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November 15, 2016 | Tom Ballard

PART 2: Morris reviews three more available technologies at Y-12

B and W Y-12-tekno(EDITOR’S NOTE: John Morris, a long-time player in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge entrepreneurial ecosystem, has been assisting Consolidated Nuclear Services, managing contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex, make prospective licensees around the Southeast aware of the organization’s available technologies. This is the second article in a five-part series examining those technologies. The remaining articles in the series will appear each week until completed.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The next three technologies from the Y-12 National Security Complex that John Morris has presented cover security and emergency management.

Emergency Management Information System

The long-time player in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge technology space characterizes emergency management as “chaos management,” referring to the frenetic environment when an event occurs. Information is flowing from a number of sources – multiple agencies that could very well be on different communication systems and today’s ever-increasing primary information sharing medium: social networking sites. Filtering through and making sense out of the relevant data on a timely basis is critical.

That’s the value of the Y-12 solution.

“It is a TCP/IP-based system that pulls data from the Internet, radio frequency (RF) sources, social media and others,” Morris explains. “The differentiating advantage is that it uses social media to glean usable information.”

He says the ideal licensing candidate is a company interested in commercializing the product as a software as a service (SaaS) model.

“Anybody who has to do emergency management would be a great market,” Morris says. Ideal customers include hospitals, 911 centers, state agencies and Emergency Operations Centers.

Safety Square

As noted above, RF technology can be widely used by emergency management personnel, and Y-12 has developed what it describes as a “Personal Annunciation Device” for its own purposes. It is an RF-based communications tool that can penetrate areas where cell phones cannot.

Why is that important?

“People have to act quickly in an emergency situation, and cell phones are frequently on vibrate,” Morris says. There’s also the matter of areas in secure environments where cell signals are non-existent.

The Safety Square device, as it is called, has four key benefits: (1) reliability in areas where cell phones are not; (2) immediacy, alarming within five seconds of an emergency; (3) versatility in the sense that it can be adapted to multiple emergency scenarios; and (4) efficient because of its extended battery life.

Like a technology described in a previous article in this series, it is rated as TRL9 which means it is ready for commercialization because it has been used at Y-12.

Delayed Latching Mechanism

Another security technology from Y-12 is a unique approach to keeping people in an area rather than allowing them to leave. Morris says it’s an application for “delayed egress doors” but with a twist: it is a pneumatic device, not electrical as is usually the case. That means that individuals seeking to leave an area have to pump a device built into the door, not simply push the door open.

“This could be a great application for hospitals and senior living facilities,” he says. “It is a simple mechanical device that can be calibrated as to the number of times it is pumped.” The number can vary from 15 to 30 times.

Morris sees the opportunity as building and selling the locks and says there is little competition in the pneumatic space.

Individuals interested in learning more about these technologies should contact

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