The University of Kentucky is a strategic partner in a new nonprofit to foster innovation in Kentucky’s expanding metals industry.

MI2 Strategic Planning Session


Welcome to UK Innovate, the innovation, entrepreneurship and economic enterprise for UK Research. Through technology commercialization, corporate partnerships, social innovation, innovation training and economic development initiatives related to UK's research innovations, talent and community, we work with you to move ideas into the world faster, where they can make the greatest social and economic impact possible. 

UK Innovate Focus Areas

Corporate Partnerships

Under corporate partnerships, UK Innovation Connect provides dedicated resources to support industry, non-profit and private sector partnerships for research and innovation. 

Innovation Training

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Training manages innovation programs offering translational research, product development and entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentorship to faculty, staff and students at UK.

Technology Commercialization

The Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) works collaboratively with innovators to strategically assess, protect, and license early-stage technologies and co-create new technology startups. 

Social Innovation

At the intersection of innovation, social entrepreneurship, and transformational changes, UK's initiative to scale ideas and find solutions to create social impact from research and discovery. 

We respectfully acknowledge that the University of Kentucky sits on the traditional territory of the Osage, Shawnee, Cherokee, Adena and Hopewell peoples.


According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to boost the global economy by $15.7 trillion by 2030. University of Kentucky (UK) innovators with various backgrounds and across a spectrum of academic fields and research areas are shaping the future of AI through their research. UK Innovation Connect is bringing together these different areas and providing resources to connect and engage with one another.

In July, UK Innovation Connect hosted the AI Innovation Consortium (AIIC) at UK with faculty members working in AI, including the Center for Computational Sciences, College of Communication and Information, College of Engineering, College of Medicine and Markey Cancer Center.

This meeting brought faculty from different areas together in one space for the first time to discuss their respective fields of research in AI. Konrad Konarski, Chairperson of AIIC, kicked off the meeting by providing an AI Innovation Consortium overview. For AIIC, Konarski aims “to bring together industry leaders across different domains to support a holistic perspective on Artificial Intelligence to build standards and best practices that help drive technology adoptions, evolve privacy, data governance, and data biases guiding principles, and effectively align AI evolution with the most relevant industry challenges and objectives now and in the future.”

Seven of the faculty innovators showcased their group’s AI research. This opportunity allowed AI researchers to learn about each other’s work opening the door to future collaborations. The topics covered in these presentations were AI’s use in robotics, open-domain natural language interfaces, medicine, smart manufacturing, cancer research informatics, data science, and a potential partnership between AIIC and the Commonwealth Computational Summit.

“This meeting highlighted numerous avenues for collaboration not only with AIIC but also with other groups across campus. My research group focuses on problems in autonomy, robotics, and controls,” said Jesse B. Hoagg, Ph.D., professor in the College of Engineering. “Our interest in AI lies primarily in learning-based control algorithms for robotics and autonomous vehicles. However, this meeting demonstrated the diversity of AI research efforts across UK’s campus.”

“The same underlying AI techniques to spot a defective weld are also used to detect cancerous cells.  As new AI model architectures are developed, the trend of 'bigger is better' continues for both datasets and models,” said Cody Bumgardner, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Engineering. “Institutional and broader regional support is critical to organize the scale of datasets, infrastructure, and expertise needed to move the application of AI forward.” 

“It was fascinating to learn what researchers across campus are doing in the AI field,” said Kim Sayre, UK Innovation Connect Manager. “There was a lot of synergy, and several collaboration discussions are underway as a result.”

UK Innovation Connect, part of UK Innovate, provides dedicated resources and services to support University of Kentucky research and innovation outcomes that impact corporate partners and promote economic development in our innovation ecosystem.

“Bringing together UK innovators from multiple disciplinary areas to promote research collaborations with one another, and with Consortia such as AIIC, is a great way to enhance the overall impact of our research outcomes and grow UK’s research enterprise,” said Landon Borders, Executive Director, UK Innovation Connect.