Jefferson Lab Holds First Innovation Discovery Event

  • Innovation Discovery Event

Jefferson Lab hosted its first ever Innovation Discovery Event on March 17, 2021. As part of the event, three Jefferson Lab inventors presented their technologies to a diverse panel from technology, industry, engineering and innovation backgrounds.

Panel of Industry, University, and Innovation Experts Work with Inventors to Brainstorm New Applications for Lab Technologies

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Jefferson Lab hosted its first ever Innovation Discovery Event on March 17, 2021. As part of the event, three Jefferson Lab inventors presented their technologies to a diverse panel from technology, industry, engineering and innovation backgrounds. Then facilitators guided the panel through brainstorming exercises to help identify potential uses, partners and applications for their technologies.

IDEs are multi-faceted events able to generate positive outcomes for multiple stakeholders. IDEs generate positive outcomes, including improving the transfer, transition, and commercialization of innovations, engaging lab scientists and engineers in technology transfer, enhancing visibility of the technology transfer function with laboratory management, and building awareness of the laboratory as a center of innovation within the innovation ecosystem.

A critical component for the success of an IDE is engaging a panel with diverse expertise and experience, including fields far outside the technical domain of the subject technologies to encourage broad and free-ranging brainstorming sessions. Jefferson Lab was very fortunate to engage just such a panel, including:

  • Stuart Kirkham (Kirk) Cole, Chief Engineer for Aerodynamic Research Support Facility, NASA Langley Research Center
  • Jeff Johnson, Director, Tech Center Research Park
  • Karen Jackson, President, Apogee Strategic Partners
  • Sean Mallon, Vice President, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Center for Innovative Technology  
  • Nancy Morter, Strategy & New Business Development, Emerging Technologies, Canon
  • Rodney Staton Piercy, Director of Product, Digital Strategist, Coalesce
  • Matthew Stremler, Director of Research, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM)


The event kicked off with a welcome from Director Stuart Henderson, then three Jefferson Lab inventors, Bogdan Wojtsekhowski, Pavel Degtiarenko, and Kevin Jordan presented to the panel and answered questions about their technology. Guided by facilitator Mike Reilly, the panel then explored potential applications, markets, and path forward for their inventions. “It was a good opportunity for me to hear and learn from the professionals,” says inventor Degtiarenko. “It was good educational value to also hear their strategic approach and the logic behind their suggestions.”

As for the panelists, they also found the day to be very valuable. “I was grateful for the invitation to participate, and enjoyed it!” said panelist Sean Mallon. ”Definitely some good collaboration opportunities came out of it (including connecting with other panelists.)”

The IDE was part of the “Improving Tech Transfer Outcomes through Partnership Intermediary Pilot Project” sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions under the Practices to Accelerate the Commercialization of Technologies (PACT) funding program. “We were very grateful to have this opportunity through the PACT funding,” says CTO Drew Weisenberger. “We look forward to following up on the panel’s suggestions and planning future events that engage partners and assist our inventors in technology commercialization.”

CONTACT: Deborah Dowd, Jefferson Lab Communications Office,


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit