By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, and President of the Board of Directors, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council
The name of our organization – Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council – is a mouthful, and our acronym – TAEBC – does not roll off the tongue easily.
Nevertheless, no one would question the important role that this new, statewide not-for-profit organization plays in advancing the interests of a burgeoning and important contributor to the Volunteer State’s economy.
From Renewable Algal Energy in Johnson City to the Memphis Bioworks Foundation about 550 miles to the west, Tennessee is home to a vast array of established commercial entities, research organizations, and start-ups focused on technologies that contribute to our nation’s energy independence.
TAEBC takes a broad definitional view of the term “advanced energy.” As such, we are pleased to include as members and partners global players like Alstom (nuclear energy) and Schneider Electric (energy management), technology start-ups like Silicon Ranch Corporation (solar) and Top Five Corporation (composites), top research organizations like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and energy consulting firms like Strata-G.
As Tennessee’s only organization focused solely on companies in the advanced energy space, TAEBC has established a strong track record in its formative two years.
- We worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Pathway Lending to produce Tennessee’s Advanced Energy Asset Inventory, the first document of its kind dedicated to promoting the use of advanced energy technologies and assisting the development of Tennessee businesses in the emerging advanced energy sector.
- We held three listening sessions – one each in Chattanooga, Knoxville and LaVergne – that drew more than 150 participants. During two of these sessions, we facilitated vibrant feedback sessions with top administrators from the U.S. Department of Energy.
- We have partnered with the Energy Foundation to capitalize on that organization’s strong network and draw on its history of “best practices.”
In the months ahead, we will be hosting additional listening sessions, including West Tennessee, as we focus on understanding how to best serve this important industry sector.
You don’t have to be directly in advanced energy to be a member of TAEBC; certainly my employer is not. PYA does believe that technology advancements are critical to our state’s economy. If you share similar views, I invite you to join our organization and become an advanced energy evangelist. It’s as simple as clicking here.
Pershing Yoakley & Associates is the nation’s 10th largest privately held healthcare consulting company. Headquartered in Knoxville, PYA also has offices in Atlanta, Kansas City, Nashville, and Tampa. Tom Ballard is Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives for PYA and also Chief Operating Officer of PYA Analytics, LLC. The author has retired twice – from the University of Tennessee as Vice President for Public and Governmental Relations and from Oak Ridge National Laboratory as Director of Partnerships.