News Local/State

U Of I President Touts New Chicago Research Institute

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen. University of Illinois

University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen said he is excited the U of I system will lead the Discovery Partners Institute. The DPI is a new research institute where students will work alongside faculty, researchers and businesses. Killeen said this will spur economic growth in the state. 

“This is going to be public, private, interdisciplinary, problem solving, job creating, social equity creating, wealth creating," said Killeen. 

This comes as Governor Bruce Rauner announced details on Tuesday about a plan he said will position Illinois to compete economically and technologically with Silicon Valley — with the new institute at the center of that plan. 

Illinois has appropriated $500 million for the project in the new 2019 budget. Killeen said the U of I System will spend $6 million over the next four years to help fund the Discovery Partners Institute’s start up efforts. 

University President Tim Killeen said the Institute is carrying out its plans in phases. So far, it has opened an office at a U of I downtown Chicago facility where it will hold classes and continue building partnerships. 

He said he hopes to see the DPI move into its own building in a couple of years, adding that he is excited to see the institute’s overall concept come to life. 

"It's an idea as much as anything, it's how to really create innovation at scale and with verve and energy and talent, and so it will be an evolution," said Killeen. 

Killeen said the DPI will serve as the central hub for the Illinois Innovation Network—a larger network of research centers to be scattered across Illinois to carry out DPI’s goals. 

CORRECTION: A version of this story broadcast 6/20/18 on WILL Radio stated incorrectly that a new research facility would be opened later this year. DPI currently has an office in downtown Chicago. The organization is intended to be located in a new facility yet to be built.