Founded in 1935, the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) is believed to be the second-oldest university technology transfer organization in the nation. UTRF is a non-profit organization with offices in Knoxville and Memphis. UTRF and its employees strive to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond by promoting the commercialization of intellectual property, encouraging an entrepreneurial culture, contributing to economic development, and supporting research and education.
UTRF understands that its most valuable assets are the University’s internationally-acclaimed researchers, scientists and inventors. UTRF also benefits from the University’s unique partnerships – e.g., its collaborative efforts with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) promises to play a major role in setting the global science agenda.
UTRF functions as a third-party facilitator for commercializing intellectual property created within the University’s expansive research areas, including agriculture, animal health, chemistry, energy, engineering, healthcare, materials science, research tools, software, etc. As a conduit between academia and the private sector, UTRF is charged with identifying, protecting, marketing and licensing the University’s proprietary technologies to industry, investors and entrepreneurs. UTRF and its employees take pride in creating new jobs and new companies that boost the economy and, ultimately, produce income for the inventors and the University.