House Passes Bill Enhancing SBIR

The U.S. House this week passed H.R. 2763, which would amend the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in several significant ways. Most notably, the bill would extend by five years the “assistance for administrative… costs,” which is used for outreach initiatives and some business and market assistance initiatives across agencies. The bill would extend or implement other activities within SBIR/STTR, nearly all of which would improve the programs’ ability to support commercialization in parallel with technological development.

Management Solutions, LLC. Approved for 8(a) Program

Management Solutions, LLC. (MSLLC) is now an 8(a) firm. MSLLC received word this week that the Small Business Administration has approved its application to participate in the 8(a) business development program. As a participant in the program, MSLLC can take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance and high-level executive development provided by the SBA and their resource partners. MSLLC can also leverage its 8(a) status to compete for larger contracts by forming joint ventures, establishing mentors/protégé relationships and sole-source awards. 

2017 Marks Celebrations Galore on Rocky Top

The 50th anniversary of “Rocky Top” is getting lots of attention this year, but it’s not the only significant milestone related to the university that’s being celebrated this year. Here’s a look at some other anniversaries UT is marking in 2017:

UT Engineers Day will Host More than 1,200 High School Students

UT will host more than 1,200 students from across the state and as far away as Atlanta for its 2017 Engineers Day celebration. The event will held on October 26, with an opening ceremony at Thompson-Boling Arena followed by competitions and exhibitions in various engineering buildings. UT hosts Engineers Day every fall as a way to engage high school students from around the state and region.

Battelle, Rare Earth Salts Team on Department of Energy Project

Battelle is teaming with Rare Earth Salts (RES) on a potentially groundbreaking project for the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.  The project, Recovery of High Purity Rare Earth Elements (REEs) from Coal Ash via a Novel Separations Process, will produce valuable Rare Earth Oxides from coal fly ash, converting them to the high purities necessary for a saleable product.  The two organizations will advance the development of REE processing by combining RES novel separation and purification process and Battelle’s Acid Digestion Process. Under this project they will validate that they can generate environmentally benign and economically sustainable REE products from domestic coal ash sources at purities above 90 percent. 

SimPath Licenses Novel ORNL System for Enhanced Synthetic Biology

SimPath has licensed a novel cloning system developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that generates and assembles the biological building blocks necessary to synthetically bioengineer new medicines and fuels. Knoxville, Tennessee-based startup SimPath will further develop ORNL’s cloning method into a multi-gene DNA assembly kit and software package for customers who use synthetic biology techniques. Synthetic biology leverages genome sequences of organisms, such as bacteria, yeast and plants, and reassembles the DNA parts to manufacture products that are difficult to obtain naturally.

Neutrons Observe Vitamin B6-Dependent Enzyme Activity Useful for Drug Development

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have performed neutron structural analysis of a vitamin B6-dependent protein, potentially opening avenues for new antibiotics and drugs to battle diseases such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria and diabetes. Specifically, the team used neutron crystallography to study the location of hydrogen atoms in aspartate aminotransferase, or AAT, an enzyme vital to the metabolism of certain amino acids.

Turnbull Government Tips in $10m for Fledgling Geelong Factories including Carbon Revolution and LeMond

ADVANCED manufacturing in the Geelong region is set to receive a $10.1 million boost today. The Federal Government is expected to announce the first round of funding under the $47.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund today, to establish and expand advanced manufacturing. The first recipients will receive about $30 million under the initiative, with $10.1 million to be handed to Geelong businesses. Corangamite Liberal MP Sarah Henderson revealed the Geelong region recipients included LeMond Composites, Carbon Revolution Operations, Flat Glass Industries, Boundary Bend Olives and Air-Radiators.

Celebrating Innovation and Opportunity in Nuclear Science with Nuclear Science Week

On Monday, DOE joined The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, as well as local, national, and international organizations committed to the advancement of nuclear energy in celebrating Nuclear Science Week. Nuclear Science Week is a week-long celebration to focus local, regional, national, and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science. It takes place each year on the third week of October and will be recognized for the eighth year this week, October 16-20, 2017.

Oak Ridge ETTP Site’s Barge Area Presents Opportunities for Industry

Reindustrialization efforts at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) have brought new life to an old barge access area out of service for decades. As DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) cleans and converts the former uranium enrichment complex into a private sector industrial park, companies are seeing significant signs of progress and potential.