Emerging Technology

The FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT) is the applied research arm of the University of Memphis and the home for emerging technology innovation in the Mid-South. Through FIT, FedEx leads our campus in advanced research efforts, functions as a catalyst for new ideas and guides the future of workforce development.




The FedEx Institute of Technology uses research to solve big challenges facing FedEx. Launched by the FIT in January 2021, the FRONTIERS program enables emerging technologies research engagement that aligns with FedEx goals and priorities by focusing on emerging technologies in major areas as outlined in the FedEx Investor Report, or other requested areas. This program directly supports FedEx’s innovation agenda by having faculty-led teams of UofM students tackle specific challenges for FedEx team members. 

With our current cohort, we have projects serving the following FedEx Op-Cos:

Areas of Research include but are not limited to:

  • Pricing
  • Automation
  • Processing Improvement
  • Data Models
  • Statistical Analysis



Patents 2 Products

The University of Memphis has joined forces with Epicenter to launch the Patents2Products Post-Doc program, a pioneering initiative aimed at hiring post-doc fellows to transform patented intellectual property, developed locally and nationwide, into successful for-profit ventures. This program establishes funded positions for research entrepreneurs within the university, offering salaries, state benefits, and startup funds. P2P Fellows gain access to research facilities, licensing rights, and office space, located either in the University Research Park or the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship, supported by the FedEx Institute of Technology. Community mentors and advisors guide fellows through business plan development, and the partnership ensures awareness and preparation for relevant funding opportunities.

Powered by Epicenter, the entrepreneurship curriculum is tailored to each post-doc's startup venture, incorporating elements from NSF's I-Corps, Kauffman Foundation's FastTrac TechVenture, and other proven startup methodologies. The program also provides mentors and coaches from a diverse network of CEOs, investors, domain experts, and executives, fostering a supportive ecosystem for the fellows as they navigate the intricate path of entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Patents2Products »



UMRF Research Park

In early 2019, the FedEx Institute of Technology took another major step forward in growing the innovative impact of economic engagement and development for our campus and a new chapter for the University District began at 460 S. Highland St. Initially developed by the FIT within the Division of Research and Innovation at the University of Memphis, the UMRF Research Park was founded to preserve community spirit, amplify opportunity and establish a center of creative empowerment and
emerging innovation. 

Bringing together a new generation of corporate citizens committed to research-driven growth, UMRF Research Park is the first step in building the University District as a national center of technology innovation. It is rooted in the unique value and resources that a global research institution can leverage in support of driving student opportunity, economic growth, and further revitalization of an already accelerating city. The park serves as an innovation hub to attract global talent and enhance the community the University serves.

Learn more about the UMRF Research Park »



UMRF Ventures

The FedEx Institute of Technology is an engine for innovation on the University of Memphis campus that is defined by the cultivation of independent and self-sustaining growth engines across our campus. The unique cooperative research environment that has sustained multiple innovative ideas and approaches is best known for UMRF Ventures. Working together with business leaders at FedEx this new model public-private partnership was born.

UMRF Ventures is a company staffed by students who attend the University of Memphis and surrounding colleges. Today’s students have to successfully balance life with their school commitments. Many students take on significant debt to further their education and work multiple jobs while they go to school to meet their financial obligations. UMRF Venture's mission is to help students succeed by providing good-paying, part-time jobs, scheduled around their classroom commitments, and conveniently located on campus. Today UMRF Ventures has over 200 undergraduate and graduate students working for our partner companies, who frequently hire our students as full-time employees after they graduate.

Learn more about UMRF Ventures »


FedEx Roxo Testing Site

Collaborating closely with FedEx Institute of Technology, FedEx introduced autonomous last-mile delivery at the University of Memphis through the deployment of Roxo, an innovative autonomous delivery robot. The development teams from FedEx and DEKA Research and Development Corp worked together on this groundbreaking project. Roxo underwent extensive testing at the University of Memphis and in the City of Memphis over several days to assess its technological viability and effectiveness in enhancing last-mile delivery capabilities.