Category Archives: Small businesses

ORNL to play big role in small-biz pilot program

ornlaerial2014Aerial view of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s main campus. (ORNL photo)

The Department of Energy this week announced a new Small Business Vouchers Pilot Program that will allow small businesses to gain access to expertise — and some world-class research tools — at DOE’s national labs. One of the examples used was ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, which houses one of the world’s largest 3-D printers. Continue reading

$5.9 million site-readiness contract for UPF

UPF Site RenderingDesign rendering of the three-building cluster that will comprise the Uranium Processing Facility. The UPF will be constructed west of Y-12’s Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility. (NNSA image)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is managing some pre-construction contracts for the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12, has awarded a $5.9 million “site infrastructure and services” contract to Emerald-A&H Joint Venture LLC.

Emerald-A&H is based in Nashville. The Corps of Engineers is managing work on the Oak Ridge project under an interagency agreement with the National Nuclear Security Administration (a semi-independent part of the Department of Energy). Continue reading

‘Explore ORNL’ postponed

ORNLmrfOak Ridge National Laboratory announced that Explore ORNL, a conference for businesses in the region to get familiar with lab operations and opportunities, has been postponed. It was originally scheduled for July 14-15, and it has been moved to Sept. 23-24 “to coincide with a larger industrial outreach event,” the lab said.

ORNL said more info on the September event will be released later.

ORNL opening doors to business, July 14-15

ornlentranceOak Ridge National Laboratory will be welcoming businesses from throughout the region and beyond for a two-day conference called “Explore ORNL.”

According to information released by the laboratory, the July 14-15 conference is designed “to introduce the region’s business community to the lab’s world-class R&D facilities and expertise.” Continue reading

A change in strategy: Long-time AVID contractor losing Y-12 role

photo (5)Apex Office Systems, a woman-owned small business in Oak Ridge, is losing its long-time AVID (Accelerated Vendor Inventory Delivery) contract at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The current contract is due to expire in June, and it will not be renewed, Y-12 contractor Consolidated Nuclear Security confirmed. Apex has held the contract — providing next-day delivery of needed office supplies to Y-12 — since 1995.

There have been reports that CNS, a Bechtel-led team that last year took over the combined management of the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants, plans to do away with all of the AVID contracts locally held at Y-12. However,  contractor spokeswoman Ellen Boatner said the contracts are being evaluated on a “case-by-case” basis. Continue reading

In The News, briefly noted . . .

weinberg2.jpgAs has been reported, the premiere of “Alvin Weinberg,” Keith McDaniel’s documentary on the life and career of nuclear pioneer and science ambassador Alvin Weinberg, will be held April 23 at the American Museum of Science & Energy in Oak Ridge. There will be dual showings, at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., but the first showing is reportedly booked up or nearly so.

The admission is free, but seats must be reserved by calling Connor Matthews at 865-705-5890 or Tom Row at 865-705-5174. (photo credit/KNS Michael Patrick) Continue reading

DOE expands Clean Energy Manufacturing Intiative; ORNL a partner on carbon-fiber project

carbonfiberAs a part of an expansion of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the Department of Energy today announced an additional $23 million in funding for 12 projects “to advance technologies aimed at helping American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their manufacturing facilities, lower costs and develop new manufacturing technologies.”

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a project headed by Graftech International Holdings Inc., based in Parma, Ohio. The project, titled, “Low-Cost, Bio-Based Carbon Fiber for High Temperature Processing,” will receive a total of $4.5 million from DOE. It’s not clear how much of that money will go to ORNL. Also collaborating on the project are the National Composites Center, Mascoma Corp., and Plasan Carbon Composites. Continue reading

ORNL’s Lonnie Love: ‘I think we’re positioning ourselves to be a world leader in advanced manufacturing’

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Alex Rochli, senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, left, and James Earle, a UT grad and the first Local Motors’ Tennessee employee, working on the 3D-printed car at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. (ORNL photo/Lonnie Love)

Earlier this week, I had a chance to talk by phone with Lonnie Love, additive manufacturing guru and head of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s manufacturing systems research group. Love was among the 120,000 or so folks who were at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, and he was excited by the excitement all around — especially work on the world’s first 3D-printed car (which is to be driven for the first time on Saturday).

ORNL staff members and affiliates were very much involved in developing the vehicle that was printed over a two-day period, using some of the additive manufacturing techniques pioneered at the Oak Ridge lab. The exhibit was drawing big crowds at the show. Continue reading

SafetyFest TN a success

This week’s SafetyFest TN, an annual event now in its third year, is an apparent success, with hundreds of people taking advantage of free training classes in a range of safety-related topics. Jenny Freeman, one of the organizers, said that about 1,000 seats had been filled for the classes (with some people, of course, taking more than one class). There was a special emphasis this year on small businesses, especially those in the Hispanic community and others who might not be able to afford top-flight training sessions. Most of the classes and other activities have been taking place at the New Hope Center — the public access venue at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The conference’s goal, Freeman said, is to make East Tennessee the safest place to work — and live — in America.