News & Events
2023 Spark Incubator Program Update
SPARK INCUBATOR PROGRAM SUMMARY SINCE SEPTEMBER 2022:
- 7 Spark companies have established new working labs at IAMM.
- 5 companies have hired additional staff:
- 4 were UTK students or alumni
- 1 staff hire is relocating to Knoxville from Houston, TX
- 5 Spark companies are seeking additional interns or permanent staff for Knoxville jobs; UT-Knoxville continues to be a critical source for staffing
- Underscores Spark Innovation Center’s impact on fostering growth in high-tech careers in Knoxville and retaining UTK talent
- Many milestones the Spark Incubator companies achieved came with access to state-of the-art equipment via the Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
- Awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance our technology for direct air capture. Holocene partners with ORNL for this grant’s total funding of $1.5 million. This is in addition to the Innovation Crossroad program, fostering the close collaboration between ORNL and Holocene.
- Completed new lab set up in its Spark Innovation Center lab space. The lab provides access to highly specialized analytical methods needed to deepen staff’s understanding and further de-risk its technology. Based on the experimental results, a conceptual design for Holocene’s pilot plant was established.
- Hired three new employees- a research associate, a business operations associate, and a chemical engineering intern from the University of Tennessee – all eager and passionate to take on meaningful work.
- Identified and hired a new fractional Chief Technology Officer.
- Launched its first project with Medtronic, a global healthcare technology firm.
- Continue to equip clients with data for important milestones. One client, ConMed, submitted a proposal for expanded indications with the FDA using our CQI generated data.
- Completed development of its app, which now available for download. Interested clients can pre-register in their home city! https://apps.apple.com/us/app/raev/id1644933289
- Completed its first round of funding at $3 Million.
- Won 2 Direct-to-Phase-2 Air Force contracts.
- Hired its Head of Product & Brand from ExxonMobil and will be relocating to Knoxville.
- Continues to advance its process to renew hydrogen fuel cell catalysts with its active Phase I SBIR from the U.S. Army and additional funding from LaunchTN.
- Is currently hiring for three positions: a student intern, laboratory technician, and senior scientist.
- Welcomed a new University of Tennessee student intern for the 2023 Spring semester.
- Expanded its single fuel cell testing capabilities to include electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and completed installation in its new lab space at the Spark Innovation Center
AMERICAN NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC (ANI):
- Received $100k SBIR Matching grant from LaunchTN, which is being used to expand our carbon nanotube characterization capabilities at its Spark lab space.
- Continued development of printable chemical sensors in collaboration with researchers at ORNL.
- Established collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado-Denver to develop a continuous flow version of our materials processing technology. This collaboration will be applying for several funding opportunities in 2023, including an upcoming AFWERX proposal.
- Reached agreement with a new Senior Research Scientist to join the team later this year. This hire will be based in Denver and work hand-in-hand with our collaborators at CU-Denver.
- Added Dr. Michael Freeman (Chairman of Surgery-UT Medical Center) to Board of Advisors.
- Raised $70,000 in pre-seed investments.
- Selected as 2022 MassBioDrive Cohort (Boston – Pharmaceutical based accelerator).
- Received a nomination for PYA Tom Ballard Award.
- Awarded a $8,000 Microgrant from LaunchTN.
- 2022 National Science Foundation STTR Grant applicant (referred for funding by program director).
- Proof of Concept study completed using lab/process/mRNA in Orion’s lab space in the Spark Innovation Center.