The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign are coming together in a new partnership as part of the Illinois Innovation Network – a group of high-tech research and academic institutions, startups and “innovation-driven enterprises.”
The “major innovative initiative” will bring around 100 faculty, researchers and students from the Champaign-based school and the U of C to the latter’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Hyde Park.
The network, housed inside the Harper Court commercial area, is aimed to develop and commercialize groundbreaking technology in fields ranging from cancer research to the production of clean water. It will give researchers and others the chance to research cures for cancer, predictive analytics and more, officials said.
The Polsky Center Innovation complex will be located at 53rd and South Lake Park, roughly a mile north of the proposed Obama Center.
It is expected to break ground in the first half of 2018, and will be fully functional by 2020, said John Flavin, who heads the Polsky Center.
The partnership between the two schools started two years ago, Flavin said.
“We see this as fulfilling the needs of our schools and our communities by combining our expertise to solve the world’s problems,” he said.
U of C’s President Robert Zimmer added, “By making the most of each institution’s distinctive leadership in science, engineering and business development, and our combined infrastructure, this ambitious initiative will accelerate the pace of discovery while providing a clear path to economic development for our community, city and state.”
Energy magnate Michael Polsky, who the center is named after, donated $50 million toward the creation of the Polsky Center, officials said.