JOHNSON CITY (November 7, 2012) – East Tennessee State University’s Innovation Laboratory (I-Lab) recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Dr. William Duncan, ETSU Vice Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs, said, “The I-Lab concept began in the late 1990s in discussions between ETSU representatives, chiefly Dr. Jim Hales and then-president Dr. Paul Stanton, and key community business and government leaders.”
The mission of I-Lab was “To partner with entrepreneurs and investors to affect the successful establishment of technology-based start-up and spin-off companies in order to achieve technology transfer, create jobs and enhance economic development within the region.”
By 2002, ETSU acquired 30 acres previously used by the Marine Corps, as well as 30 adjacent acres presented to Johnson City by the state in return for efforts to relocate the Marine’s armory facility functions to a new facility in Gray. Renovation and building began at the 2109 Market St. location in May of 2002 with a new Woodruff wing added in 2008.
Dr. Audrey Depelteau, acting director of the I-Lab, said, “At this time, the I-Lab is 100 percent occupied. The resident members include Yasoo Health Inc., Renewable Algal Energy LLC, Microbac TCD, Solid State Lighting Service Inc., Microbac Healthcare Services, Psycho-Electrophysiology and Research Laboratory, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and AccelNow. We have Edamar and Keller-Ferguson and Associates as affiliate members, while Chick-fil-A and Soterion are storage members.”
She adds, “I-Lab companies created over 25 jobs during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.”
The I-Lab also houses the local office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, as well as the ETSU MBA-at-work program, located in a fully interactive distance education classroom attached to the I-Lab.
“It is the intent of ETSU to have the I-Lab provide students with an opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs facing the challenge of starting new companies and creating innovations” Depelteau says. “This is crucial for the economic viability of the Tri-Cities, the state of Tennessee, and the nation.”
For further information, contact Depelteau at (423) 439-8535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.