Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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Teknovation News and Notes
April 09, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | Strategic awards and partnerships top the list

Also upcoming are The Biz Foundry's Made Here Market, "Demo Day" for the teams participating in BioTN's "Scipreneur Challenge" and TennSMART's "Smart Mobility Challenge," and the final showcase of Vanderbilt University's "Climate Innovation Accelerator."

From Knoxville:

  • Safire Technology Group Inc. has been selected by AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory, for a $1.25 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award. The funding will allow Safire to focus on adapting the company’s innovative Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, SAFe Impact Resistant Electrolyte (SAFIRETM), to enhance the safety and performance of tactical electric dirt bikes and multi-functional body armor for the U.S. Air Force. Safire’s proprietary drop-in additive for Li-ion batteries prevents fire and explosion through an instantaneous liquid-to-solid transformation upon kinetic impacts, such as an electric dirt bike crash or ballistic event.
  • Lirio LLC recently announced a new strategic partnership with Cone Health, a not-for-profit network of healthcare providers based in Greensboro, NC. As part of the wide-ranging agreement, Cone Health will launch existing Lirio® Precision NudgingTM interventions across the system’s patient population and collaborate with Lirio’s scientists to co-create new behavior change interventions that improve the quality of care for patients with chronic diseases. Through Cone Health Ventures, the companies will partner to extend Lirio’s reach to other health systems and digital health companies.

From Cookeville:

The Biz Foundry’s Made Here Market is just a few weeks away with more than 70 makers, artists, musicians, and food vendors scheduled to participate. The annual event is a celebration of the Upper Cumberland’s creative and innovative spirit. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT on April 29 at 114 North Cedar Avenue. Click here to preview the makers participating.

From Nashville but with Statewide Implications:

The combined “Demo Day” for the teams participating in BioTN‘s “Scipreneur Challenge” and TennSMART’s “Smart Mobility Challenge” is coming up later this month.

As previously noted, the April 27 event will offer both an in-person option at the Music City offices of Baker Donelson, 1600 West End Avenue, and a virtual opportunity. Both will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. CDT. Four teams of students and entrepreneurs will pitch their mock businesses to a panel of expert investors. The plans were based on intellectual property provided by Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Vanderbilt University.

To register, click here.

From Nashville:

  • The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is helping sponsor “HBCU Engage 2023: Partnerships to Expand Research Capabilities” set for April 18 and 19 in Music City. This University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) event convenes leaders from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), business organizations, nonprofits, government agencies, and others to help enhance STEM programming and research opportunities at HBCUs. The ARC sponsorship covers event registration and travel costs for faculty and other leaders from the 15 HBCUs located in the Appalachian Region. Those who are interested in taking advantage of the ARC funding should email
  • The final showcase of Vanderbilt University’s “Climate Innovation Accelerator” is set for 4 to 6 p.m. CDT April 20 on the third floor of The Wond’ry. Student teams that were paired for the past 10 weeks with local small businesses will present their research and ideas to advance the City of Nashville’s leadership initiatives toward a climate positive future.

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