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White House Innovation Forum Takes on Tennessee Flavor

A recent gathering of leading researchers and laboratory officials in Washington, D.C., had a distinct Tennessee flair.

The White House Forum on Connecting Regional Innovation Ecosystems to Federal and National Labs was an opportunity for political, educational and scientific leaders to discuss ways that economic growth benefits from research facilities.

UT President Joe DiPietro and UT Knoxville Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Taylor Eighmy, and officials from Oak Ridge National Laboratory were part of delegation from the state that made up more than ten percent of all attendees, according to Teknovation, a newsletter devoted to technological innovation.

“While the University of Tennessee system is a powerful economic engine in its own right, our partnership with the powerful economic engine of ORNL yields exponentially enhanced impact for both entities that result in hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in economic impact, and research advances that enhance opportunity and quality of life throughout Tennessee and beyond,” said UT President Joe DiPietro.

For Eighmy, the event served to highlight the many collaborations between UT and various labs and research centers in the region.

“This was a special opportunity to visit with White House staff and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, the Department of Energy’s deputy secretary,” said Eighmy. “ORNL was prominently featured as a national lab that is open for business with industry and universities and IACMI—our new Composites Institute—was shared as one such exemplary collaboration.”

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