During the first half of 2020 UTC established a presence in the Edney by leasing the Second Floor, and it became the fourth anchor tenant with the Co.Lab, The Enterprise Center and Society of Work. Citizens and city officials and other partners in the city and region will be able to meet to faculty, staff and students on many occasions to learn about UTC educational and research and development programs in a very direct and interactive manner. UTC faculty, staff and students will have opportunities to engage directly with the public exchanging information that is critically important for programs at UTC and for the overall quality of life in Chattanooga. The objective is for the public to participate in roundtable discussions of important developments and in seminars on specific topics of special interest. We also foresee outreach activities with Middle and High Schools in the city and local region. In addition, the space is ideally suited for meetings of interdisciplinary researchers and students from UTC and strategic partner institutions to develop competitive proposals to compete for extramurally funded R&D projects. Examples of start-up activities include the following:
- R&D proposal development (1-3 individuals on 2nd Floor, rest of proposal team via videoconference)
- Seminars and workshops (2 – 10 persons present on 2nd Floor, rest of participants connecting via Zoom or similar tools)
- Meetings with Center for Urban Informatics and Progress collaborators and users of the ML King Smart City Corridor facility
- Meetings held by the Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technologies Lab members
- Residential business incubation activity, under the auspices of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Meetings of the UTC Commercialization Counselor with entrepreneurs and community partners, when appropriate
- Occasional class meetings of courses in the Entrepreneurship Program at UTC to facilitate guest speakers from the community and other related activities
- Possibly a pitch competition in the spring of 2021.
As of June 2020, there are three principal researchers, faculty members and groups who are ready to make use of the space in a significant manner:
- Dr. Mina Sartipi, UC Foundation Professor of Computer Science, Member of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, and Founding Director of the UTC Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP)
- Charlie Mix, Director of the UTC Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technologies (IGT) Lab
- Dr. Thomas Lyons, Professor and Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Business and Entrepreneurship in the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, representing the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
They will bring students at undergraduate and graduate levels, postdoctoral investigators, and collaborating faculty from across all UTC Colleges onto the 2nd Floor. They also work regularly with other tenants in the Edney Innovation Center, e.g. the Enterprise Center, Co.Lab, and the City of Chattanooga IT Department.