Friday, October 20, 2017

UIS students could study at newly proposed Chicago research center

University of Illinois Springfield students would have a chance to study at a proposed new public-private research center near downtown Chicago, UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said Thursday.

The University of Illinois announced plans for the Discovery Partners Institute on Thursday. 

According to the university, the new research institute would be developed on a site along the Chicago River in the city’s south loop neighborhood, where researchers will work with students and businesses to support “next-generation innovation and workforce development.”

The development company Related Midwest donated the land.

The U of I hopes to complete a plan for the research center next year. The plan will include a timetable for opening and other details of the $1.2 billion institute, which will be operated principally through private donations and partnerships with business and industry.

Koch said Thursday she was excited about what the prospects of the facility could mean in attracting students to UIS and preparing them for the workforce.

The institute, she said, would work similarly to a study-abroad program, where UIS students would spend a semester or more in Chicago. Students in numerous majors could potentially utilize the facility, including computer science, management information services, data analytics and information security, she said. “The sky is the limit on what the possibilities will be,” Koch said. 

Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are partnering with the U of I on the institute. U of I president Timothy Killeen said in a statement the center is intended to bring together faculty, students and companies to collaborate on research and turn it into new products and companies.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 19, 2017.

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