As part of its mission to solve challenging problems through innovation, The Dow Chemical Company announced a partnership with the University of Illinois to open the Dow Innovation Center, a research facility located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The new Innovation Center will develop data management solutions to drive value and accelerate discovery in the Research & Development (R&D) organizations throughout Dow.
“The opening of the Dow Innovation Center continues the strong relationship between the University of Illinois and Dow,” said Chancellor Phyllis Wise. “We are pushing the edges of science and technology to explore new ideas in critical areas such as water, energy, coatings and agriculture. Solutions to increasingly complex societal challenges brought about by an expanding global population will be found in this kind of innovative partnership. The new center will draw upon the strengths in High Performance Computing (HPC), Informatics, and Computer Science at the University of Illinois to enhance technology and research within Dow.”
At the same time, Dow has entered into an industry partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), providing access to expertise and equipment which will accelerate Dow’s discovery processes. This partnership will enable Dow to leverage the center’s expertise and knowledge of best practices in high-performance modeling and simulation to gain a competitive edge.
“We are very pleased to announce the opening of an IT 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. “With access to a highly passionate student body and NCSA’s valuable resources, we are confident that we can develop innovative IT solutions that will help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our customers and society today.”
A team of sixteen students in computer science and related fields will work part-time at the new Dow Innovation Center, which opens in the spring 2013 semester. The operation is in the Research Park, which is located on campus to better connect industry with researchers and students. “This environment will provide students the opportunity to enhance their University of Illinois education with real-life experiences that impact industry and address major global product solutions,” said Lawrence Schook, University of Illinois Vice President for Research.
The new Dow office is located at 2021 S. First Street in the Research Park. Fox/Atkins Development owns the building and successfully worked on an agreement for Dow to lease space in the facility and begin operations quickly. Construction was completed within a one month time period to prepare the suite and allow Dow to open the facility for the beginning of the spring semester.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is also part of the Strategic University Partnership launched by Dow in 2011 to focus research capabilities with 11 of the leading chemistry, materials science and chemical engineering departments in the country.