Hybrid Solar Lighting
Company: Sunlight Direct
Headquarters: Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Relationship to ORNL: Licensee
Employee Founder: Duncan Earl
Product Description: Using optical fibers and a solar rooftop collector, sunlight is piped into commercial buildings and integrates with artificial light for energy savings and improved lighting quality.
Customers: Beta testers include Wal-Mart, BP, Aveda, the Naval Exchange shopping complex in Hawaii. First commercial product to be introduced in 2007.
On starting a company: “As hybrid solar lighting moved toward commercialization, we were trying to license the technology to other companies, but it wasn’t yet ready for the mass market. There wasn’t an outside company ready to take the technology from prototype to product, so I did it myself. I’ve since hired a CEO, and we’re rolling out beta tests across the country.”—Duncan Earl, Sunlight Direct chief technology officer.
SeizAlert: Forewarning Epileptics
Company: Hercules Development Corp.
Headquarters: North Attleboro, Mass.
Relationship to ORNL: Licensee
Product description: SeizAlert, a software program that uses brain wave data from four scalp electrodes at the front of the head to forewarn epilepsy patients of seizures in up to 4.5 hours before they happen and allows patients to take steps to prepare (i.e., stopping current activities, taking medications, lying down, etc). The underlying technology can also forewarn of heart arrhythmias (also included in Hercules’ license) and fainting spells, detect the onset of septic shock due to inhaled endotoxin, and track breathing difficulties. The technology also has potential applications for first responders and the military.
Customers: Clinical testing to begin this year.
On commercializing research: “Epilepsy affects roughly 3 million Americans who are in constant fear of the next seizure event and injuries that could result. Patients also experience degraded quality of life due to medication side effects. I’m thankful that ten years of research and development is coming to fruition in the commercialization of SeizAlert for seizure forewarning.”—Lee Hively, ORNL researcher and SeizAlert inventor.
Wireless Meter Systems
Founded: 1985, moved to Jackson, Miss., in 2000 and launched current business.
Headquarters: Jackson, Miss.
Relationship to ORNL: Received investment from Battelle Ventures, working with ORNL researchers to develop new products.
Product Description: The company’s core product, the Smart-Meter System, monitors utility usage in real-time from electric meters using public wireless networks and the Internet. The system allows utility customers to better manage electricity use, saving them more than $9 billion.
Customers: More than 50 major utility customers
On working with ORNL: “We have an ongoing conversation with different research groups further back in the technology pipeline that are all working on technology relevant to electric transmission and distribution. We would like to commercialize technology that’s not quite ready yet.”—Henry Jones, Smart-Synch chief technology officer.
Microfluidic Chemistry Products for PET Market
Founded: October, 2004
Relationship to ORNL: cooperative research agreement
Employee Founder: Joe Matteo
Product Description: NanoTek's products offers rapid production of positron emission tomography biomarkers for drug discovery and clinical detection of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and other diseases. The compact devices use microfluidics enabled, in part, by nanofibers developed and grown through cooperative research with ORNL.
Customers: Pharmaceutical companies, research hospitals and clinical production sites including GlaxoSmithKline, the University of Tennessee, Emory University, the University of Pittsburgh and Siemens Medical Systems
On the research capabilities at ORNL: We are delivering technology that enables the researcher and clinical physician to pinpoint disease and the distribution and effectiveness of new biomarkers and drug compounds. Operating in microchannels much smaller than the thickness of a human hair, we can rapidly and efficiently produce drugs custom tailored to individual needs.—Joe Matteo, founder and CEO.
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