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.”

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