Innovation Awards recognizes 13 UTIA researchers for delivering discoveries 


2013 Innovation Awards
​Charlie Brock of LaunchTN addressed the 2013 Innovation Awards luncheon hosted by the UT Research Foundation.  Thirteen UT Institute of Agriculture scientists were honored for receiving patents on their work. Photo courtesy UTRF.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Thirteen researchers from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have been awarded for their discoveries resulting in patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO). The researchers received the recognition Friday at the 2013 University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) Innovation Awards.
“Our researchers at UTIA are delivering discoveries that are having an impact in Tennessee and beyond,” said Larry Arrington, UTIA chancellor. “The fact that our faculty were awarded for 13 patents is a testament to the innovative research being conducted here at UTIA.”
Receiving a patent is quite an accomplishment for a researcher. In fact, fewer than 20 percent of the technologies created at UT are granted patents from the USTPO. Faculty receiving patents for their work are considered among the most innovative and dedicated researchers in the university system.
Once an idea or technology is patented, it can be licensed for further development and even commercialization by outside companies. Patents that lead to license agreements generate revenue for the university. They may even become a basis for starting companies, which may lead to local and regional economic development.
“The university’s strategic plan calls for us to promote the application and commercialization of research to improve the economy and expand business and industry in the state of Tennessee,” said David Washburn, president and CEO of UTRF.
The UTIA inventors recognized for receiving a patent for their discoveries include:
Raul Almeida, Animal Science
(Max) Zong-Ming Cheng, Plant Sciences
Juan Jurat-Fuentes, Entomology and Plant Pathology
Stephen Kania, College of Veterinary Medicine
Douglas Luther, Animal Science
Stephen Oliver, assistant dean, UT AgResearch
Cristopher Oppert, Entomology and Plant Pathology
C. Neal Stewart, Racheff Chair, Plant Sciences
John Wilkerson, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
Rebecca Wilkes, College of Veterinary Medicine
Xia Ye, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
Michael Zemel, Professor Emeritus, Nutrition
Nan Zhao
The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch with its 10 AgResearch and Educations centers and UT Extension offices in every county of the state.
Contact: Doug Edlund, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-974-7141,