History of GTRC

The Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) was chartered on April 13, 1937, as the Industrial Development Council, a state-chartered not-for-profit corporation serving Georgia Tech as a University System of Georgia-approved cooperative organization.   

Founded by Preston S. Arkwright, Fuller E. Callaway, Jr., and Monie A. Ferst while Marion L. Brittain was university president, the stated objective was to “stimulate industrial development, to promote the fullest utilization of natural resources, and to foster research invention and discovery so as to provide a constantly improving technique in that behalf.”  

In 1946, the name was changed to the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and in 1984 to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation. 

Since 1946, GTRC has served as a “university-connected research foundation,” one of approximately 100 such entities located at state universities throughout the country. These foundations are organized primarily to permit their host universities to operate research programs by minimizing the impact of restrictive state contracting and financial procedures. 

The natures of these foundations vary in much the same way as the state environments to which their host universities are subject vary. Some are “full service” foundations and perform contracting, financial, personnel, purchasing, accounting, and other functions. Others have a narrow range of functions including only those that are difficult or impossible for the university itself to handle. 

GTRC falls into the latter category, and its functions are almost all financial. GTRC contracts and is paid for the research done at Georgia Tech, paying Georgia Tech for all direct costs and 78.3 percent of the overhead. The 21.7 percent of the overhead retained by GTRC are used to establish reserves for the research program and to pay certain expenses that Georgia Tech cannot pay. Administrative expenses of GTRC are included in the approved overhead, so a portion of the 21.7 percent is reimbursement for those expenses. Appropriations are made to Georgia Tech from reserves, as requested by the Georgia Tech Administration and approved by the Board of Trustees of the Corporation. 

The basis of the Georgia Tech-GTRC relationship is the 1953 agreement between the Regents of the University System and the Board of Trustees of GTRC. That agreement established the 78.3 percent to 21.7 percent overhead allocation, among other items. 

In 2017, GTRC celebrated 80 years of excellence with a gala event that recognized innovators and leaders. Learn more about the event and the honorees. 

Preston S. Arkwright
Marion L. Brittain
Fuller E. Callaway
Monie A. Ferst