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April 18, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

UT-ORII hosts inaugural Research Symposium

The Science Alliance is now a part of the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, allowing for more pathways to funding.

The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) wrapped up its inaugural Research Symposium on Tuesday afternoon. It is where the organization showcased the research that UT-ORII and the Science Alliance have funded since the former was launched three years ago. The event had more than 20 joint UT-ORNL research teams and nearly 50 University of Tennessee System graduate students lined up to present during the two-day event.

UT-ORII and the Science Alliance have invested nearly $21 million in UT-ORNL joint research since UT-ORII launched in March 2021. This money went toward lab research, student internships, technology, and equipment.

Several organizations under the UT-ORII umbrella also presented their impact reports during the Symposium. For example, the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) presented the new ways in which they’re getting the younger generations connected with hands-on research opportunities.

“Research is at the heart of MRSEC, but the biggest goal is to make a wider impact. It’s the perfect springboard for attracting talent to the region, and preparing us to thrive in the worldwide economy,” said Alan Tennant, the Director of MRSEC at UT, Knoxville.

Randy Boyd, the President of the University of Tennessee System, showed up in support of the inaugural event. He has invested both personal money and time in the launch of UT-ORII.

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