UT Research Entity Act

  • UTRF is authorized to form and participate in Tennessee legal entities, in order to promote and carry out UT’s research- generated technology.
  • UTRF is not an agency, department or arm of the state.
  • UTRF may contract for services of UT employees.
  • UTRF debts and liabilities are not those of the state.

501(C)( 3) Status

  • UTRF is recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt
  • UTRF may hold stock in public or private for-profit entities


  • The charter is amended by the UTRF board.
  • UTRF powers reflect the UT Research Entity Act, stating that UTRF may accept UT transfers of intellectual property, commercialization, for-profit, non-profit subsidiaries and incubators.
  • By-laws may be amended by the UTRF board.


  • A total of 10 directors comprise the UTRF board. Members include three UT Board of Trustees, two UT faculty or staff, four external representatives (including one from UT-Battelle), and the UTRF president.
  • There is no compensation for board members.
  • Seven members (total of 14) comprise two executive committees, one committee for the Multi-Disciplinary office, and another committee for the Health Science Center office. The seven-member committees are comprised of a chair (voting member of UTRF board), BOT Trustee chair of Research, Outreach, Economic Development (ROED) Committee, BOT trustee (from Memphis or other trustee), administrator or faculty representative, two external members (one from UT-Battelle for the Multi-Disciplinary office) and the UTRF president.
  • Officers: The chairman must be an external representative. The chairman is responsible for calling and presiding board meetings.
  • President: The president will be a UT officer or employee, nominated by the UT president, and elected by the UTRF board. The UTRF president reports directly to the UT president.
  • UTRF president, vice presidents, secretary and general counsel serve without terms, at the pleasure of the board.

Revenue Sharing With Inventors

  • The UTRF board establishes policy on revenue sharing with UT inventors.
  • The policy states that prior to FY 2009, the inventor could choose 15 percent of gross or 50 percent of net.
  •  The newer policy (FY2009 disclosures and later) states:
    • First $5,000 to inventor
    • First net $1 million: 40 percent to inventor, 15 percent to campus, 15 percent to department or laboratory, and 30 percent to UTRF
    • Net greater than $1 million: 35 percent to inventor, 20 percent to campus, 20 percent to department or laboratory, and 25 percent to UTRF
    • Revenue Sharing Graphic