EMN company Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. awarded DOE BENEFIT funding award

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) announced it is investing up to $15.8 million in 13 projects, including EMN Company Stone Mountain Technologies Inc.’s HVAC&R project, that will drive innovation in early-stage research and development for advanced building technologies.

These innovations will serve as a foundation for future technological developments and reductions in building energy consumption. DOE has said the outcomes and advancements of the selected technologies will ultimately result in improving the efficiency of our nation’s buildings and will help Americans save energy.

The Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT FOA) awards this year span the building technology innovation spectrum, from novel materials exploration that will lead to more efficient insulation and windows, to exploration and validation of both electric- and fuel-driven hybrid vapor compression technologies for more efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), as well as advanced control algorithms, modeling, and analytics for reducing the power consumption of miscellaneous electric loads (MELs).

Stone Mountain Technologies Inc. will validate and analyze a gas-fired absorption heat pump that uses an ammonia-water absorption cycle.

SMTI is a leading developer of cost effective, next generation heating technologies using sorption heat pump cycles. The company’s “thermal compressor” products enable a major leap forward in the way homes, businesses, and water are heated, reducing energy costs, improving comfort, and lowering CO2 emissions.

TAEBC is currently accepting applications from Tennessee advanced energy companies to apply for the Energy Mentor Network program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Startups” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.

Pre-applications open for second cohort of Innovation Crossroads program

Energy entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to pre-apply to participate in the second Innovation Crossroads cohort.

The program at Oak Ridge National Lab, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, is providing a runway for innovators who will disrupt the energy economy.

Innovation Crossroads matches aspiring early stage energy researchers with the experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take their world-changing ideas from R&D to commercial applications.

The first cohort of entrepreneurs was announced earlier this year.

Previous story: ORNL unveils five entrepreneurs, four companies in inaugural “Innovation Crossroads” cohort

Through an annual call, up to five entrepreneurs will be selected to work at Oak Ridge National Lab and transform their ideas and bring new ideas to the lab with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Innovators will receive a fellowship that covers living costs, benefits and a travel stipend for up to two years, plus substantial financial support for collaborative research and development at ORNL. Each innovator will also be paired with a doctoral student from the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education for assistance with market research and customer discovery.

To pre-apply for the second Innovation Crossroads cohort, click here. The official application will open Tuesday, September 19.

July marks beginning of Thomas Zacharia’s new role as ORNL director

Thomas Zacharia, who built Oak Ridge National Laboratory into a global supercomputing power, has been selected as the laboratory’s next director by UT-Battelle, the partnership that operates ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The UT-Battelle board conducted an open, competitive search for a new director after Thom Mason announced he would be leaving to join Battelle after 10 years leading ORNL. Among the goals Zacharia outlined if he were chosen as director: leading ORNL to be the world’s premier research institution; building on the lab’s original sense of mission – winning World War II while pushing the boundaries of research – to reshape its creative energy for the future; celebrating a science and technology culture that encourages individuals to be the best in their fields; and pursuing institutional excellence that advances US leadership in neutron science, computing, materials, and nuclear science and engineering.

Thomas Zacharia (Credit: ORNL)

Zacharia’s appointment as director became effective July 1, after Mason was appointed senior vice president for laboratory operations at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio.

“Thomas has a compelling vision for the future of ORNL that is directly aligned with the U.S. Department of Energy’s strategic priorities,” said Joe DiPietro, chair of the UT-Battelle Board of Governors and president of the University of Tennessee.

Zacharia came to ORNL in 1987 as a postdoctoral researcher after receiving his Ph.D. in engineering science from Clarkson University in New York. He also holds a master’s in materials science from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Karnataka, India.

When UT-Battelle became ORNL’s management and operating contractor in April 2000, Zacharia was director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. In 2001, he was named associate laboratory director for the new Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate, and over the next eight years he built a scientific enterprise that brought more than 500 new staff to Oak Ridge and opened the nation’s largest unclassified scientific computing center, the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a user facility of DOE’s Office of Science.

Zacharia was named ORNL’s deputy for science and technology in 2009, responsible for the lab’s entire research and development portfolio. During his tenure, the lab has strengthened its translational energy programs, establishing the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate and the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate.

In 2012, Zacharia took a leave to serve as executive vice president of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, overseeing research in energy and the environment, information and computing technology, life sciences and biomedical research, and social sciences, as well as leading the country’s science and technology park, which is home to more than 40 multi-national companies including GE, Microsoft and Siemens. He returned to ORNL in 2015, where he previously served as Deputy Lab Director for Science and Technology.

ORNL unveils five entrepreneurs, four companies in inaugural “Innovation Crossroads” cohort

NOTE: This article was originally published on Teknovation.biz by Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer of PYA.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) set a goal of finding up to five of the nation’s top young energy innovators and, by all accounts, it appears the recruiting team has achieved its goal with the inaugural cohort for the “Innovation Crossroads.”

ORNL leaders publicly unveiled the four start-ups at an event yesterday in Oak Ridge attended by the innovators, researchers with whom they will be working, and two top administrators from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Related: New accelerator program “Innovation Crossroads” to advanced energy technology ideas

“If you look five, 10, 15 or 20 years ahead, where is the innovation going to come from to continue our nation’s economic growth,” Mark Johnson, Director of DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, asked. His answer was “programs like this.” Joining Johnson from DOE headquarters was Johanna Wolfson, Director of the Technology-to-Market Program.

In a conversation ahead of the event, Johnson described “Innovation Crossroads” and two similar programs at other DOE labs as a post-doc program. After all, the five innovators have either earned their Ph.Ds. or are in the process of completing them.

For ORNL, yesterday’s announcement was the culmination of a process that began more than six months ago with a solicitation of applications. Day-to-day responsibility for “Innovation Crossroads” is being handled by Tom Rogers, ORNL’s Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development, and Beth Conerty, Program Lead for Entrepreneurial Support and Development.

As described in this September 20 article from teknovation.biz, the program is part of a DOE effort to help accelerate clean energy technologies in an era of substantially limited venture capital. The ORNL initiative is the third in DOE’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP). The pilot, named “Cyclotron Road,” was tested at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a second program, named “Chain Reaction Innovations,” started last year at Argonne National Laboratory.

Read the full article here.

Looking back on TAEBC’s 2016 accomplishments & what’s to come

As we welcome 2017 and anticipate what it will bring, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is marking its 2016 achievements.

By championing advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy, TAEBC is positioning the state and its members to increase our leadership role in the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market.

As we enter into a New Year that will likely bring new opportunities and challenges, TAEBC wants to reinforce our commitment to our members and stakeholders:

  • Inform the national energy agenda.
  • Help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
  • Foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
  • Support TVA’s efforts to become the utility of the future.

As we look forward to our annual membership meeting in Nashville, TAEBC shares our top 10 accomplishments from 2016.

TAEBC Top 10 Year in Review

  1. The Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions. The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. The network is run by TAEBC in partnership with Launch Tennessee. Currently, there are more than a dozen mentors signed up for the program with expertise in energy systems, clean tech, intellectual property, business and finance strategy.
  2. mccarthyWelcome new members: McCarthy Building Companies, First Solar, John McMillian, Sandi Swilley, Bridgestone Americas, Centrus Energy, Milepost Consulting, Tori Watson, The Angel Roundtable, and Wacker Polysilicon North America.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan talked advanced energy in Tennessee during TAEBC’s annual Opportunities in Energy event. Special guests included Hogan and Bryan Dods, CEO for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). They had an in-depth discussion over the future of advanced energy. During this event there was also the unveiling of a three-part video series showing those who are making a difference in Tennessee’s advanced energy industry and what’s to come in the future.
  4. “This is Advanced Energy” video is the first of the three taking a closer look at what is advanced energy and what it means to Tennessee’s economy as a whole.
  5. insideae“Inside Advanced Energy” video is the second of the three videos giving you an opportunity to meet the people and companies that employ nearly 325,000 people and contribute $33.4 billion to Tennessee’s GDP.
  6. “Innovations in Advanced Energy” is the final of the three videos demonstrating how innovation gives Tennessee an edge in the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy marketplace.
  7. TAEBC is a growing industry leader and is an influential voice throughout the southeastern region, state and nation. In 2016, TAEBC was selected to speak at TVC’s Leadership Summit and Energy Huntsville’s member meetings. In addition TAEBC also moderated a “Clean Energy Innovations” panel at the Southeast Regional Energy Innovation Workshop in May in Chattanooga. The panel focused on clean energy issues in the region, grid research, and the economic impacts from clean energy innovations. As if this wasn’t enough, TAEBC’s board also had a conference call with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R- Tennessee) at the end of 2016 to discuss new energy leadership within the new transitioning administration.
  8.  TAEBC participates as a formal member in TVA’s newly formed stakeholder group: the “Distributed Generation- Information Exchange” or DG-IX for short.  TVA’s DG-IX was created to provide a forum for a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss the broad issues around the implementation of the distributed energy side of TVA’s 2015 Integrated Resource Plan. The group’s purpose is to build greater understanding of issues, technologies, and challenges/opportunities in distributed energy resources; facilitate dialogue among diverse interests; hear ideas, and present options and considerations to each other and TVA as they work to implement the 2015 IRP.
  9. New board members joined TAEBC in 2016. Jim DeMouy serves as the Vice President of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) for Bridgestone Americas. He provides environmental, health and safety strategic and operational leadership for the global enterprise, including stewardship for sustainability initiatives. Also Jeff Kanel with Renewable Algal Energy serves on TAEBC’s board. He has more than 21 years of experience engineering research and process development through work at The Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation.
  10. TAEBC kicked off its new event series, Energy Connect, in Nashville at TAEBC member Bradley’s headquarters in early May. TAEBC’s Energy Connect gives members the chance to network more often during the year, increase the visibility of their business, and share expertise and information. In May more than 20 TAEBC members attended to hear a presentation on economic development from TVA’s John Bradley.

Remember to save the date for the next TAEBC event, Wednesday, February 15 in Nashville and help plan for a successful 2017.