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20 October 2017

Illinois universities team up

Researchers at University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will join forces at the Polsky Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joined forces yesterday to unveil a collaborative program to be hosted at the former’s Polsky Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Approximately 100 faculty, researchers and students from Urbana-Champaign will base themselves at the centre to work alongside their University of Chicago colleagues, as well as outside entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

The program, expected to generate spinouts, concentrates on fields such as advanced analytics and advanced materials to make use of the universities’ biggest strengths – which include computing for Urbana-Champaign and material sciences for University of Chicago.

University of Chicago decided to roll its commercialisation activities into the Polsky Centre in October 2016.

The centre currently features 34,000 square feet of co-working space and the Polsky Exchange incubator, but it is being expanded as part of a wider district overhaul by real estate developer Wexford Science and Technology.

University of Chicago hopes an entrepreneurial scheme run at the Polsky alongside Urbana-Champaign could help spur local non-university startups, and the centre will also host a regional branch of the US Army Research Laboratory.

Robert Zimmer, president of University of Chicago, said: “The rapid evolution of technology is leading to dramatic opportunities for science, engineering and venture formation in the area of advanced materials and data and computer sciences.”

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