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December 04, 2022 | Tom Ballard

New not-for-profit foundation established to foster scientific endeavors

UT-Battelle has made a corporate contribution to the new foundation to further strengthen its commitment to the community and region.

A new foundation has been established to foster scientific endeavors aligned with the missions of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. economic, energy, and national security interests.

Announced Friday morning at the weekly meeting of the East Tennessee Economic Council and seeded by funding from UT-Battelle LLC, the not-for-profit Oak Ridge Foundation, which will be governed by an independent board of directors, will enable stronger connections for corporate and individual donors who are interested in efforts that advance Oak Ridge missions and national priorities.

Other Department of Energy national laboratories such as Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore have benefitted from nonprofit foundations, and the Oak Ridge Foundation adds an important tool for sustaining world-leading impact in the Oak Ridge Corridor.

UT-Battelle, ORNL’s management and operating contractor, has made a corporate contribution to the new foundation to further strengthen its commitment to the community and region.

“Oak Ridge exists to apply multidisciplinary expertise and unique equipment to the most difficult scientific and technical challenges of our time,” said Thomas Zacharia, Director of ORNL and President and Chief Executive Officer of UT-Battelle LLC. “The Oak Ridge Foundation will help to ensure we are doing all we can to most effectively fulfill the missions entrusted to us by the nation.”

Areas of focus will include:

  • Improving U.S. technological competitiveness and regional and local economic development;
  • Enhancing the science and technology workforce of the future;
  • Enabling and advancing research and development; and
  • Removing barriers to the transfer of technology

While the foundation anticipates partnering with national philanthropic organizations on major scientific challenges, it will not compete for funds with existing charitable activities in and around Oak Ridge.