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February 06, 2013

ORNL Conference Bridges Gap Across Tech Industries


Several of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's most promising applied R&D capabilities will be in the spotlight March 5-6 as dozens of entrepreneurs, investors and scientists gather at the lab's third annual "Bridging the Gap" conference.

"This is a great opportunity for the region's business community to receive capability briefings from some of the lab's most dynamic researchers and to explore commercialization and collaboration opportunities," said Tom Rogers, ORNL's director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development.

Presentations by ORNL researchers will highlight the breadth of the lab's research, including sessions on bioenergy, sustainable transportation, building technologies, additive manufacturing, carbon fiber, lightweight materials, data systems and analytics, modeling, simulation and cyber security. Lab Director Thom Mason will give the keynote address, titled "Innovation at ORNL."

Tours of ORNL's recently completed Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and EVEREST visualization laboratory will offer conference attendees a first-hand glimpse of the lab's research. The complete agenda and registration info can be found at http://www.ornl.gov/adm/partnerships/events.shtml .

Several ORNL technologies were licensed as a result of last year's event, which attracted 135 attendees. Previous "Bridging the Gap" conferences have also helped forge relationships that resulted in successful research collaborations.

While in previous years the focus has been on presenting specific lab technologies, this year's initiative will emphasize broader areas of ORNL research. Rogers noted that this approach allows for more open-ended discussion around potential partnerships.

"Bridging the Gap represents the additional emphasis that the lab is putting on drawing the connection between its research and development and commercial applications," Rogers said. "If someone is interested in the lab, this event is the most efficient way to become informed about ORNL's many capabilities."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

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