Dear Colleagues:

I would like to share a new report (“Identification of Technology Clusters for Economic Development”) recently commissioned by Research Park staff. As you recall, Economic Development emerged from our Visioning Future Excellence initiative as one of six themes the campus community identified as important societal challenges we will face in the next 20-50 years. This was an excellent opportunity for us to partner with the Research Park and with the consulting group they chose to learn how we could capitalize on the strengths of the University and the cities of Champaign and Urbana in collaborative ways to create a vibrant community.

Clearly, improving the quality of life in our community by focusing on learning, discovery, and engagement is our enduring mission. However, this study also makes it clear that as our community grows stronger, our ability to attract and retain outstanding faculty, to build broader collaborative networks, and to build our research infrastructure are also greatly enhanced.
The report highlights three areas where the research enterprise of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers significant potential to fuel broad, positive economic and social growth in East Central Illinois. These  areas – Data Analysis, Data Management, and Computing; Biomedical and Bioengineering; and Energy – are among our campus strategic initiatives and are identified as likely to drive new opportunities in our region and the State of Illinois.

You can download the entire report here and I hope you will take some time to consider the study and the recommendations. I believe the report is yet another strong indicator of how closely our road to pre-eminence is tied to our success in building a strong and sustainable university-community partnership.


Phyllis M. Wise

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