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March 13, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Public invited to next month’s “Fly for Researchers Pitch Competition”

This event is focused on ideas developed by faculty, staff, and graduate students from UT at Chattanooga.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is inviting the public to attend the 2nd annual “Fly for Researchers Pitch Competition” that begins at 3:30 p.m. April 19 in the Center’s second-floor offices in the Mapp Building, 410 East 8th Street.

The competition for UTC faculty and graduate student innovators spotlights ideas that have the potential to be commercialized or licensed. A total of $35,000 in internal grants will be awarded – $20,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place, and $5,000 for 3rd place – and awardees will be able to use the money to accelerate the success of their ideas, innovations, and commercialization objectives.

“UTC research plays a significant role in the community,” said Joanne Romagni, UTC Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. “Our faculty are internationally recognized for their work to help Chattanooga establish itself as a smart city, performing cutting-edge research in engineering and computer science and building upon our region’s technical capabilities – including gig-speed networks and quantum-computing infrastructure. UTC researchers are working on innovations such as new antibiotics, medical devices, and tools for mitigating the effects of radiation on hardware. While some of these might be less visible to the community, they are equally important to the growing portfolio of commercialization innovation that we are building at UTC.”

Faculty, staff, and graduate students from all UTC colleges were invited to apply and pitch their ideas. Applications are in the process of being reviewed and evaluated based on commercial applicability, the readiness of an idea or technology, and the information provided in the application. Finalists will be notified on or before March 20.

At the April 19 event, the previously selected finalists will give five-minute presentations followed by up to eight minutes of Q&A from the judges who are local business executives and entrepreneurs.

“By inviting the community to our campus,” Romagni said, “Fly for Researchers provides an opportunity for business and organization leaders, professionals, startup founders, and community partners to learn more about the innovative work to provide solutions to important problems that UTC faculty, staff, and graduate students are engaged in.”

To register, click here.

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