CHAMPAIGN — Dow Chemical Co. plans to open an "innovation center" in the University of Illinois Research Park, the company announced Monday.
The center will develop data management solutions for research and development organizations throughout the company.
Sixteen students in computer science and related fields will work there part-time, the company said. There will also be a site director.
Dow has also entered into an industry partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications on campus.
The partnership will help Dow use best practices in high-performance modeling and simulation.
"We are very pleased to announced the opening of an (information technology) development office that will build upon the University of Illinois' tradition of groundbreaking computer science research and education," said Roy Ladd, director of global information research at Dow.
UI Chancellor Phyllis Wise said the new center will draw on the university's strengths in high-performance computing, informatics and computer science.
The innovation center will give students the opportunity for "real-life experiences that impact industry and address major global product solutions," said Lawrence Schook, the UI's vice president for research.
UI Research Park Director Laura Frerichs said the center will be on the second floor of 2021 S. First St., C — the building that also houses Yahoo and John Deere offices, among others.
Dow has been operating from temporary offices but is expected to move into the new space this week, she said.
Frerichs said Dow established the innovation center within a relatively short time. She said other companies are considering setting up similar operations in the research park.
Dow employs about 52,000 worldwide and has more than 5,000 products manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries.