Research Focus Specializations That Deliver Innovation at the Speed of Business


Energy research at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus explores all aspects of generating clean and renewable sources of energy and storing it safely.

Both the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) offer world-class capabilities in energy research, including the Spallation Neutron Source, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, and one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Jaguar. Research to date has yielded improvements in solar panel efficiency and breakthrough improvements in the transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Scientists at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus pursue research toward increased energy independence, economic development and environmental sustainability, including work dedicated to the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative.


High-performance computing is a key part of technology advancement and scientific discovery. Tenants of Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus have access to supercomputers that have been ranked among the fastest in the world.

Titan, ORNL’s fastest supercomputer, is used for simulations on topics such as nuclear power, aircraft, climate change, pharmaceuticals, advanced materials, diseases, supernovas and clean combustion. Summit, a new hybrid CPU/GPU computing system to be delivered in 2018, will provide at least five times the performance of Titan for a wide range of scientific applications. The hybrid system will support researchers seeking to address the most challenging and impactful science problems for government, academia and industry.

Beacon, a Cray supercomputer, is determining the impact of emerging technologies, specifically the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, on computational simulations in science and engineering. It set a record for power efficiency and was ranked No. 1 on the Green500 list of the most energy-efficient computers in 2012.


The Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM) is among the most powerful materials research facilities in the world, and it’s available to tenants of Cherokee Farm.

Armed with a collection of advanced instruments, technologies and talent available in only a handful of facilities around the world, JIAM is a resource tailor-made for organizations that must have powerful materials research capabilities in order to preserve and extend their competitive advantages. JIAM is a powerful development incentive for locating at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus, one without equal among research parks located anywhere else in the nation.


The natural world is intricate, interconnected and elaborate. Cherokee Farm is ideally suited to studying climate change and the environment because of the campus’ focus on interdisciplinary research.

Drawing on experts from the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and private industry partners, Cherokee Farm takes on climate change and environmental science with a vast collection of resources, including:
Gaea – the climate research computer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) based at ORNL
Titan – currently ORNL’s fastest supercomputer
Summit – a new hybrid CPU/GPU computing system to be delivered in 2018 that will provide at least five times the performance of Titan

Using Titan, researchers can model different scenarios on a global scale. Whether solutions come from new plant strains developed to absorb more carbon dioxide or through the modeling of their effect, Cherokee Farm is a central link in this cutting-edge scientific endeavor.

Additionally, programs like the Climate Change Science Institute at ORNL offer Innovation Campus tenants access to advanced climate system modeling and simulation technologies.


Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus delivers a wealth of partnerships in the field of biomedical science to its tenants.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) work collaboratively with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory on critical challenges in biomedicine. As the state’s only academic medical center, UTHSC also has an extensive network of partnerships with some of the foremost research hospitals in the state, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

The UTHSC Graduate School of Medicine is located across the road from Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, home to the area’s only Level I Trauma Center, the region’s first primary certified stroke center, and to the region’s first dedicated heart hospital. The UT College of Veterinary Medicine, one of only 28 in the nation, is located adjacent to the campus.

The University of Tennessee and East Tennessee are global leaders in the science and business of medical imaging, with research centers such as the Scintillation Materials Research Center. The relentless progress in genomics will soon transform the delivery of health care and the UT Health Science Center is at the forefront of developing animal models for personalized medicine.

By harnessing the state’s collective expertise in biomedical science, Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus brings together resources that provide unprecedented potential for major scientific and medical breakthroughs.


Working with the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture, Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus tenants have access to 130 leading researchers in a diversity of agricultural sub-disciplines, including the complete biofuels production value chain. The University was a key, early partner in Genera Energy, a biofuels initiative formed to answer the biggest commercial and technical challenges in bringing cellulosic ethanol to cost-effective mass production.

Other areas of research specialization include advanced science in veterinary medicine and low-environmental impact pest management.

The Institute’s four major units are the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through these organizations, Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus tenants can access precisely the right intellectual resources to advance their research objectives.