The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed in the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, will host the 2nd annual Fly for Researchers Pitch Competition for UTC faculty and graduate student innovators at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, in the Center’s second-floor offices in the Mapp Building, 410 E. 8th St.
The competition, open to the general public, is geared toward members of the Chattanooga business and entrepreneurial communities. Click here to register to attend the event.
The Fly for Researchers competition spotlights ideas that have the potential to be commercialized or licensed. A total of $35,000 in internal grants will be awarded—$20,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place and $5,000 for 3rd place—and awardees will be able to use the money to accelerate the success of their ideas, innovations and commercialization objectives.
“UTC research plays a significant role in the community,” said Dr. Joanne Romagni, UTC vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School. “Our faculty are internationally recognized for their work to help Chattanooga establish itself as a smart city, performing cutting-edge research in engineering and computer science and building upon our region’s technical capabilities—including gig-speed networks and quantum-computing infrastructure.
“UTC researchers are working on innovations such as new antibiotics, medical devices and tools for mitigating the effects of radiation on hardware. While some of these might be less visible to the community, they are equally important to the growing portfolio of commercialization innovation that we are building at UTC.”
Faculty, staff and graduate students from all UTC colleges were invited to apply and pitch their ideas. Applications are in the process of being reviewed and evaluated based on commercial applicability, the readiness of an idea or technology, and the information provided in the application. Finalists will be notified on or before March 20.
At the April 19 event, the previously selected finalists will give five-minute presentations followed by up to eight minutes of Q&A from the judges. A panel of local business executives and entrepreneurs will serve as judges for the competition.
“By inviting the community to our campus,” Romagni said, “Fly for Researchers provides an opportunity for business and organization leaders, professionals, startup founders and community partners to learn more about the innovative work to provide solutions to important problems that UTC faculty, staff and graduate students are engaged in.
“The in-person pitch format encourages faculty to think about how to describe their work in a way that the community connects with and sees the value proposition. The opportunities for future collaboration and relationship-building to better our community are limitless. Last year’s event was well attended and we expect even more interest this year.”
The winning team from the inaugural Fly for Researchers competition in 2022 was comprised of UTC Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Hamdy Ibrahim and graduate student Ahmed Korra for their bone-mending implant pitch titled, “Dissolving and patient-specific fixation implants for broken bones.”