Cardiff University has become one of the first UK universities to partner with the Chicago-based Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), an organisation which focuses on “discovery based research” aiming to generate impact in economic development, innovation and job creation.
Other international partners include Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University in Israel and Ramaiah Medical College India. It is intended that the DPI and Cardiff University will develop seed funding to support small scale projects, with the aim of obtaining longer term funding from research councils, government and industry to achieve sustainability.
The second focus will be on entrepreneurship and student engagement. The institute will support a number of students in residence each semester focusing initially on computer science, engineering and business.
The institute will give students the opportunity to participate in internships with local companies along with classes at DPI. Cardiff University will provide student mobility support and will also host student exchanges and visits to encourage collaborative work among partners.
A faculty-to-faculty workshop enabling discussion of ideas that lead to collaborative projects, as well as to develop and deliver a joint summer school in entrepreneurship and innovation, alongside other DPI international partners is planned.
The DPI is a collaborative research, education and innovation institute led by the University of Illinois, focusing on solving 21st-century "grand challenge" problems. It is integrated with the state-wide Illinois Innovation Network which has Urbana and Springfield campuses and other Illinois universities.
One of the key aims of the DPI is to establish partnerships with businesses, government agencies, universities, foundations and community organisations to address challenges in computing and data, environment and water, health, food and agriculture. These themes closely align with work being undertaken at Cardiff University’s College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.
Professor Rudolf Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering said: “Engagement with a partner institution such as DPI that includes top US insititutions like the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois will provide a number of opportunities for our staff and students. The main DPI themes align closely with our research portfolio, and our staff will be able to work with colleagues at DPI to deliver internationally impactful science and engineering.”
DPI has recently received $500 million in state capital funding for the construction of a headquarters in downtown Chiago and to support the Illinois Innovation Network. Over time it is expected that DPI will support 100 faculty, 2000 students and 275 staff.