Energy Mentor Network team meets Innovation Crossroads Second Cohort

The Energy Mentor Network’s mentors had an opportunity to meet the Innovations Crossroads newly inducted second cohort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and hear more about their exciting technologies and innovations.

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have access to world-class science expertise and capabilities at ORNL, including Titan, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials.

The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market, including the Energy Mentor Network which provides non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators.

The Energy Mentor Network’s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and industry specific expertise.

The second cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include:

Donald DeRosa: High Voltage Electrolytes for Ultracapacitors

DeRosa is developing a high voltage electrolyte to significantly lower the cost and size of ultracapacitor modules. The resulting lower cost, smaller modules can be used in tandem with lithium ion batteries to dramatically improve the efficiency, range, and longevity of hybrid and electric vehicles. DeRosa is a doctoral candidate in nanoscience at the State University of New York at Albany and chief technology officer of Eonix.

Shane McMahon: Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Highly Crystalline Thin-Film Semiconductor Substrates

McMahon is developing a novel thin-film semiconductor recrystallization process that grows highly crystalline silicon and germanium thin-films as precursor substrates for flexible electronic devices. These flexible, large-area substrates will serve as a platform technology for thin-film transistors, sensors, displays, lighting, and photovoltaics. McMahon is a doctoral candidate in nanoengineering at the State University of New York at Albany and is founder and chief executive officer of Lux Semiconductors.

Justin Nussbaum: Large Area Projection Sintering

Nussbaum is developing a manufacturing grade, additive manufacturing (AM) system, called Large Area Projection Sintering (LAPS), that offers many advantages over new and traditional AM technologies. With LAPS, components can be economically created with increased production rates, reduced peak processing temperatures and extended exposure times, enabling processing of a broader range of materials while also providing superior mechanical properties. Nussbaum is a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of South Florida.

Megan O’Connor: Electrochemical Recovery of Rare Earth and Specialty Elements

O’Connor is developing a recycling technology that utilizes carbon nanotube membranes for enhanced separation and recovery of solid rare earth and specialty elements (RESE) oxides.  This technology will provide a high-throughput electrochemical recovery device for recycling RESE as an alternative to the conventional energy-intensive extraction and refining processes currently used to obtain these metals for manufacturing. O’Connor holds a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and is co-founder and chief technology officer of Nth Cycle.

Matthew Smith: Thermally Conductive 3D Printing Filaments

Smith’s new class of high thermal conductivity plastic composite material aims to improve heat dissipation, allowing for metal replacement and light-weighting, cost and component reductions, and improved performance and reliability. These materials also exhibit the unique ability to be 3D printed, allowing thermal engineers to rapidly and cheaply prototype multi-functional thermal solutions and enabling the design of heat transfer products that cannot be manufactured using traditional methods. Smith holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is co-founder and chief technology officer of TCPoly.

Introduction to Innovation Crossroads Innovators, Cohort Two

Save the Date

Introducing the Innovation Crossroads Innovator, Cohort Two

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

10:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Innovation Crossroads Building

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council invites you to meet Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Innovation Crossroads innovators as we introduce them to the Energy Mentor Network and our mentors.

Lunch will be served.

ORNL welcomes new entrepreneurial research fellows to Innovation Crossroads

Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed a second group of technology innovators to join Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have access to world-class science expertise and capabilities at ORNL, including Titan, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials. The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market.

Read more at ORNL.gov

Passage of FY 2018 Omnibus Bill means more funding for DOE, ORNL programs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) celebrated the conclusion of the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) appropriations process. The Omnibus bill, signed by President Trump, includes $34.5 billion in funding for the DOE.

Some highlights from the package include:

  • $6.3 billion for Science research programs
  • $2.3 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
  • $353 million for The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)

The DOE budget provides funding for critical priorities, including over $500 million to advance exascale computing and over $100 million for cybersecurity to protect electric grid and energy infrastructure.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the new spending deal provides a record 16 percent increase in funding for the Office of Science, which will support the work happening at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The passage of the spending bill also signifies a 15 percent increase to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s budget. At ORNL, vehicle technology research, building technologies, advanced manufacturing, weatherization and biomass fuel research all fall under EERE.

ARPA-E, a high-risk, high-reward, government research incubator, the budget deal boosts it by $47 million. ORNL participates in 11 ARPA-E projects, five of which it is the leader on.

It should be noted the bill also includes $50 million more than last year for advanced manufacturing. $20 million of that will fund ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and $14 million will fund ORNL and the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

Click here for the full story from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

TAEBC’s “Opportunities in Energy” forum focused on entrepreneurship and innovation

NOTE: Originally published on Teknovation.biz

By: Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Nearly 80 people registered for the “Opportunities in Energy” forum organized by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC).

Held at The Square Room in Downtown Knoxville, the theme of this year’s annual event was entrepreneurship and innovation. The nearly three-hour program featured a fireside chat with two leaders in the region that I had the privilege of moderating as well as pitches from three start-ups in the Energy Mentor Network coordinated by TAEBC and funded by Launch Tennessee.

Beverly Davenport, the new Chancellor of the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus, and Craig Blue, Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), comprised the fireside panel that I facilitated. The focus was on the foundations their institutions have established, the plans they have for the future to help Tennessee build on its national reputation for excellence in the advanced energy sector, and how their innovation efforts can help create new businesses and expand existing ones.

Read the full story here.