Be Part of the Innovation

The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute is building America’s hub for discovery, science and technology talent.

We want to hear your ideas, and we’re always looking for new partners.

Here are just a few of the ways we’re partnering with other colleges and universities, industry and other future-minded organizations.

‘Second-Life’ Battery Storage

UT-ORII is teaming up with Nissan, Middle Tennessee Electric, Tennessee State University and Seven States Power Corporation to launch an innovative second-life battery storage project. UT-ORII is leading the research aspect of the project, with Tom Zawodzinski, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage heading up the effort.

“Partnering on projects like these play a critical role in driving our Ambition 2030 vision and carbon neutrality goals in the U.S.,” said Kent O’Hara, President, Nissan 4R Energy U.S.

This project will repurpose Nissan’s used electric vehicle batteries, giving them a “second life” as a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Nissan America’s headquarters in Franklin, Tenn.


Learning Collaborative

To ensure we’re building the strongest, most diverse pipeline of talent for our nation, UT-ORII launched a Learning Collaborative. The collaborative encourages the sharing of new ideas, best practices and lessons learned.

The Institute’s first Learning Collaborative was held in March 2022 with a total of 42 attendants from nine Tennessee universities and colleges (UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin, UT Health Science Center, Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis, Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University and Pellissippi State Community College) as well as ORNL, Tennessee Achieves, and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). A second Learning Collaborative, with an expanded guest list, is being planned. 

Future Ready Workshop

More than 40 leaders from the Oak Ridge community participated in UT-ORII’s first Future Ready Workshop in 2022. Leaders came together to plan and prepare for the next generation of opportunities and workforce development needs in Oak Ridge.

Leaders from Y-12 National Security ComplexOak Ridge National Laboratory, UCOR, Kairos Power, Carbon Rivers, Triso-X, Tennessee Valley AuthorityEast Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC)City Of Oak RidgeThe Roane Alliance, CROET, Pellissippi State Community College, TCAT, Roane State Community College, the Tickle College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and UT-ORII participated.

A second Future Ready Workshop will be announced soon.