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About the Research & Innovation Center

The Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS) at the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information facilitates and administers world-class applied research to find answers for information and communication problems facing organizations of all types. Research focuses on user experience with information systems, information systems and database design/evaluation, information management, data management, effective organizational communication, scientific communication, and science publishing. CICS research benefits public and private organizations, governmental agencies, and corporations. CICS  researchers work across disciplines and across agency borders.

CICS has provided research results to improve: information systems design; information organization and retrieval in databases, directories and locator tools in a networked environment; information usage; communication patterns; cybersecurity; measures and methods for evaluating information system performance and effectiveness; user experience; and scientific communication.

History of the Research & Innovation Center

The Research & Innovation Center (RIC) was established in June 1989 to be a focal point for research related to information systems and services. The center has performed research for the federal government, state and local governments, and business and industry. Projects have ranged from strategic planning efforts to an information system and service evaluations, to modeling of scientific and technical communication. The staff of the center has been actively involved in proposal development and project performance with faculty and staff in other centers and departments at the university.

In 2004 RIC expanded its mission to become the primary research arm of the College of Communication and Information. It assists with all communication and information for externally funded research initiatives and works closely with CCI faculty members.

CCI’s Research & Innovation Center has more than $6.7M of active grants and contracts.

RIC Mission Statement

The mission of the Research & Innovation Center is to focus the talent of faculty and research staff within the College of Communication and Information, across the disciplines at UT, and beyond on addressing research problems related to information and communication systems and services, broadly defined.

RIC will fulfill its mission by pursuing the following goals:

  • Identifying research problems involving the intersection of information technology, knowledge-based systems and services, communication, and user behavior.
  • Building interdisciplinary research teams from within the College, across the University, and outside the UT community, to bring the full range of University and other research talents to bear on such problems.
  • Identifying funding sources and developing proposals for projects that will further knowledge in information and communication issues.
  • Conducting research projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Disseminating the results of its research in a manner that assures effective knowledge transfer.

The following principles support the mission:

  • RIC will work within the College of Communication and Information to establish policies and procedures to support research efforts and to eliminate administrative barriers to funded research.
  • RIC research activities will be coordinated and integrated with those of the College of Communication and Information faculty and staff to the fullest extent possible.
  • RIC research activities will build on a long tradition of working closely with ORNL scientists and technical staff, other research organizations in the region, and information and communication-related organizations.
  • Non-proprietary or security-cleared research efforts of the Research & Innovation Center will be communicated to the professional community in a variety of appropriate venues.

RIC Skills and Capabilities

The Research & Innovation Center supports many different types of research studies and uses various research methods and technologies to support our research.  Below is a list of some of the research skills and capabilities offered by RIC.

  • Architecture Design and Analysis
  • Database Design Encryption
  • Java Programming
  • Lifecycle Documentation and Support
  • Network Design
  • Multilevel Secure Network Support
  • Online Database Searching
  • Software Development
  • Usability Testing
  • Web-based Software
  • Development & Systems Engineering

To request a copy of the current Capabilities Statement and learn more about how RIC can help your organization, please contact Dr. Suzie Allard.