Seven new research fellows joining ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program cohort three

(Originally published on Innovation Crossroads)

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

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) joined Innovation Crossroads as a program sponsor enabling a record number of innovators focused on energy-related and grid topics. Innovation Crossroads is also sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have the opportunity to advance their technologies by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL, such as Summit, 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.

The third cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include (video):

  • Jesse Thornburg: Learning-Based Monitoring and Control for Optimizing Commercial Refrigeration Operations
  • Alex Lewis: Microbial Electrolysis for Production of Renewable Hydrogen from Organic Waste
  • Leila Safavi-Tehrani: Advanced Production of High Purity Radioisotopes for Nuclear Medicine
  • Hicham Ghossein: Innovative Processing of Advanced Fiber Nonwoven Mats Through a Hydroentanglement System
  • Trevor McQueen: Next-Generation Sample Preparation Device for Cryo-TEM Studies
  • William Fitzhugh: Industrial Scale Production of Semiconducting Carbon-Nanotubes via Resonant-Dielectrophoresis
  • Jesse Claypoole: Advanced Multi-Spectral Light Field Imaging Sensors

Read more here.

Innovation Crossroads cohort one is winding down. Here are updates on their progress.

As Oak Ridge National Laboratory finalizes selections for the third cohort in its “Innovation Crossroads” program that accelerates new energy start-ups, Teknovation.biz wanted to provide an update on the three members of the inaugural cohort. They arrived here in May 2017 and will complete their two-year Fellowships soon. Here are updates from SkyNano’s Anna Douglas:

  • When you were selected for the inaugural cohort of ORNL’s “Innovation Crossroads” program, how would you describe the state of your technology and where you were in standing-up a start-up?At the time we were selected, we had just filed the legal framework for setting-up a start-up and were still working through a lot of the market analysis. We had demonstrated initial proof of concept at Vanderbilt for the use of the technology to produce carbon nanotubes ~ 23 nm in diameter.

 

  • Now, more than three-fourths of the way through the two-year experience, how would you answer the question?We learned a LOT through customer discovery during the first six months of the program, which led to a pivot from our initial technical focus, and are now fully committed to scaling the technology in the next 12 months and getting samples out into the marketplace. At this point, we have doubled our team with the addition of two full-time team members who have been instrumental in the technical progress we’ve made towards scaling our electrochemical growth process.

Read more at Teknovation.biz. Here are updates from Active Energy Systems and Yellowstone Energy.

Don’t miss TAEBC’s Opportunities in Energy event!

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council invites you to its year-end, annual event “Opportunities in Energy”

Relevant topics to today’s ever-changing energy economy and how Tennessee is becoming a leader in the advanced energy sector fill the agenda including:

Featured Panel: A look inside TVA’s partnership with Innovation Crossroads, Cohort 3 For the first time, TVA is providing funding to support the next cohort of energy entrepreneurs for ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads. How will this partnership shape Cohort 3?

  • Amy Henry, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Relations and Strategic Partnership, TVA
  • Tom Rogers, Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Sam Shaner, Yellowstone Energy
  • Mitchell Ishmael, Active Energy Systems
  • Moderated by: Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA & Editor, Teknovation.biz

EMN Spotlight: Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc. Hear this EMN company’s power pitch on next generation heating technologies, and learn more about their experience in the Energy Mentor Network.

  • Michael Garrabrant, CEO, Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc
  • Gary Rawlings, Technology Consultant, Oak Ridge National Lab
  • Steve Seifried, Account Executive for the Tennessee Region, Ameresco
  • Ira Weiss, Principal, Weiss Associates & Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Energy Mentor Network

Protecting our Power
As cybersecurity becomes a growing priority across the country, how is TVA protecting the grid?

  • Andrea Brackett, Director of Cybersecurity, Tennessee Valley Authority

TennSMART: Shaping the Future of Intelligent Mobility
Hear about TennSmart’s progress in accelerating the development and deployment of new intelligent mobility innovations in Tennessee.

  • Brad Rutherford, Vice President of Sales, Local Motors
  • Bob Booker, Senior Manager, Corporate Services Divison, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.
  • Ron Espinosa, Regional Director Mid-Atlantic, SoftServe Inc
  • Moderated by: Jesse Smith, Manager of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

TN Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, 2018 Findings
The numbers are in and Tennessee’s advanced energy sector is continuing to thrive! This panel will discuss TAEBC’s latest economic impact report and what this means for the state.

  • Stacey Patterson, Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development at the University of Tennessee
  • Denise Ganus, Future Offer Manager, Schneider Electric
  • Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President Wacker Polysilicon Division NCA, Site Manager Charleston at Wacker Polysilicon
  • Moderated by: Matt Murray, Director, Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Energy Mentor Network Showcase
Meet some of our Energy Mentor Network companies as they present their entrepreneurial solutions for our nation’s energy challenges!

  • Shane McMahon, Lux Semiconductors
  • Justin Nussbaum, Ascend Manufacturing
  • Megan O’Connor, Nth Cycle
  • Moderated by: Anna Douglas, SkyNano

TCPoly developing thermally-conducted materials to improve heat dissipation

(NOTE: This is the final article in a five-part series spotlighting the work of the second cohort of start-ups comprising Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” initiative. They arrived in the area in May to begin their two-year effort to further advance their early stage energy-focuses companies.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

“We decided we wanted to pursue a company and make something real out of our research,” Matt Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TCPoly Inc., told us.

The other part of the “we” equation is Co-Founder Thomas Bougher, a fellow classmate in the doctoral program at Georgia Institute of Technology. “We were doing our doctorates together and shared a small closet office with no windows for four years,” Smith said.

In October 2016, they launched TCPoly to develop a new class of high thermal conductivity plastic composite materials designed to improve heat dissipation, allowing for metal replacement and light-weighting, cost and component reductions, and improved performance and reliability. The materials also exhibit the unique ability to be 3D-printed, allowing thermal engineers to rapidly and inexpensively prototype multi-functional thermal solutions and enabling the design of heat transfer products that cannot be manufactured using traditional methods.

Today, Smith is participating in the second cohort of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) “Innovation Crossroads” initiative, while Bougher remains at the start-up’s home office in Atlanta. Both are engaged full-time in the new venture.

“We have complementary skills,” Smith says. His doctorate is in materials science and engineering, while Bougher’s is in mechanical engineering. They started the company with six 3D printers and a couple of polymer extruders housed in, you guessed it, Bougher’s garage.

Read more here.

Eonix Energy focused on significantly lowering cost, size of ultra-capacitor modules

(NOTE: This is the fourth article in a five-part series spotlighting the work of the second cohort of start-ups comprising Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s “Innovation Crossroads” initiative. They arrived in the area in May to begin their two-year effort to further advance their early stage energy-focuses companies.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

“What good is an energy storage device that doesn’t store a lot of energy?”

Don DeRosa, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Eonix Energy, has a plan to solve that challenge with a new high voltage electrolyte that will significantly lower the cost and size of ultra-capacitor modules. The resulting lower cost and smaller ultra-capacitor modules can be used in tandem with lithium ion batteries to dramatically improve the efficiency, range, and longevity of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The State of New York native, part of the second cohort of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) “Innovation Crossroads,” learned about the program through word of mouth, something that says a lot about the initiative’s growing national reputation.

“Shane (McMahon) told me about it, and he learned about the program from Mitch (Ishmael),” DeRosa said. Ishmael was in the inaugural cohort selected in 2017, while McMahon is part of the second group that started in May 2018.

“When I first found out about the program, I could not believe it,” DeRosa said, noting that it could significantly help him reach his goal of having a minimum viable product to scale by the time the two-year effort ends.

Read more here.