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October 07, 2020 | Tom Ballard

“Spark Innovation Center” lands one of inaugural DOE EPIC awards

The recently announced “Spark Innovation Center” at the University of Tennessee Research Park (UTRP) is one of 20 initiatives around the country to receive $50,000 awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Announced yesterday, the awards are part of the “Energy Program for Innovation Clusters” (EPIC) program that is designed to recognize the most innovative and impactful incubators focused on developing strong regional innovation clusters for energy-related technology and entrepreneurship.

“We’re obviously excited to be recognized by DOE as one of the most innovative and impactful energy incubators in the nation,” said Tom Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee Farm Development Corporation. “I really think one of our differentiating features was the number of founding partners in the region who have come together to support Spark…this was truly a team win.”

UTRP was one of only two recipients in the Southeast; the other was the Mississippi Development Authority.

“EPIC represents OTT’s (DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions) first public funding opportunity designed to build local support for innovation and energize new conversations around promising energy technologies,” said Chief Commercialization Officer and OTT Director Conner Prochaska. “By supporting the greatest possible return on our R&D investment, we are driving outcomes that enhance our competitiveness and national security. We are delighted to highlight some of the impactful work happening in communities across the country.”

There’s another $4 million that will be up for grabs later this year.

Click here to read yesterday’s news release from DOE.

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