Scientific Presence Tennessee

Business is Global. Innovation is Local

Scientific presence is a holistic look at science and technology activity; a picture of inventive and innovative trends, emerging markets, talent pools, and the depth of scientific, technical and engineering enterprise, the indicators of future economic development and growth.


2013 Way Better Count: 1,499 — US Rank — #26
2013 Official Count: 1,003— US Rank — #26
Patents 1963—2013: 27,108
Use the Map and Scientific Presence Indicators and Metrics at left to examine the elements of scientific presence in Tennessee or click the map to see the Scientific Presence Profile for another state. The Scientific Presence profiles are dynamic and are updated when new metrics and observatons become available, please visit often.

Businesses & Outposts

100 Organizations

National and international corporations, universities, government agencies, businesses, and other organizations
earning patents with first named inventors from Tennessee.

The Top Ten

Companies Working With Tennessee Inventors 2009—2013 based on first named inventors who are from Tennessee.


The Complete List →

All Independent Inventors

2012 — 328 | 2013 — 280 | 2014 — 307
Total 1977—2014: 8,519
2014 US Rank — #24 | Overall Rank: #26

Independent Inventors are not affiliated with a company or other entity when their patents are granted. Many independent inventors use their patents as an important asset for new business formation. If a patent has more than one inventor, each inventor is counted according to his or her state of residence at the time of patent grant. If an inventor has more than one patent, he or she is counted once for each patent.
Source: USPTO

Research & Development (R&D)

Total 2012 R&D Expenditures in Tennessee: $4,218,000,000.

US R&D Rank — #25 | R&D Intensity — 1.6%
Tennessee GDP — $263,626,000,000 | GDP Rank — 19

Tennessee R&D Spending

In Millions of Dollars — 000,000)
SOURCES: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NSF/NCSES), National Patterns of R&D Resources (annual series), Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey, Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development, Survey of State Government R&D. State GDP data are from the US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, http://www.bea.gov, accessed 1 August 2013.
Category Subcategory US
R&D Spending
R&D Spending
All R&D $428,163 $4,219
Business Business - Total 294,093 1,434
Paid by The Business 238,768 1,279
Paid By Others - Non Federal Sources 24,015 119
Paid By Others - Federal Sources 31,909 35
Universities & Colleges Total 62,457 1,017
Federal Sources 37,714 719
Other Government Sources 3,718 36
Business 3,189 30
University &College Directly 12,965 192
Non-Profit Organizations 4,872 39
Other Non-Profits 6,553 101
States Internal NA -
Federal 35,775 108
FFRDCs Total 17,718 1,558
FFRDCs - Federal NA 1,514
FFRDCs - Non-Federal NA 44

Tennessee Higher Education R&D (HERD) Spending

(Dollars in thousands - 000)
Source: National Science Foundation — Higher education R&D (HERD) expenditures, by geographic division, state, and source of funds: FY 2012
All R&D
Federal Government State & Local
Institution Funding Business Nonprofit
All Other Sources
US $65,774,524 $40,130,460 $3,704,365 $13,673,539 $3,281,809 $4,033,233 $951,118
Tennessee 1,025,283 709,041 33,414 209,490 33,716 36,678 2,944

See how higher education funding breaks down by the source of the funding and the science, technology, and engineering domain where it is spent.

Follow the Money | Spending by Source & Domain →

Scientists & Engineers

Population with college degrees, scientific or engineering degrees, and doctorates in S&E research domains.


All Degrees
Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009
Total Population over 25 with College Degrees
Location All Degrees S&E Degrees S&E % Margin of
US 56,335,654 20,498,538 36.4% 0.1%
Tennessee 969,266 301,117 31.1% 0.6%
Future Scientists
High School Graduation Rates
US Total 80%
Tennessee 87%
Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate 2011-2012, Source US Department of Education
Map of College Degrees by State

Doctorate Degrees
Source: NSF, NIH, USED, USDA, NEH, NASA, Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2012.
Location US Rank Doctorate Degrees Granted % of US Total
US 51,008
Tennessee 20 812 0.02%
Doctorate Granting Institutions

None of the top 50 US doctorate-granting institutions are located in Tennessee.


A look at the research focused institutions supporting the State's scientific presence.

Expenditures at Tennessee Higher Education R&D Institutions

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Higher Education Research and Development Survey, FY 2012.
US Rank Institution All R&D Expenditures
  All US Institutions $65,774,524
34 Vanderbilt University 560,466
109 University Tennessee, Knoxville 179,252
166 University Tennessee, Health Science Ctr. 77,754
173 University Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture 68,480
199 University Memphis 51,194
251 Meharry Medical College 25,559
294 Tennessee State University 15,439
314 East Tennessee State University 11,213
317 University Tennessee, Chattanooga 10,896
325 Tennessee Technological University 10,233
364 Middle Tennessee State University 7,108
423 Fisk University 4,058
519 Austin Peay State University 2,124
635 Sewanee: University of the South 927
648 University Tennessee, Martin 580
  Totals —  Tennessee $1,025,283

Follow the Money | How Money Was Allocated to Tennessee Institutions →

Federally Funded R&D Centers

Federally Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs) located in Tennessee, the federal government department that sponsors the center, and information about their research spending.
FFRDC Sponsor Location All R&D Expenditures
All US FFRDCs     $17,446,036
Oak Ridge National Lab. DOE Oak Ridge 1,553,460
  All FFRDC Expenditures in Tennessee $1,553,460

Follow the Money | Spending By Tennessee Based FFRDCS →

Federal Research & Development Centers | US Master List →

Federal Laboratories

Source: Federal Lab Consortium
Agency Sponsor Lab
Dept. of Defense - Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center
Dept. of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dept. of Energy Y-12 National Security Complex
Dept. of Interior Tennessee Water Science Center

Federal Laboratories | US Master List →

About Scientific Presence

Indicia of Economic Growth, New Corporate Outposts and New Markets
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Scientific presence is a holistic look at science and technology activity in a particular location. Way Better Patents™ combines its own custom patent and innovation analytics with authoritative information on R&D spending, demographic data, STEM education information, economic data, grant data, information on patent owners, and the presence of young companies, the engines of most new job creation, to create each Scientific Presence Profile.
Scientific Presence metrics, when combined with information about new patented inventions, presents a picture of emerging inventive and innovative trends, nascent market development, the depth of scientific activity in a location, the companies establishing outposts in new locations beyond their corporate headquarters, and how many people are participating in these activities.
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