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November 20, 2017 | Tom Ballard

ORNL, Tru-Design and Techmer PM winners of “R&D 100 Awards”

R&D 100By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

It was another good outing for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and a couple of local companies at the 55th annual R&D 100 Conference, sponsored by R&D Magazine. It also underscores the impact that collaboration between local companies and ORNL can have.

Billed as the “Oscars of Invention,” the “R&D 100 Awards” annually honor 100 innovative breakthroughs in materials science, biomedicine, consumer products and more from academia, industry and government-sponsored research agencies. It’s a competition in which the lab excels. With this year’s nine honors, ORNL has now recorded 210 of the awards since their inception in 1963.

This year, however, two local companies – Tru-Design LLC and Techmer PM LLC – were part of three of the awards that included ORNL. They were:

  • “Techmer Engineered Additive Manufacturing Materials” was the winner submitted by Techmer PM of Clinton. The technology was co-developed with ORNL and BASF.
  • “Coating Solutions for Large-Format Additive Manufacturing” was the winner submitted by Tru-Design. Co-developers were ORNL and Polynt Composites.
  • “Additively Printed High Performance Magnets”were developed by a team of researchers from ORNL and co-developed by Tru-Design, Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute, Magnet Applications Incorporated, and Momentum Technologies.

In addition to ORNL and the two local companies, Vanderbilt University also was a winner for a technology developed with CN Bio Innovations, and Battelle Memorial Institute, one-half of the partnership that manages ORNL, was recognized for two technologies.

“This class of products and technologies will undoubtedly make a huge impact on the health, safety and welfare of society on a global scale, and we congratulate them on their achievements,” Bea Riemschneider, Editorial Director of R&D Magazine, said in a release posted over the weekend.

The winners were honored Friday night during a black-tie awards ceremony held at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort in Orlando. An independent panel of more than 50 judges representing R&D leaders in a variety of fields selected the winners across five major categories – Analytical/Test, IT/Electrical, Mechanical/Materials, Process/Prototyping, and Software/Services.

Having attended several of these annual events during my tenure at ORNL, I can assure you R&D Magazine ensures that the evening will be a memorable one for the honorees. And, yes, the production itself truly rivals the Oscar ceremonies.

For Rick Spears, Tru-Design’s Founder, Friday night was a special moment. He’s one of the local business pioneers in carbon fiber and composites work as we described in this article from a little over three years ago.

“The Tru-Design team definitely feels honored to have won these prestigious awards,” Spears told us late Sunday in an email exchange. “It is great to have the Tru-Design team be recognized for all the work they have done.”

Tru-Design announced its partnership with Polynt Composites about a year ago as we noted in this post.

John Manuck founded Techmer PM in 1981 and has evolved it into “a material design company that works in polymers,” as he described to us in the first article in a three-part series that we posted on earlier this year. You can find Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

To see the nine technologies involving ORNL, click here. To see a full list of the 100 winning technologies, click here.

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