The University of Tennessee Research Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development, and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond.
The UT Research Foundation is believed to be the second-oldest university research foundation in the country. Originally created in 1935 as the UT Research Corporation, and reorganized in 2003 as the UT Research Foundation, the organization has expanded from primarily promoting agricultural inventions in the 1930s to a broad range of modern research, including biology, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and alternative energy.
While the Foundation is a separate entity from UT, it provides assistance and resources to the research activities of faculty, staff and students of the UT system (Knoxville campus, including UT Institute of Agriculture and UT Graduate School of Medicine; and the campuses of Chattanooga, Martin, Tullahoma and Memphis). Select UT inventions and products are aided in the progression from the laboratory to the public. Proceeds from licensing such discoveries are used to enhance additional research at UT.
The Foundation frequently partners with the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the State of Tennessee for various research and education initiatives.