UI Chicago to use DPI funds for research facilities for medicine, computers

UI Chicago to use DPI funds for research facilities for medicine, computers

CHICAGO — New research facilities to build on breakthroughs in therapeutic drugs and computer technology are the University of Illinois at Chicago's priorities for a new UI-led statewide innovation network.

The campus, which has a large health center and a growing computer-science department, announced Wednesday that a the Drug Discovery and Innovation Pavilion and the Computing Design, Research and Learning Center will be built with a portion of the $500 million in state funding approved last spring to launch the Discovery Partners Institute and Illinois Innovation Network.

Expansion of the UIC Innovation Center, a incubator that partners with businesses, is also among the spending priorities outlined during a campus forum in Chicago.

Specific amounts for the projects were not released. The state is working on a bond sale that will provide funding to develop the DPI near downtown Chicago and "hubs" along the network in Chicago, Urbana, Springfield and other communities.

The Urbana campus announced Tuesday that its share of the state funding would go to a new Data Sciences Center and expansion of the UI Research Park to further the growth of startups.

The initiative is focusing on "big data" and computing technology, including cybersecurity and the "internet of things"; health care, including new drugs and treatment methods; food and agriculture breakthroughs, to improve nutrition and access to food; and environment and water, to protect natural resources and provide for a growing population.