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News, Events, & Resources


2007 NSF/USDA SBIR Conference

"Maine Universities and  Small Businesses in EPSCoR Jurisdictions"
October 15-16, 2007
Marriott at Sable Oaks
South Portland, Maine

Monday, October 15, 2007
7:00-8:00am Registration and Continental Breakfast – sign up for one-on-one sessions
8:00-4:30pm

Networking room open with EPSCoR jurisdiction posters - meet here throughout the day with conference presenters and other participants to share R&D focus, identify potential partners, and develop network possibilities.

8:15 – 9:15am

Plenary Session #1:  Introduction to SBIR/STTR & Importance to Rural States
Huge gains can be seen in states with active linkages between their small business and EPSCoR programs. This session will provide an overview of the $2 billion a year Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.
Moderator: Betsy Biemann, President, Maine Technology Institute

Presenters:
- Siva Sureshwaran, National Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State, Research, Education & Extension Services, (CSREES) Washington DC
- Joe Hennessey, Senior Advisor, SBIR/STTR, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Program, Arlington, VA

9:15-10:15am

Plenary Session #2:  Introduction to EPSCoR & University Incubator Programs

What is EPSCoR and how can it help link universities and technology based companies?  What are University incubators and how do they work? 

Moderator:  Jim Gosz, National Science Foundation EPSCoR, Arlington, VA

Presenters:
- Charles D’Agostino, Executive Director, Louisiana Business & Technology Center, Baton Rouge, LA
- Mark Scarano, Executive Director, Grafton County Economic Development Council, Bristol, NH
- John Ferland, Executive Director, Maine Center for Enterprise Development, Portland, ME

10:15-10:30am Break

Begin Breakout Sessions:  university research faculty, small business partners, and national experts will discuss their research, partnerships, and networking. For each session, a combination of speakers at the national, regional, and local level will provide a well-rounded view of each focus area.

Four main tracks will feature: 

·    Track A – Alternative Energy – Solar, Wind, Biomass, and Agriculture Bio-Based Products

·    Track B – Environmental Science and Engineering (ES&E) – Ecosystem Management, Sustainable Development, Aquaculture, Instrumentation, Alternative Waste   Treatment

·    Track C – Communication & Information Technology – Rural Information Technology, & Facilitating Technology Transfer - Regional Collaborations, Contracts and Patents

Break-out Sessions #1

10:30-noon Session A1: Alternative Energy – Solar, Wind
In the quest to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, effective energy alternatives require innovative R&D efforts.

Moderator: Carmela Bailey – National Program Leader, USDA CSREES, Washington, DC

Panelists:
- Patrick Chapman, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
- Eric Benedict, Electric Engineer, Distributed Energy Systems, Barre, VT
- Chris Straka, CEO, Ascendant Energy Company, Inc. Rockland, ME
10:30-noon

Session B1:     Environmental Science & Engineering – Ecosystem Management
With urban sprawl and challenges occurring when city life meets the farm, rural states must be ready to explore the complex issues of successful environmental management.

Moderator: Mark Blanchard, Technology Commercialization Advisor, Vermont Small Business Development Center, White River Junction, VT

Panelists:
- Michael Bowers, National Program Leader, USDA-CSREES, Washington, DC
- William Salas, President, Applied Geosolutions, LLC, Durham, NH - Susan MacKay, President, Zeomatrix, LLC, Orono, ME

10:30-noon Session C1:     Communication & Technology in Rural Areas The telephone, internet, wireless radio and other technologies can play a special role in rural areas with needs for general communication, public safety, and information support for both locals and tourists.

Moderator: Michael Eckardt – Vice President for Research, University of Maine, Orono ME

Panelists:
- Jason Zehrung, Vice President of Operations, Hiercomm, Inc., Hartland, WI
- Jeffrey Hicks, Chairman/CEO, 21st Century Systems, Inc., Omaha, NB
- Mike Leathem, Vice President of Engineering, CrossRate Technology, Standish, ME
- Chris Frank, Founder & CEO, Intelligent Spatial Technologies, Inc., Orono, ME
noon-1:30pm Lunch – Casco Bay Room
Introduction: Betsy Biemann, President, Maine Technology Institute, Gardiner, ME

Keynote speaker: David Erb, Director of Research & Development and New Product Development, Tex Tech Industries, North Monmouth, ME David will talk about his company’s experience and growth utilizing both university expertise and the SBIR/STTR program. Tech Tex Industries is a 2006 Tibbetts Award organizational winner.


Break-out Sessions #2:

1:30-3:00pm A2: Alternative Energy – Bio-based Products
In the quest to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, effective energy alternatives require innovative R&D efforts.

Moderator: John Ferland, Executive Director, Maine Center for Enterprise Development, Portland, ME

Panelists:
- Carmela Bailey, National Program Leader, Agricultural Materials, USDA CSREES, Washington, DC
- Darren Schmidt, Research Manager, Energy & Environmental Research Center, Grand Forks, ND
- Hemant Pendse, Co-Director, University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative, Orono, ME
1:30-3:00pm Session B2:     Environmental Science & Engineering - Sustainable Development
What is sustainable development, how does it impact the quality of life in rural states, and where are the funding opportunities to grow a sustainable economy?

Moderator: Debbie Neuman, Director, Target Technology Incubator, Orono, ME

Panelists:
- Chuck Smith, Director, Sustainable Development Program, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
- Mark Blanchard, Technology Commercialization Advisor, Vermont Small Business Development Center, White River Junction, VT
- Stephen Cole, Director, Natural Resources, Coastal Enterprises Inc., Wiscasset, ME
1:30-3:00 Session C2: Networking with Federal Agency Presenters
The following presenters will specifically be available in the networking room for one-on-one sessions. Sign-up at the registration desk for a time slot.
- Siva Sureshwaran, National Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State, Research, Education & Extension Services, (CSREES) Washington DC
- Joe Hennessey, Senior Advisor, SBIR/STTR, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Program, Arlington, VA
3:00-4:30pm Plenary Session #3:  Facilitating Technology Transfer State Programs: 
These distinguished panelists will discuss how programs for early-stage innovators can take full advantage of partnerships with research institutions and service providers.

Moderator: Catherine Renault, Director, Maine Office of Innovation, Department of Economic Development, Augusta, ME

Panelists:
- LeAnn Oliver, Deputy Administrator Cooperative Programs, USDA Rural Development, Washington, DC
- Mahendra Jain, Vice President, Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation, Lexington, KY
- Daniel Luton, Associate Director, Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science & Technology (OCAST), Oklahoma City, OK
- Betsy Biemann, President, Maine Technology Institute, Gardiner, ME
5:00-7:30pm Networking Reception at Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Light hors d’oeuvres will be served with a cash bar and entertainment. Representatives from the Maine Office of Tourism and the Convention & Visitors Bureau will be among several exhibitors.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 – Day 2
7:00-8:00am Continental breakfast
8:00-noon

Networking room open with EPSCoR jurisdiction posters - meet here   throughout the day with conference presenters and other participants to share R&D focus, identify potential partners, and develop network possibilities.

8:00-9:30am Plenary Session #4:   Finding Potential Partners
Once early-stage funding has been exhausted, small businesses must seek the next source of financing necessary to bring their innovation to market. How does a small business find and access larger sources of funding, and what are investment groups looking for?

Moderator: Jake Ward, AVP Research, Economic Development & Gov’t Relations, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Panelists:
- Susan Strommer, President & CEO, National Association of Seed & Venture Funds, Inc., Old Orchard Beach, ME
- David Speser, Chairman & Project Director, Foresight Science & Technology, Providence, RI
- Charles Sidman, Founding Chairman, Maine Angels, Bar Harbor, ME

Break-out Sessions #3:

9:30-10:45am Session A3:     Alternative Energy - Agricultural Bio-Based Products
The increasing use of agricultural commodities for energy and products can create additional complexities for R&D efforts.

Moderator: Patricia Rice, Director, Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Bangor, ME

Panelists:
- S.T. Yang, Professor & Director, Ohio Bioprocessing Research Consortium, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
- Gary Iverson, Executive Director, Great Northern Growers Cooperative, Sunburst, MT
- Stacey Beyer, InterfaceFABRIC, Guilford, ME
9:30-10:45am Session B3: Environmental Science & Engineering - Alternative Methods for Waste Treatment
Rural states can benefit from the conversion of waste into energy and valuable by-products through new processes that reduce the impact on the environment.

Moderator: Susan MacKay, President, Zeomatrix, LLC, Orono, ME

Panelists:
- F. Wayne Lee, Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Univ. Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
- T. Guy Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer, Avatar Alternative Energy, So. Burlington, VT
- William Brinton, President, Woods End Laboratories, Mt. Vernon, ME
9:30-10:45am Session C3:     Facilitating Technology Transfer - Regional Collaborations
Regional collaborations provide unique opportunities for researchers and small businesses to partner with others through university and federal groups designed to promote and foster interaction and economic development.
Introduction by Meriby Sweet, Center Director, Maine Small Business Technology Development Center

Moderator: Mahendra Jain, Vice President, Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation, Lexington, KY

Panelists:
- Allen Dines, Assistant Director, Office of Corporate Relations, Midwest Research University Network, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
- Mark Reeves, Commercialization Manager & Regional Coordinator, Federal Laboratory Consortium, SE Region, Oak Ridge, TN
- Michael Bilodeau, Director, Pulp & Paper Processing Center, University of Maine, Orono, ME (New England Green Chemistry Consortium)
- Jake Ward, AVP Research, Economic Development & Gov’t Relations, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Break-out Sessions #4:

10:45-noon Session A4:  Environmental Science & Engineering - Aquaculture
Fish farming both on- and off-shore offers many challenges and opportunities, and many programs can assist companies in their development.

Moderator: Michael Hastings, Director, Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Panelists:
- Douglas Drennan II, Managing Member, Aquaculture System Technologies, Jefferson, LA
- Larry Harris, Professor of Zoology, University of New Hampshire, NH
- Steve Page, President, Ocean Farm Technologies, Searsmont, ME
10:45-noon Session B4:   Environmental Science & Engineering - Instrumentation
Pesticides and herbicides can contaminate food products and water sources, and techniques are needed to detect and monitor their impacts in order to eliminate or remediate our activities on the environment.

Moderator: Jennifer DeChant, Maine Office of Innovation, Augusta, ME

Panelists:
- Ellen Campbell, Vice President, The Nitrate Elimination Co., Inc., Lake Linden, MI
- Mike Serio, President, Advanced Fuel Research, Inc. East Hartford, CT
- Carl Tripp, President, Orono Spectral Solutions, Orono, ME
10:45-noon Session C4:  Technology Transfer – Protection with Contracts & Patents
Small businesses have great ideas and inventions, but how do they protect their intellectual property while working collaboratively with research institutions, manufacturers and end users?

Moderator: Rita Heimes, Director, Center for Law & Innovation, University of Maine School of Law, Portland, ME

Panelists:
- Steve Price, Assistant Vice President for Technology Development, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
- Todd Keiller, Director, Technology Transfer, University of Vermont, Maine Medical Center, Burlington, VT and Portland, ME
- Leonard Agneta, Director, Maine Patent Program Director, Portland, ME
12:00-12:30pm Plenary Session #5:  Issues for the Future
This conference is just a start in helping to create dialogue between universities, research institutions, small businesses, federal entities, and others in EPSCoR states. What are the next steps that should be taken to meet future challenges?

Moderator: Jim Gosz, National Science Foundation EPSCoR, Arlington, VA

Panelists:
- Siva Sureshwaran, National Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State, Research, Education & Extension Services, (CSREES) Washington DC
- Joe Hennessey, Senior Advisor, SBIR/STTR, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Program, Arlington, VA
12:30pm Conference Ends
4:00-7:00pm Post Conference Event: Maine Technology Institute MIXER, Marriott at Sable Oaks

 

Go Blue!

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