An Innovation Hub

The City of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Corridor serve as a central hub for innovation in the Tennessee Valley. World-class resources such as the Department of Energy's integrated research centers that both create and foster innovation through programs like the technology transfer program. The nearby Y-12 National Security Complex also offers commercial and federal intellectual property and research agreements, along with regional educational partners like the University of Tennessee's UT Research Foundation.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is building on a legacy of discovery and innovation to continually address our most urgent R&D needs. ORNL delivers scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs needed to realize solutions in energy and national security and to provide economic benefit to the nation. A wide range of partnerships with other US Department of Energy laboratories and programs, universities, and industry allows us to pair our strengths with others for outstanding contributions to science. 

  • 5800+ Total Staff
  • 946 of staff hold PHDs
  • 60+ countries represented
  • 30% of senior leaders are people of color
  • 35% of senior leaders are women
  • 11% of employees are veterans
  • 5% of employees identify as having a disability


These centers also call ORNL home: 

  • Center for Bioenergy Sustainability
  • Center for Bioenergy Innovation
  • Center for Molecular Biophysics
  • Quantum Science Center
  • Grid Research Integration and Deployment Center
  • NanoApplications Center
  • National Center for Computational Sciences
  • Radiation Safety Information Computational Center (RSICC)
  • U.S. ITER Project Office

Y-12 National Security Complex

Considered the birthplace of the atomic bomb, Y-12 was built as part of the Manhattan Project for the purpose of enriching uranium for the first atomic bombs. In the years after World War II, it has been operated as a manufacturing facility for nuclear weapons components and related defense purposes. More than 6,000 Tennesseans work at Y-12, including federal and contractor staff. 

  • 550+ invention disclosures
  • 85+ patent applications
  • 85+ patents issued
  • 5 R&D 100 Awards
  • 45+ commercial and federal intellectual property and research agreements

Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

The Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, established in 2013, is the Department of Energy’s only designated user facility for carbon fiber innovation. The CFTF, a 42,000 sq. ft. facility, provides a platform for identifying high-potential, low-cost raw materials including textile, lignin, polymer and hydrocarbon-based precursors.


The University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

The UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute addresses emerging, top-tier industry and workforce needs. The Institute develops scientists and engineers, who are locally relevant and globally competitive.