2022 Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award, awarded to Tom Rogers, President & CEO of the UT Research Park, and Executive Director of the Spark Innovation Center 

Tom Rogers, President and CEO of the UT Research Park, received Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council’s (TAEBC) top award during their ‘Opportunities in Energy’ event last week.

“Tom Rogers is a champion for Tennessee’s advanced energy entrepreneurs and startups,” said Cortney Piper, Executive Director of TAEBC. “Throughout his entire career, much of which was spent at ‘the big three’ – TVA, ORNL and UT – he has been instrumental in growing the East Tennessee and Knoxville region into the burgeoning cleantech and innovation hub that it is today. Rogers exemplifies the tireless work of Tom Ballard, an unparalleled leader, educator, mentor, and advocate of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.” 

Rogers started his career at the Tennessee Valley Authority, eventually moving to the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, as its President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1995, he founded the venture development organization, Technology 2020 (Tech 2020), and served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (now Launch Tennessee). Prior to joining UTRP, he spent over a decade at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, serving as the Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development and founding the Innovation Crossroads program.

At the UT Research Park, Rogers oversees the Spark Innovation Center and its programs, including the new Spark Cleantech Accelerator and Spark Incubator Program. The Center helps promising energy technology companies grow, offering access to top quality lab space, expert mentoring, and coordinating support services from partner organizations in the region. Applications to participate in the cohort two of the Spark Cleantech Accelerator will open in January.

Read more about this event at the following links: