Dear Colleagues:

Today we publicly announced a new partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago dedicated to technology development for some of society’s most pressing challenges, from producing clean water to treating cancer. This new partnership for innovation will combine our collective world-class excellence in advanced analytics and advanced materials and give our university a greatly enhanced presence in the Chicagoland area.

The partnership will bring 100 faculty, researchers and students from Urbana-Champaign to collaborate with University of Chicago colleagues, entrepreneurs and industry leaders, and will be based in a new innovation complex in Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side. Its primary goal will be developing and commercializing groundbreaking technology, driving the formation of startup companies and other links to industry. University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which helps innovators commercialize ideas and technologies and fosters the creation of new businesses, will lead the partnership.

As the Illinois land-grant university, we have an obligation and mission to serve the citizens of our state by providing access to education and by translating knowledge into practical improvements for the way people live and work. For us to fully deliver on that promise we need to be actively engaged in the areas where the people of this state are concentrated and where we can create the greatest impact with the greatest speed. In Illinois, that means you need to have a presence in Chicago. And while we may only be a couple of hours away, sometimes that small gap on the map becomes an impassable barrier. This partnership just made that barrier a lot less daunting.

More importantly, this program is a win for the entire state of Illinois to have its flagship university so deeply engaged in the civic and economic life of the city of Chicago.


Robert J. Jones

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