Caterpillar opens lab at UI research park

Caterpillar opens lab at UI research park

The head of the University of Illinois Research Park said to have new companies join the park and to have others expand their operations is a big part of the park's success and an important part of its future.

Laura Frerichs made the comments Thursday at the grand opening ceremony of Caterpillar's new Data Innovation Lab, the first one of its kind for the company. Caterpillar has been a part of the research park since 2001.  And just recently, the Ameren and the AbbVie innovation centers have also opened up at the park.

Frerichs said without Caterpillar's involvement early on, she doesn't feel there would be as many companies at the research park as there are today.

Caterpillar Chief Technology Officer Gwenne Henricks said the innovation lab will assist the company in finding ways to help customers be more productive and therefore make more money.

Caterpillar's Data Innovation Lab is expected to employee 21 people, with 18 of those being UI students.  Henricks said there are plans for the company to open more labs around the world in the future.

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