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TTAC adds value to Tennessee Tech University’s efforts to commercialize technology

A new collaboration among several Tennessee universities has the potential to bring an economic boost to the entire state, according to one university official and economic development leader.

The Tennessee Technology Advancement Consortium is a pilot project working to provide commercialization and technology transfer support for The University of Memphis, Tennessee State University and Tennessee Tech University.

The new collaboration aims to foster innovation, democratize access to commercialization support for novel technologies, and streamline commercialization of university-based innovations across Tennessee.

“This collaboratively helps the state of Tennessee,” said Dr. Michael Aikens, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Tennessee Tech University and the university’s executive director for the consortium. “It promotes new knowledge that solves direct societal problems.”

Thanks to TTAC, there are new funds and resources available at Tech.

“TTAC is helping take Tennessee Tech to that next level,” Aikens said. “We’re asking, how can we partner up to build a commercialization pipeline and build the foundations for what could become a tech transfer office — TTAC is the missing piece that we just haven’t had due to resource restrictions.”

The new collaboration means an easier, streamlined process for anyone at Tech who has an invention or novel technology.

“It’s allowing us the resources to provide additional programming that we’ve not been able to provide before,” he said.

For example, new funding allowed Tech to hire someone to relieve the burden on faculty as they go through the invention disclosure process. Tech is also hosting monthly workshops to help inventors understand commercialization and other related topics, such as navigating the disclosure process and intellectual property 101.

Launch Tennessee also offers office hours for inventors who want to meet with its technology advancement team to learn more about development and funding opportunities that may exist for commercialization of their research.

Through TTAC, Aikens and the program’s assistant director, Téa Phillips, want to see more invention disclosures at the university – something they say would lead to more potential business and innovation opportunities across the state.

“TTAC brings incredible value to Tennessee Tech, and we’re just getting started,” Phillips said.

“We’re focused on educating and supporting the faculty to help them bring their innovations to life. It’s all about uplifting the community and giving them the resources and opportunities to bring all of these transformational ideas to the world.”

How to get connected?
If you’re a Tech faculty member or someone interested in TTAC, contact TTAC Executive Director Michael Aikens – maikens@tntech.edu for more information.

Innovator Day
Join us for Innovator Day at Tennessee Tech University on Feb. 9. Get more information and RSVP.

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