Building the potential for collaborative research requires outreach between UT and ORNL researchers and other members of the Knoxville area’s green economy, such as governmental bodies, industry, business, and nonprofit organizations. To achieve greater collaboration, we are pursing the following engagement activities:
- Research Team Building — The 2013 forum demonstrated that many UT and ORNL researchers are unaware of each other’s work and expertise concerning green issues. To strengthen awareness and communication, we are currently reaching out to a variety of researchers and designing an information clearinghouse that will serve as a one-stop-shop for everything green in Knoxville, including a separate section showcasing UT and ORNL research.
- Community and Research Team Interactions — The lack of knowledge held by UT and private and public green economy members regarding their respective expertise and interests was even greater than the internal lack of knowledge. To build community capacity, we are currently convening focus groups and conducting interviews with Knoxville area green-economy leaders. We are also planning a second community forum on growing the Knoxville area’s green economy, which will be held this fall.
- Strengthening Regional Awareness — To nurture regional collaborations and grow the area’s green economy, we are currently working on writing the first annual report on “The State of the Knoxville’s Green Economy.” The report will include abstracts of research efforts, statistics on green jobs, and information regarding industry initiatives. It will also provide success stories and demonstrate needs. The report will be based on surveys and interviews, as well as analysis of publicly available information. The report will be made available to the Knoxville community, including UT and ORNL researchers, community members, private sector members, and governments, among others.