When 53rd Street’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation expands into a planned 280,000-square foot development with 20-story office tower and laboratory as the second phase of Harper Court, it will establish a leading-edge partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL).
As one of the first projects in the state-wide Illinois Innovation Network initiative, the collaboration will endeavor to “create solutions to some of the world’s most difficult problems, from producing clean water to treating cancer,” stated University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer at the recent press conference. “This ambitious project will accelerate the pace of discovery, while providing a clear path to economic development for our community, city, and state.”
As Zimmer noted, combining UIUC’s “world-renowned programs in computer science, engineering, and material science,” with UChicago’s work in “molecular engineering, data science, computation and related fields,” and the “Polsky Center’s expertise in venture creation and links to industry” will have considerable impact in many fields. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, “When great minds come together around audacious goals, the possibilities are limitless. I look forward to witnessing the discoveries that result from this dynamic new partnership.”
The expansion provides space for up to 1,000 day-time employees in computer science, engineering, and materials science. Slated to break ground in 2018, the project is scheduled for completion in 2020.