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2015 “Spark!” features both ORNL and UT technologies

Spark-teknoThe Spark! Technology Forum, an annual event to showcase promising but early stage technologies, has been expanded this year to include inventions from both Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Tennessee (UT).

The event, which has been hosted in the past on the ORNL campus, will now be held the afternoon of March 25 in the Atrium of Tech 2020, 1020 Commerce Park Drive, Oak Ridge.

“The goal is to provide regional entrepreneurs and business leaders an early look at technologies coming out of ORNL and UT,” Mike Paulus, ORNL’s Director of Technology Transfer, said.

Eleven technologies from the two institutions have been selected. They represent four distinct areas – biotechnology, computation and cyber security, materials and materials processing, and sensor and detector systems. To review the full list, click here (SPARK Flyer 2015).

The session is not just a one-way discussion. Attendees will be able to ask questions after each technology presentation as well as provide their overall assessment.

“At the end of the 11 presentations, we will ask the participants for feedback on the market potential for these technologies and on the strategies to find commercial partners,” Paulus said. “Hopefully, some of the technologies will be a fit for members of the audience.”

While this is UT’s first time to showcase some of its technologies, the university’s participation is a natural. The two organizations have collaborated for decades, but the cooperation has continued to grow since 2000 when UT joined with Battelle Memorial Institute to successfully win the contract to manage ORNL.

Today, the two have nationally-recognized research programs like the Joint Institutes in Advanced Materials, Biological Sciences, Computational Sciences, and Neutron Sciences. And, they jointly support and share 15 Governor’s Chairs – distinguished researchers in their fields.

“UT and ORNL are technology leaders in the state,” said Stacey Patterson, Associate Vice President for Research and Vice President of the UT Research Foundation. The latter is responsible for licensing UT inventions.

“By showcasing our technologies in a single forum with ORNL, we hope to increase awareness of these early stage inventions and the commercial opportunities that exist for business owners and entrepreneurs.”

There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. To do so, click here.


Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

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