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KNOXVILLE — Local businesspeople and entrepreneurs can get tips on marketing their new technologies at a conference hosted by the University of Tennessee on Thursday, March 2.

“Innovation Through Integration: Creating Sustainable Competitive Advantage By Linking Business & Engineering,” will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Knoxville Hilton, 501 W. Church Ave. The event is a joint effort of UT’s College of Business Administration and College of Engineering.

-Business professionals and engineers must know how to communicate with one another to invigorate industrial development. This conference, appropriate for both technical and business professionals, will encourage dialog within every organization,- said Ken Kahn, UT associate professor of marketing and conference coordinator.

Kahn and Arnold Lumsdaine, associate professor in the department of mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering, coordinate the university’s MS/MBA program in which students design and market new products.

“Just because technology is readily available in our region, it does not mean there is immediate commercial success,” Lumsdaine said. “We must emphasize that economic development success is just as much, if not more, predicated on understanding commercialization and stress the need to establish a technology commercialization mindset in East Tennessee.”

The conference will feature speakers and company case studies presented by HCA Healthcare, Seagate Technologies, FedEx, Northwestern University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Product Development and Management Association also will present its recent study results on new product development best practices.

Local economic development officials say UT’s effort in nurturing entrepreneurs is vital to creating new industry in the area.

-It is critically important for the growth of the Innovation Valley to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to commercialize new technologies and develop new products,- said Geoff Robson, chief financial officer of the Center for Entrepreneurial Growth, a division of Tech 2020. -We see UT’s MS/MBA program and the UT business-engineering integration conference as an important part of the process in growing new technology companies in our region.-

Complete conference details are available at http://www.engr.utk.edu/npd/


Amy Blakely, (865)974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu

Kim Cowart, College of Engineering, 865)974-0686,

Cindy Raines, College of Business, (865) 974-5439,