's hope they show up in Mobile."

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