The University of Illinois and the University of Chicago have recently announced that they will be partnering to work on a new technical hub.
This new partnership will reportedly be part of Illinois’ Innovation Network – a high-tech group of academic and research institutions, innovation-based enterprises and startups. This network is seeking to both develop and commercialise some groundbreaking technology that could aid in causes such as producing clean water and cancer research.
Faculty and students from both the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois’ Champaign campus will be working at the Illinois Polsky Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the south side of the city.
John Flavin, the head of the Center said that by the second quarter of 2018, the complex will be in construction and by 2020, it should be fully functional.
Comments On The Center
Governor Bruce Rauner, who had an hand in the idea, said: “What if we formed more collaboration with those universities and created a dense network of students, faculty and research; and encouraged them to form businesses, connect them to the university, and give them the rights and ability to take their research and their technology and commercialize them, and develop products?”
“We thought that would be a major magnet to keeping and growing the Illinois economy,” he said.
Timothy Killeen, the president of the university of praised the new hub, describing it as a good way of taking advantage of “the assets that the state and the city have to accelerate economic development and to provide opportunities for students.”
He also pointed out that this would help against brain drain- graduated student retention- as they would grow more connected to the state and develop hopes of continuing their career there. He also said that this provides the perfect opportunity for tech companies looking for new tech talent.
“This campus, with the amenities we have in mind for it, is exactly what corporate America wants.”
Steve Koch, the former deputy mayor of Chicago, had also said at one time that he hopes to see Illinois’ best universities working together in order to create an optimal culture of innovation and entrepreneurship- similar to how East Coast and Northern California universities have collaborated to form economic and educational engines in Boston and San Francisco ‘s Bay Area.
Rauner had said that he wants to become governor in order to advance Koch’s vision.