University of Illinois Launches Institute to Work with Companies and Government

The Institute will focus on advancing tech transfer to advance aims at going beyond pure research to do conduct applied research such as designing and testing products.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-11-06/ui-engineering-institute-work-firms-government.html

The Urbana/Champaign (IL) News-Gazette (11/7, Garennes) reports, “The University of Illinois College of Engineering has launched a new research institute that aims to partner with companies and federal agencies to conduct applied research

such as designing and testing products.” The “Illinois Applied Research Institute plans to work with agencies such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and Department on Energy on everything from radar technology and cybersecurity to hydrogen fuel cells.” Officially launched in mid-August, it “already plans to conduct some electromagnetic-related research work with SAIC, the multibillion-dollar company and frequent recipient of Department of Defense contracts.”

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Report Cites the Importance of R&D as Driving Force for New Industries and Jobs (from CHE)

As President Obama and lawmakers argued about the budget, a White House advisory panel (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) issued a 124-page report repeating the advice of spending more money on scientific research, and doing it more wisely, this time with another dose of urgency. One of the reasons for the US decline in R&D investments stated in the report is that traditional corporate research labs have dissappeard (not @ HP!).

“The United States “risks losing its leadership in invention and discovery—the driving force behind the creationg of new industries and jobs that have propelled the U.S. economy over the past century.”

The report addresses the two objectives of (1) enhancing long-range U.S. investment in basic and early-stage applied research and (2) reducing the barriers to the transformation of the results of that research into new products, in-dustries, and jobs.

In my view, I think the US would be more effecitve and efficient if R&D partnerships between universities, industry and government research labsmwould be supported, as other countries do. Increasing investments in universities only will not be enough.

CHE – Centrality of Research Nov 30 2012

University of Illinois Launches Multi Stakeholder Institute Focused on Applied Research

The Institute will focus on applied research (e.g., designing and testing products) thus going beyond pure research and advancing tech transfer. I am very glad that US universities are realizing there’s a lot they can do to catalyze the creation of new businesses, especially in technology, and that this takes a concerted effort between all three stakeholders: government, industry and universities. Furthermore, those employed in this Institute will learn the most challenging phase in putting products to market – tech transfer and proof of concept.

Read more at http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-11-06/ui-engineering-institute-work-firms-government.html (article highlighted in the ASEE newsletter)