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Polsky Center, Argonne, and Fermilab Discuss Leadership in Water Innovation at First-Ever Chicago Water Week

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, is hosting a webinar as part of Current’s inaugural Chicago Water Week.

>> To register for the FREE webinar, click here.

Chicago Water Week will highlight Chicago’s innovative, cross-sector water leaders from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, 2020. Five days of events and programming will educate participants about water-related challenges in the Chicago region and highlight leaders working to solve them.

On Monday, Sept.28 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT, the Polsky Center, Argonne, and Fermilab will present a webinar titled, Partners in Innovation: How to Collaborate with Universities and National Labs.”

Melissa Byrn, director of innovation programs at the Polsky Center will moderate the panel, which will also feature Polsky’s Bill Payne, executive director, science and technology. A business development executive within Argonne’s Technology Commercialization and Partnerships Division, Phil Smith, and Mauricio Suarez, deputy head of technology development and industry engagement, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, also will be sharing their expertise.

The panel discussion will outline the various opportunities for research collaboration, available capabilities and technologies for licensing across the University of Chicago, Argonne, and Fermilab – and the best ways in which to engage as partners in innovation. The session serves as a great primer for corporations, practitioners, and municipalities interested in building their R&D pipeline or looking for collaborators to address a particular technical challenge.

“Argonne works with a range of organizations in the water space, offering unique expertise, facilities, and tools to enable important advances. Whether it be providing critical insights on water quality in municipal waterways, or inventing advanced materials for energy-water systems, Argonne delivers value to its partners,” said Phil Smith, business development executive at Argonne.

Both Argonne and Fermilab, which are US Department of Energy national laboratories managed by the University of Chicago, frequently work with federal agencies, other universities, and corporations on research collaborations. Fermilab operates the Accelerator Applications Development and Demonstration (A2D2) research tool, which is a test platform for developing new electron beam radiation-driven chemical processes and evaluating new ideas for electron-beam applications. Accelerated electrons create reactive species when interacting with water. These reactive species then go and react with contaminants and break them up.

“Through A2D2, Fermilab has a testing platform for proof-of-concept work in many areas such as water remediation, medical device sterilization, and surface modification,” said Mauricio Suarez, deputy head of technology development and industry engagement at Fermilab. “We’re always eager to work with new companies to address their technology challenges using our world-class facilities and research tools.”

Some of the researchers at Argonne and Fermilab have joint appointments with the University of Chicago. The Polsky Center, which manages the IP portfolio for all University of Chicago innovations and technologies, fosters collaboration between laboratory scientists and engineers and students and researchers at UChicago by connecting them with one another as well as with industry partners.

“At the Polsky Center, we apply world-class business expertise from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to help bring new ideas and breakthrough innovations to the market,” said Bill Payne, executive director, science and technology at the Polsky Center. “We are a 60-person team of professionals dedicated to supporting the innovation and commercialization process.”

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