USTAR Confluence: Where Innovation Meets Economic Development

USTAR Logo 2015On Oct. 4-5, the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative will hold its third annual two-day research and commercialization workshop, 2016 Confluence: Where Innovation Meets Economic Development, at the James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building on the University of Utah campus. 

The event seeks to stimulate economic and commercial excitement within Utah, while providing USTAR researchers, projects and partners the opportunity to share their work and progress, and will also give stakeholders, investors and the public an opportunity to engage in the unique work of USTAR.

As in previous years, Confluence will feature presentations from university researchers, industry partners and technology outreach programs about commercialization initiatives and services available. Graduate and postdoctoral poster presentations from students related to the two research universities will take place during the afternoon break each day. 

New in 2016, Confluence will feature speed pitches from several of the leading companies and agencies in Utah including L-3 Communications, BD Medical, Rocky Mountain Power and others. These pitches will present current gaps in industry needs and open opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in solving the crucial needs. Also new this year, companies and researchers will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with USTAR regional directors to discuss progress or other project needs.

“Confluence provides our companies, researchers and stakeholders the opportunity to meet once a year and share the progress and successes of the past year,” said Ivy Estabrooke, executive director of USTAR. “And this year we are excited to introduce some new elements that will help bolster the technology development discussions in the state.”

Sami Mayekar, the co-founder and chief executive officer of SiNode Systems, a venture-backed company developing advanced materials for the lithium-ion battery industry, will provide the conference keynote address.  He most recently worked with the business development team at Boeing Defense Systems and as an Investment Banker at Credit Suisse. His presentation will focus on creative funding streams and thinking outside the typical funding streams.

Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski, Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office will provide the featured presentation on Wednesday. As the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional USPTO, since January 2016, Molly is responsible for leading the Rocky Mountain regional office focusing on the nine states within this region and actively engaging with the community. Ms. Kocialski ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Presentations begin at 9:00 a.m. on Oct. 4th and 5th, and lunch will be provided both days. For more information and to register, please visit