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February 09, 2012 | Tom Ballard

ETEC details 2012 priorities

The East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC) recently posted its list of key issues and opportunities on which the organization will focus in 2012.

The non-profit membership group, which was chartered as the Roane Anderson Economic Council in 1973, is focused on “supporting the federal government’s missions in Oak Ridge as well as encouraging new opportunities to fully utilize the highly-skilled talent, cutting-edge technologies and unique facilities that make up the federal reservation.”

The 2012 priorities fall into five categories with more specific actions related to each.

  • Protect the public safety and the U.S. Department of Energy’s vital missions in Oak Ridge with a sustained Environmental Management budget on the Oak Ridge reservation.

–        Complete the work at the East Tennessee Technology Park.

–        Address the mercury, transuranic and other environmental problems at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

–        Work with the Asset Revitalization Initiative to transition strategic underused assets

  • Continue the transformation of Y-12, including building the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), and other facilities necessary to safely perform the missions of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

–        Maintain Y-12’s leadership role in the NNSA’s production complex.

–        Begin construction of UPF in 2013.

–        Site the NNSA production complex headquarters in Oak Ridge.

  • Enhance ORNL’s national leadership position in both science and innovation.

–        Support continued scientific growth in key areas including high performance computing, neutron sciences and the second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source, innovation hubs, and advanced manufacturing and isotope initiatives.

–        Focus on innovation, encouraging more collaborations with private industry and helping create new entrepreneurial ventures that will accelerate the transition of scientific discovery to applications in the commercial marketplace.

  • Support industrial development efforts connected to the region’s federal infrastructure.

–        Build the first small modular reactor in Oak Ridge.

–        Manufacture and deploy an American centrifuge program.

–        Support a regional center of excellence around advanced manufacturing, including low cost carbon fiber composites.

–        Support development and deployment of prototype energy projects in the region.

  • Build and empower the workforce of the future.

–        Encourage STEM education programs at Oak Ridge Associated Universities and in East Tennessee schools.

–        Support the University of Tennessee’s goal to be a top 25 research university.

–        Work with Roane State Community College and other partners to develop an Advanced Composites cluster.

ETEC members gather at 7:30 a.m. each Friday at the UT Outreach Center, 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge for a program related to the organization’s priorities. The board of directors uses one Friday a month for its meeting, but those sessions are open to ETEC members.

For more information about ETEC and membership, visit the ETEC webpage –

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