Responding to the challenge from national and state leaders to increase and encourage more innovation, the University of Tennessee helped establish nine startup companies based on technology developed by UT faculty over the last fiscal year, more than doubling the total from a year ago.
The companies licensed technology from the University through the UT Research Foundation (UTRF), the not-for-profit organization responsible for commercializing and licensing technology discovered by faculty across the University of Tennessee System. Nine high-tech companies were created in the fiscal year ending June 30 while four were started in FY11.
From 1999 to 2011, UTRF spun out a total of 32 companies based on UT intellectual property, averaging two to four companies a year for the past five years. Of those companies, 15 are still in business and four companies were acquired. These 19 companies illustrate a favorable comparison to statistics from the Kauffman Foundation showing fewer than 50 percent of startups survive five years.
Mark Henry, a nationally known expert in the $2.5 billion federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, will conduct three one-day workshops this September in Oak Ridge, Nashville and Memphis.
What unites the diverse group selected to participate in the inaugural ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator?
In a word, entrepreneurship.
That's the common thread that binds the founders of the six startups selected for the ZeroTo510 program in Memphis.
Some are experienced health care professionals; some are just starting their careers. Some are full-fledged professors at prestigious universities; some are graduate students and research assistants. Some are Memphians; others live and work elsewhere.
"It's inspirational how the spirit of entrepreneurship brings them together," said Allan Daisley, director of innovation and entrepreneurship for Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the organization that houses and administers ZeroTo510.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has announced that Patrick Reynolds, Ph.D., has joined the organization as a licensing associate.
"Dr. Patrick Reynolds has decided to pursue a career in technology transfer, and we are very excited he decided to launch his career with the University of Tennessee," said David Washburn, vice president of UTRF.
Before joining UTRF, Patrick was a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University. His research there focused on examining several genetic and environmental factors contributing to neurodegeneration. He also served as an intern in Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer for a year, focusing on commercializing medical devices and diagnostics. In addition, he helped faculty construct business plans and submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant proposals.
While in Atlanta, Patrick also served as a life science consultant for Ripple Management. He drafted numerous patentability and market assessments for the firm on technologies ranging from microbial bioremediation to neuroinjury therapeutics.
Green Industry professionals often find themselves in the field needing immediate access to pest and plant disease information and plant care recommendations. Or, they need to be alerted when destructive pests emerge in their area. Thanks to a collaborative effort of horticulturists, entomologists and plant pathologists at seven land-grant universities, now there's an app for that.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture together with Clemson, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland and Virginia Polytechnic Institute have developed the first Integrated Pest Management mobile app for nursery growers, landscapers, arborists, Extension agents and students that includes the major horticultural practices and disease and insect recommendations.
IPMPro will streamline pest management decision-making, employee training, and will make complying with state pesticide recordkeeping regulations easy. The mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Built by horticulture and pest management experts in cooperation with growers and landscapers, IPMPro was built for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones four through eight, which include 22 states from west of the Mississippi River, east and north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and south to the Gulf Coast.
The B. Otto and Kathleen Wheeley Award is given to a University of Tennessee faculty member(s) who excel in the commercialization of university-based research results. The B. Otto and Kathleen Wheeley Foundation provides the award stipend, through an endowment fund which was established in 1989. The award is specifically intended to recognize faculty who take a direct and active role in the commercialization process. Criteria for the award include:
Otto Wheeley, a University of Tennessee graduate, was deputy chair of the Koppers Company and President of Kopvenco, a venture capital subsidiary of Koppers in the early 1980s. Eager to promote technological entrepreneurs in Tennessee, he returned to the state and founded Venture First Associations, Inc., and formed a close alliance with his alma mater to promote the commercialization of university-developed research.
There will be two (2) awards given in 2012 of $5,000 each.
The deadline for submission is: Friday, June 29, 2012.
A video game idea designed to get children interested in energy sciences and technology has won this semester's Vol Court pitch competition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Charles Chin, a UT graduate student, took top honors. He also secured $1,000 in start-up money for a company that will produce and sell the new educational video game, which will teach children about energy management.
Vol Court is a speaker series and pitch competition presented by the College of Business Administration's Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The goal of the program is to help people develop new business ideas and gain entrepreneurial skills. It is sponsored by UT Federal Credit Union, UT Research Foundation, and the Terry Adams Law Firm.
A second-place $500 prize went to Anthony Smith, a junior majoring in public relations, who is developing a low-cost marketing package for small companies. Sarah Hurst, a doctoral student at the UT Institute of Agriculture, received honorable mention for a new Type 2 diabetes treatment.
A group of researchers at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville has created technology that provides non-invasive detection of amyloidosis, a disease known to occur in Type 2 diabetes, myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and other fatal or debilitating diseases. Currently there is no detection for amyloidosis available in the U.S., and the median survival rate is four years.
The technology uses Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) imaging to provide whole-body visualization of amyloidosis.
The imaging technology led to the creation of Solex LLC, a new UT startup company. The University of Tennessee Research Foundation recently entered into a license agreement with Solex, to help commercialize the technology.
Solex developers from the UT Graduate School of Medicine include Jonathan Wall, Ph.D., Stephen Kennel, Ph.D., Emily Martin, B.S., Tina Richey, M.S., and Alan Stuckey, B.A., CNMT.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation has announced that Nghia Chiem, Ph.D., has joined the organization as a licensing associate.
"Dr. Nghia Chiem has an outstanding track record as a scientist and business development professional," said David Washburn, vice president of UTRF. "His experience and knowledge of commercializing early-stage technology will further strengthen The University of Tennessee’s ability to catalyze economic development in the state of Tennessee."
For the past five years, Chiem has served as a senior scientist for Protein Discovery, a Knoxville-based life sciences company with a focus on commercializing sample preparation technologies for the mass spectrometry market. In this role, Chiem was involved in many innovations of the company’s proprietary methods for processing protein samples. He also was involved in numerous in-licensing transactions with university intellectual property, and subsequently led the development team that productized the technology.
Prior to Protein Discovery, Chiem was a senior application scientist at Coventor. There he helped start a company, Cytonome, which was based on Coventor’s intellectual property.
At the University of Tennessee, Chiem will focus the majority of his efforts serving the Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville. He will work specifically with inventors from Animal Sciences, Food Science and Technology, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering.
Chiem has a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Alberta (Canada), and is an inventor on four U.S. patents.
Eighty-five percent of children's learning is related to vision. Yet in the U.S., 80 percent of children have never had an eye exam or any vision screening before kindergarten, statistics say. When they do, the vision screenings they typically receive can detect only one or two conditions.
Three researchers at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma are working to change that with an invention that makes children eye exams inexpensive, comprehensive, and simple to administer. "Eye exams can do so much more than just test vision," said Ying-Ling Ann Chen, device inventor and research assistant professor in physics. "They can detect learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, or neural disorders such as autism. By not testing our youth, we are potentially missing the window for effective treatment for a lot of conditions."
Called the Dynamic Ocular Evaluation System (DOES), the device was developed by Chen; Lei Shi, post-doctoral research associate in laser application; and Jim Lewis, professor emeritus in physics. The researchers hope the device will someday be used in pediatricians' offices across the country, and then expanded to other groups within population.
We all know how universities all across the country are trying find ways to introduce entrepreneurship and innovation into the classroom.
But let's face it, few are as forward-thinking as the Babson Colleges or Brigham Youngs, which are leaders in the nation when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Most schools are only scratching the surface when it comes to producing entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs (the entrepreneur within the company or organization).
That's why I am very excited to note two Memphis professors who are demonstrating some real skill in turning students into entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed.
They don't teach entrepreneurship from a book, but apply its lessons through apprenticeship.
This means getting students to think about solving problems in their area of study, researching and hypothesizing, building and testing real business concepts, validating, pitching and presenting, and much more. Students are put in real-life positions where they must be innovative, and use technology to help build on those innovations.
Dr. Richard Magid, director of technology transfer and adjunct assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is one of those local leaders.
Interested in starting a business but don't know how?
The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration will offer the chance for students, faculty and the community to learn from entrepreneurs and business experts about the essentials of getting a company off the ground.
The Vol Court spring 2012 session begins Jan. 31 and runs through March 13. Workshop presenters are from various organizations throughout Tennessee, and all have experience with entrepreneurial companies.
The seven-part series will be held Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. in Room 701 of the Stokely Management Center.
At today’s annual Innovation Awards ceremony, hosted by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and held at the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center, plaques and certificates were awarded to individuals earning patents and licenses. Also recognized were those researchers who started new businesses based on their inventions. About 50 UTHSC team members and guests attended the luncheon ceremony on the university’s campus in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center.
"This ceremony recognizes deserving inventors and the innovations they have made at the UT Health Science Center," Richard Magid, UTRF vice president, said. "UTRF is honored to be able to assist these inventors in moving their discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace."
"UT Health Science Center is committed to all aspects of our research mission," said Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD, UTHSC’s top administrative officer. "We are delighted to be here today to congratulate and celebrate the UTHSC innovators who are a critical element in continuing to drive our research mission forward."
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has selected eight teams of inventors to receive annual Maturation Funding. Each team will receive $15,000 to assist in further developing the technology to improve positioning for licensing and commercialization.
"UTRF is pleased to provide maturation grants to accelerate the development of these eight inventions," UTRF Interim President Dick Gourley said. "The quality of the ideas submitted from across the state shows the vibrancy of the University of Tennessee research enterprise and the potential for UT innovations to improve the lives of Tennesseans."
Recipients awarded by the UTRF Health Science Center office include:
Recipients awarded by the UTRF Multi-Disciplinary office include:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $622,960 grant to a team led by researchers from the University of Tennessee (UT), Tennessee Solar Institute, and the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy. The grant promotes partnerships with utilities and building officials across the state, to implement uniform standards for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. This grant is one of 22 awards announced by DOE as part of its Rooftop Solar Challenge.
The goal of UT’s project is to increase solar PV installations in Tennessee by reducing non-hardware costs associated with customer acquisition, permitting, inspection, installation, and interconnection. These costs currently comprise approximately 30 to 40 percent of the total installation cost of a rooftop PV system. Streamlining and developing uniform codes will significantly reduce the cost of installed PV.
With funds from this award, the UT team will work with multiple local governments and electrical distributors to address these issues. In partnership with UT, others who have committed resources for this project include the Tennessee Valley Authority, the City of Knoxville, the City of Franklin, Metro Nashville, Memphis/Shelby County, the Knoxville Utility Board, Nashville Electric Service, Memphis Light Gas and Water, and the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation.
ETRAC will hold a kick-off event on December 15th, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Cherokee Mills in Knoxville. Anyone interested in being an accelerator client, volunteering as a mentor, investing as an angel, or just knowing more about ETRAC is invited to attend!
Please RSVP by Monday, Dec. 12 with your name and organization to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses or persons interested in learning the basics of Solar Installation and Photovoltaic (PV) Technology can now take advantage of a free five-day training course at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE), 300 West Market Street, Kingsport.
The training, offered by The Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI), will begin January 30, 2012 and run through February 3. The training times are 8 am to 5 pm each day, with lunch provided.
The training course focuses on many different aspects of the Solar PV field, including:
"What is the best way to take our inventions forward?" asked Monica Jablonski, professor of ophthalmology at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. "I need to reeducate myself on decisions of how to go forward."
Jablonski, an inventor of a novel macular degeneration treatment, was one of more than 70 participants at the Invention to Venture workshop held at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus on Nov. 11, 2011.
The event was organized by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, a non-profit with a mission to support technology innovation and entrepreneurship within universities.
Jablonski said that several years ago she would have never dreamed she would be attending a workshop about technology and entrepreneurship. Her father was a blue-collar worker, and she was the first in her family to go to college.
Whether you're selling car parts or developing a drug, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde said the business idea is way less important than how you implement it.
And Hyde should know.
The AutoZone Inc. founder started the auto parts giant with four stores, and it now has more than 4,800. Now, as board chairman of Memphis-based drug developer GTx Inc., Hyde is again overseeing the implementation of a plan to grow a company from scratch.
"When we started (AutoZone), it was all about developing a concept and then focusing every day -- even this day -- on improving the execution at the store level and sticking to the objective of serving your customers better," Hyde said.
Hyde was the keynote speaker at Friday's daylong "Invention to Venture" workshop at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The event was organized by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to help scientists and investors bridge the gap between the lab and the boardroom.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today nine Regional Entrepreneurial Accelerators will be established throughout the state to assist Tennessee entrepreneurs. The accelerators will provide mentoring, education and training, strategic and technical support, and assistance identifying sources of capital.
"The Regional Entrepreneurial Accelerators will be an incredible asset throughout Tennessee to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses with expert mentoring and support," Haslam said. "Startup companies have the potential to be a significant source of job creation, and we want to give local entrepreneurs their best chances for success as we work to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
"Despite the economic challenges our state and country continue to face, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Tennessee," Hagerty said. "The Regional Entrepreneurial Accelerators will help promising entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to propel their companies along the spectrum of business growth and job creation."
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF), the not-for-profit organization responsible for commercializing technology created by UT faculty, welcomes new leadership.
Dick Gourley, former dean of the College of Pharmacy at the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), is interim president of the foundation. Gourley stepped down earlier this month as dean, a position he held since 1989. He has served on the foundation’s board of directors and as head of the UTRF Health Science Center executive committee since 2009.
David Washburn, assistant technology transfer director at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will be vice president of the multi-disciplinary office based in Knoxville, which oversees technologies developed at the UT campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin; UT Institute of Agriculture; and UT Space Institute. Washburn has more than ten years of experience in transferring technologies from research laboratories to the market. He will take over his position November 2.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) is announcing a call for submissions for the fifth annual maturation funding program. Proposals are due by Nov. 18, 2011. The program helps UT researchers further develop technologies that have potential for commercial success. Up to $15,000 (direct costs) will be awarded to the highest ranking proposals.
The development of five new drugs to treat injuries associated with acute radiation syndrome will move forward under contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Acute radiation syndrome is caused by exposure to high doses of damaging (ionizing) radiation. ARS includes injuries to multiple organs, hemorrhaging, infection, and suppression of the immune system’s ability to fight organisms that cause infection.
Because no products are licensed to treat any aspect of acute radiation syndrome, BARDA is supporting the development of products to treat bone marrow, gastrointestinal, lung, and skin injury caused by radiation. BARDA expects to expand this list to include products to treat the thermal burns that might be caused by a nuclear detonation.
Today’s contracts total $56.3 million for development of products that potentially could treat bone marrow and gastrointestinal injuries from high levels of radiation, such as after denotation of an improvised nuclear device. Bone marrow and gastrointestinal injuries are expected to account for the majority of radiation-related deaths after a nuclear denotation.
An international collaboration between Vaxent, a Memphis-based early stage vaccine development company in the Memphis Bioworks Foundation Incubator, and The Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise Inc. (PREVENT), a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) in Saskatchewan, has put a vaccine for group A streptococcus (Strep-A) back on the path for potential commercialization. Under the terms of the agreement, PREVENT receives the exclusive worldwide license to progress vaccine candidates through developing vaccine formulations, manufacturing, completing preclinical studies and conducting clinical trials. Both parties will participate in the commercialization process under a cost-sharing and revenue-sharing arrangement.
Group A streptococcus is a significant cause of pharyngitis or "strep throat” in children, as well as other more serious diseases such as streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis (so-called "flesh-eating disease") and acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. There are 11 million physician office visits for sore throat or suspected strep throat in the U.S. each year, with 15 to 30 percent of those cases confirmed positive for group A streptococcus. The total cost (direct health care and indirect productivity loss) of these infections is estimated to be $2 billion annually in the U.S., alone.
Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) today announced it has committed nearly $1.6 million in new Solar Installation grants to Tennessee businesses. The grant recipients represent companies that were on a retention list from the first round of funding as well as second-round applicants of the highly popular program. A total of 17 projects, valued at more than $4.8 million, have been approved for new solar photovoltaic installations across the state.
When combined with previously announced Solar Installation Grants (announced September 24, 2010), a total of 144 installations, representing over 6.2 MW of new, clean energy production, will have benefitted from the program. Projects are located in 40 counties across the state, with a total economic impact of more than $35.9 million.
Tennessee businesses responded quickly to the second round of the Solar Installation Grant Program. A total of 60 applications, with proposed requests totalling over $5 million, were submitted in just three days following the August 15 opening.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture plans to show off its expertise in biofuels production and processing research at a new, two-day field day event geared for farmers, industry representatives, and the general public.
Day one, October 25, is organized as a traditional field day and will be held at Color Wheel Farm in Monroe County. Owners Brad and Kim Black, recipients of the 2010 Tennessee Farmer of the Year Award, are participants in the University’s switchgrass production program. They have agreed to open their beautiful East Tennessee farm and its 183 acres of established switchgrass to field day visitors. The second day of the event will be on the site of the new Tennessee Biomass Innovation Park operated by UT partner and field day co-sponsor Genera Energy, LLC.
The Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) today announced it will begin accepting requests for applications (RFA) for a second round of its Solar Installation Grant Program. This round of funding is made possible by the movement of unused Solar Innovation Grant funds into the Solar Installation Grant Program. A total of approximately $1.15 million in Solar Installation grants will be distributed to companies on a first come, first served basis.
Award recipients may receive up to $105,000 in reimbursement funds for a solar installation, with the award based on project size. As part of this round, eligible projects will be limited to a maximum of 60 kW. The program is open to profit and non-profit businesses in Tennessee.
The Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has released a new iPhone App to help smokers break the smoking habit permanently. The Quit Forever App, developed by UTHSC smoking-cessation experts, is a complete program based on years of research. The app offers easy step-by-step instructions and proven strategies that help smokers stop smoking and stay tobacco free for life. The app explains factors such as how to:
"The app is our way of translating what we know works to promote health into social media and technology trends of today," said Karen C. Johnson, MD, MPH, professor and interim chair of the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine. "We can reach a broad population using the app, and the easy-to-follow steps are time-savers for busy people who really want to permanently quit smoking."
UTRF presents a seminar on the recent Supreme Court decision in Stanfard v. Roche and its implications for the university.
The Tennessee Solar Institute is offering free one-day workshops on solar photovoltaic permitting and inspection training in Nashville on Aug. 11 and 12. These workshops will provide building officials, contractors and utility representatives with the basic background needed to properly inspect the PV system installations they will encounter. As demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) electrical systems has increased due to lower installation costs and incentives, this eight-hour workshop addresses a need for those responsible for code enforcement or who need to keep up with the latest code requirements.
The workshops will be led by Bill Brooks, who has trained more than 5,000 inspectors around the nation on proper plan-checking and field-inspection procedures. The Aug. 11 workshop is designed for contractors and utility representatives. The Aug. 12 workshop is targeted toward codes officials and building inspectors. At the conclusion of both workshops, participants will be issued CEU completion certificates.
The 2011 Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference will be held Aug. 9-10, 2011 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn. Included will be national-level keynote speakers, technology presentations, industry updates, Tennessee Valley region solar initiatives information, breakout discussions, vendor displays and networking opportunities within the solar field. Conference registration is free, but space is limited.
The Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference is a joint sponsorship venture between the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Solar Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
For more information or to register click here.
Monday, June 13, 2011 the Southern Growth Policies Board will honor Genera Energy with the 2011 Innovator Award presented by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in Roanoke. Genera, a Knoxville-based clean renewable energy company, is recognized as a company that has achieved success through the adoption of innovative manufacturing practices.
For the past three years, Genera has been working to build a biofuels industry in the state of Tennessee. Since its inception in 2008, Genera has built one of the world’s first demonstration-scale cellulosic biorefineries; partnered with local farmers to grow switchgrass (an energy crop) on more than 5,000 acres in East Tennessee; and is currently developing a Biomass Innovation Park for the processing and storage of biomass (switchgrass) for cellulosic ethanol production. Genera has partnered with DuPont for the operation of the demonstration-scale biorefinery.
DuPont today announced its sponsorship of a new BBC series Horizons. The television program will examine the future of business by looking at companies around the world that are making the greatest progress in their sectors and influencing the way people will live in the future. Horizons begins airing today around the globe on the BBC World News networks.
"Horizons will offer a glimpse of what the future holds for all of us, by looking at the businesses that are testing the boundaries of science and technology,” said BBC Global News Senior Commissioner Paul Gibbs. "It’s a global series, and we’ll be visiting companies across the world to uncover the ones with the most interesting, intriguing and advanced ideas and products.”
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is seeking qualifications and portfolios for an exhibit design/fabrication firm or team for the West Tennessee Solar Farm Welcome Center. The firm or team will design, fabricate and install interpretive educational exhibit(s) that will be located within the Welcome Center. The Welcome Center is planned to be built in Haywood County, Tennessee.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is issuing this Request for Qualifications at the request of the University of Tennessee. UT has a service contract with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and is responsible for development of the West Tennessee Solar Farm’s solar-education outreach, as well as the farm’s solar array. UT has subcontracted aspects of this development to the UT Research Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 organization.
Interested design firms or teams should meet the criteria described in the attached Request for Qualifications, and must provide the requested documentation by May 2, 2011.
Submitted qualifications will be evaluated, and a short list of qualified firms or teams will be identified. A Request for Proposals then will be issued to qualifying firms or teams, as described within the Request for Qualifications.
This online course will train and expose entrepreneurs, graduate students, researchers, and faculty members to the SBIR/STTR programs, which provide them the opportunity to get their research to the market place. These programs are designed for high risk research and real emphasis is placed on commercialization. The attendees will learn that each agency runs their programs in a slightly different manner and it is vital to understand what the customer, the federal agency, is seeking. Common errors and tips in writing a good proposal are covered. The expected outcome of this course is to give the researchers an advantage in knowing how the proposals are reviewed and what to include in a competitive proposal.
Edward Vincent Clancy, JD., D.Eng. MBA, Esq.
Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly University
Chief Technology Officer - ACTA Technology
Kris Johansen, PhD, MBA
SBIR/STTR Program Administrator
Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer
Iowa State University
Tennessee’s rapidly-growing solar industry received another boost today when the Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) announced $7.27 million in Solar Innovation Grant awards to companies across the volunteer state. Each of the 59 projects to 38 businesses representing each of Tennessee’s nine U.S. congressional districts will build on and enhance the already substantial steps taken to continue the strong growth of Tennessee’s solar value chain.
Creating jobs and facilitating Tennessee’s ever-expanding solar industry are the goals of the Solar Innovation Grant Program, says David Millhorn, executive vice president, University of Tennessee. "This announcement is another big win for Tennessee’s solar industry,” said Millhorn. "These grants give companies across the solar value chain the edge they need to be highly competitive and to continue Tennessee’s distinction as a clean energy leader.”
Three groups of University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers have been awarded a total of $150,000 in Technology Maturation Fund awards from the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. The awards support promising technologies in moving from the lab to the proof-of-concept or prototype stage to attract additional investor support or secure third-party licensing deals in the areas of the life sciences, engineering, materials sciences, computer sciences and other high-technology industries. The grants support technologies that have already received some funding, but need additional support to reach the commercialization stage.
University of Tennessee recipients include the following:
The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC), an organization whose mission is to increase the formation and expansion of science and technology businesses in Tennessee, is hosting the 2011 Tennessee NEXT Conference May 5 - 6 in Nashville (the conference was previously known as the Tennessee Innovation Conference and Venture Showcase).
On May 6 from 10:15 – 12:15, a showcase will feature 18 presentations of early stage innovations from Tennessee universities and non-profit research institutions to panels of venture capital investors, business executives and intellectual property experts. Researchers will have 10 minutes to present their technologies and commercialization plans, and panelists will provide feedback on the commercialization strategies, helping to illuminate pathways to investments that could be 18 to 36 months in the future.
UTRF is only allowed to submit a total of six (6) proposals from across all campuses and institutes so an internal competition will be held to select the technologies. To aid UTRF in its deliberations, please send us a ½ page abstract by midnight on Sunday, Sunday, March 27. Following are the guidelines for the content:
1. Technologies should be tied to an invention disclosure on file with UTRF.
2. Technologies must fall within one of the following categories:
a. Healthcare & Life Sciences
c. Alternative Energy & Sustainability
3. It should not exceed one-half (1/2) page in length.
4. It should not include confidential information.
5. There are no formatting requirements, but following is information that should be included:
a. Project title
b. Principal Investigator(s)
c. The technology category
d. A description of the problem that is being solved in the market. This should include a discussion on who is the customer, and what "pain” they are experiencing with current solutions.
e. A non-confidential description of your solution, keeping technical details to a minimum. This should be described in everyday language -- the panelists may or may not have in-depth technical knowledge.
f. A description of how your solution solves the problem better than existing solutions, again, written in everyday language.
The submission should be sent via email to email@example.com no later than midnight on Sunday, March 27, 2011.
Winners of the internal competition will be notified by close of business on Thursday, March 31, 2011. Guidelines for the conference presentations will be provided at that time. Hotel accommodations for Thursday night will be provided free of charge for the presenters, and presenters will not be charged for attending on May 6 (there will be a charge for attending on May 5). TTDC is currently investigating funding for potential reimbursement of travel expenses.
You can learn more about the conference at www.tntechnology.org/conference.
Genera Energy, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, will soon begin recruiting investment in the first of two or more venture-innovation funds targeting companies in bio-energy sectors.
An specimen offering document provided VNC by Genera makes clear the company aims to beat unnamed, but better capitalized competitors to market to deliver biofuels, biopower, bioproducts and services associated with an array of "biomass conversions, applications or processes."
Genera CEO Kelly Tiller, Ph.D., and CFO Barry Davis, who is also president and CEO of subsidiary and fund general partner Genera Capital, promptly confirmed details of the initiatives for VNC in a series of wide-ranging interviews and via documents and correspondence exchanged during the past month.
In Florida, Biofuels Digest announced that Ceres, SG Biofuels, and Genera Energy won Feedstock Development of the Year awards, among this year’s roster of Biofuels Digest Award winners.
Ceres is recognized as Feedstock research project of the year (new feedstock or traits) for its development of seawater-tolerant energy grasses.
SG Biofuels is recognized as Feedstock domestication project of the Year (new feedstock or traits) for its development of the JMax platform for jatropha.
Genera Energy is recognized as Feedstock grower development project of the year for its work in developing a switchgrass-grower network in Tennessee.
The Biofuels Digest awards, first established in 2008, recognize excellence in the research, development and commercialization of biofuels, renewable chemicals and bio-based products. The awards are voted by the Biofuels Digest editorial board, based on nominations submitted by the Digest’s readership.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has selected nine researchers or research teams to receive technology development grants for 2011. Grant funds will allow researchers to further develop or "mature" their technologies so that they are better positioned for licensing and commercialization.
Researchers were invited to propose work on inventions and discoveries that had been previously disclosed to UTRF or to propose work on new inventions and discoveries. A total of 41 proposals were submitted from the four campuses and three institutes that make up the University of Tennessee. UTRF funded eight proposals for a total of $117,750. Funding for one additional program for $15,000 was provided by AgResearch at the UT Institute for Agriculture.
UTRF used a panel of subject matter and technology commercialization experts from across the state to evaluate both the technology and the development plan proposed by each researcher. UTRF also solicited advice from Technology 2020 and Innova Memphis, economic development organizations engaged by UTRF to assist with technology commercialization.
KNOXVILLE - Two University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students are the winners of $25,000 and on their way to launching the nation's next big business.
mtvU revealed today that Kaliv Parker, a business major, and Aeron Glover, an engineering major, won the 2010 Movers & Changers competition, a national business pitch competition sponsored by mtvU and the New York Stock Exchange. The revelation was made in today's airing of the final episode documenting Movers & Changers.
"We have been looking forward to the mtvU competition, so we are pretty excited about winning. We expected it and we are excited to move forward from here," Glover said.
All episodes of the competition can be viewed online
A technology based on an invention developed at the University of Tennessee was selected by the 2010 Better World Report as one of the top examples from across the globe of the positive impact of academic innovations on quality of life. UT was one of 14 academic institutions selected from a field of more than 100 submissions.
The featured technology is a plasma that can be created from ordinary air at standard pressure and ambient temperatures and can be used to purify air, sterilize equipment and even textiles. Compared to prior plasmas used for sterilization, it is much more versatile because it does not require expensive specialty gasses or the use of extreme heat, and it does not have to occur in a vacuum.
Advanced Plasma Products (APP), a startup company headquartered in Knoxville, licensed the patented technology from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and has produced its first product, the TriClean Pro.
As part of Governor Phil Bredesen's Volunteer State Solar Initiative, the Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) today announced a commitment of over seven million dollars in Solar Innovation Grants to fund 37 projects throughout the state to spur growth in the state's emerging solar value chain. A total of 21 Tennessee businesses, representing eight of the nine U.S. congressional districts in the state, were awarded grants.
"The grants awarded to businesses across the state represent a wide range of proposed activities, from process improvements to workforce development," said David Millhorn, executive vice president, University of Tennessee. "But the one thing they have in common is that they will help these solar firms be more productive, less energy intensive and more efficient in their processes. Today's announcement is another important step in the establishment of Tennessee as a leader in solar."
All told, the grant funding will leverage more than $13 million in private investments, with a total cumulative benefit to the state's economy in excess of $20 million. Companies receiving grant awards represent a cross-section of large and small businesses in Tennessee's growing solar industry. Grant funds will be used to increase energy efficiency and incorporate renewable energy products in the workplace, while decreasing operating costs and increasing profitability. The end result will be the creation of new Tennessee jobs and increased competitiveness across the solar value chain.
Biofuels Digest named Genera Energy one of the Hottest Companies in Bioernergy. Genera Energy received enough votes to finish 88th on the list of the top 100 companies.
Dick Gourley wanted a "Gatorade" on Tuesday and implored a room full of University of Tennessee Health Science Center researchers to find one.
The College of Pharmacy dean was not thirsty, instead he hoped one of the researchers' inventions would be as successful as the sports drink invented by University of Florida researchers in 1965.
Gourley addressed the crowd gathered Tuesday for the University of Tennessee Research Foundation's Innovation Awards. The event recognized university researchers who have started companies based on their inventions, been given patents on them, won research awards or licensed their ideas to companies.
Gourley called these activities "absolutely essential" for the Memphis medical school.
"Looking at it from a College of Pharmacy standpoint, that's where our future budget comes from," Gourley said. "It's definitely not the state of Tennessee. I think that's true across the campus."
Two UT student start-up companies are one step closer to success after taking prizes at the Vol Court Pitch Competition Tuesday. Aeron Glover and Kaliv Parker with howstheliving.com came in first and Jake Baron took second with Turtlebak.
Howstheliving.com allows students to provide first-hand feedback on host families, residence halls, and apartments. The website is free for basic users, and students who register for a premium account have the ability to contact other students who have commented on residences or host families.
Turtlebak is a company producing a unique single-strap backpack that distributes weight higher and more evenly than traditional backpacks, creating a more comfortable fit. The backpack is constructed from Neoprene fabric that is durable, waterproof and stretchable, making it ideal for both academic and recreational use.
"Vol Court is a great way for students and faculty to learn about what it takes to start a business," said Joy Fisher, Director of Marketing and Business Development at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). "People who want to create a new company can both learn from experienced entrepreneurs and network with other people who can help them advance their ideas."
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is pleased to announce its membership in Eli Lilly's Phenotypic Drug Discovery Program ("PD2 program"). Through this program, Lilly will evaluate new compounds developed at UTHSC for novelty as well as potential candidates for new drugs to bring to market.
As a member of this program, all UTHSC researchers are invited to submit information about the molecular structures of compounds for the purpose of performing cheminformatics screening using automated computer-based methods. The target compounds for screening include small chemical molecules, natural products and natural product derivatives, excluding proteins, peptides, antisense oligonucleotides and RNAis. The current therapeutic areas of interest include oncology, neurological disorders, and metabolic diseases.
After the initial screening, Lilly may request the investigator to submit a physical sample of the compound for testing in the phenotypic cell-based assays. Lilly will provide a full report of the data generated from the assay. If the results are promising, Lilly will determine whether to proceed with initial discussions on a possible collaboration or license agreement.
Investigators will be able to submit information about the compounds via a confidential and secure web- based interface. Lilly will not have access to the compound's structure. Only in the event of a collaboration or license agreement would Lilly have access to the structural information about a particular compound.
For more information about gaining access to this program, please contact Lakita Cavin at (901) 448- 7825, Lcavin@uthsc.edu or Debbie Smith at (901) 448- 4823, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the PD2 site at www.pd2.lilly.com for more information about the program.