Innovation Valley Technology Council Presents the Annual Navigator Awards at the Entrepreneurial Imperative 2010 Conference.

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Technology 2020’s Innovation Valley Technology Council presented its annual Navigator Awards Wednesday, October 27, during the final day of the Entrepreneurial Imperative 2010 Conference. Awards of excellence were given for this year’s top entrepreneur, researcher, and technology company, as well as for the Tech Council member of the year and to the member who has shown exceptional community service.

More than 300 business and community leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs attended the two-day forum that explored how the region can accelerate the growth and assure the success for those entrepreneurs who choose to start and grow new ventures in the valley. The Navigator Awards Ceremony has become a significant part of the annual conference.

There’s no other place in the nation where you can go to find the corridor of excellence that we have right here in the Innovation Valley,” said John Hopkins, Tech Council chairman. “Our 2010 Navigator Award winners are outstanding examples of the exemplary talent and entrepreneurial spirit that’s found here.”

The Tech Council’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Eric Dobson, chief executive officer of TrakLok Corporation, an intermodal shipping security company based in West Knoxville. “Dr. Dobson is a serial entrepreneur, with a history of success,” said Hopkins. Dobson is the former CEO of Navigational Sciences, Inc. He co-founded TrakLok in 2008 to develop and commercialize both GeoLock hardware and Traklog software to manage container security and provide the industry’s first complete Intermodal Tracking Security System. Earlier this year, Dobson acquired local company TeleSensors to provide electronic design and development, and wireless sensor platform.

Selected as the 2010 Technology Company of the Year was Oak Ridge’s MS Technology. Founded in 1994 as a Tech 2020 incubator client, MS Technology’s story exemplifies a successful journey of tech transfer from the laboratory to commercialization. Building on microwave melting technology developed at the Y-12 National Security Complex, MS Technology has been a pioneer and technology innovator in this area. Since graduating from Y-12’s mentor protégé program in 2008, MS Technology has grown to over 160 employees and has become one of the region’s largest technology firms and one of the top 12 engineering firms.

The Tech Council’s inaugural Pathfinder Research Entrepreneur of the Year award went to innovator and entrepreneur, Jimmy Mays, a UT professor of Chemistry with a joint appointment with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lee Bzorgi, director of the National Security Technology Center at Y-12. “Dr. Mays and Dr. Bzorgi have a distinguished history of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Hopkins. “And while their accomplishments and awards in transforming ideas into useful products are tremendous, the work they do to educate and mentor area teachers and students is also critically important in building a sustainable entrepreneurial eco-system.”

With a long history of supporting community and educational programs, Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. (MCLinc) was awarded the 2010 Community Spirit Award. Receiving the award was Barry Stephenson, President and CEO. MCLinc’s recent support of technology-based educational programs at both Oak Ridge Public Schools and Roane State Community College were noted among several examples of their service to the community.

The Tech Council’s inaugural Member of the Year award went to lifetime economic developer and East Tennessee champion Sam Hart of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership. “Sam is one of those unique individuals that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help out with any request, problem or task,” Hopkins said. Sam Hart was unable to attend the awards and accepting on his behalf was Doug Lawyer.

Source: Technology 2020
Photo: Technology 2020