Since its inception in 1982, TUFF has endeavored to assist Institutions around the country in the expansion of their education and research mission through facility investments which equip Institutions with the assets they need to achieve their core goals. TUFF's work has fostered the creation of hundreds of new research-related jobs, expanded research enterprise around the country, and allowed universities and research institutes to expand their student enrollment and degree programs. TUFF has worked with over 40 institutions, financed over $800 million in projects, issued nearly $50 million in direct loans, and granted over $8 million in charitable donations. TUFF's mission is to leverage the economic results of its investments to provide further charitable benefits to its institutional partners.
The concept originally manifested when the President of Georgia Tech needed a new research facility but found that traditional State appropriation funds were not available. The President sought assistance from an outside third party that offered a unique solution.
Combining the annual stream of research grant money with the advantages of tax-exempt financing, an innovative real estate delivery mechanism was created. In 1982, Georgia Tech's annual research expenditures were approximately $17 million, today they are over $500 million. While new research buildings alone cannot cause such dramatic increases, cutting edge facilities do provide necessary space for researchers to investigate, expand the research portfolio, and ultimately improve the standing of the Institution.