The U.S. Army Research Laboratory announced new partnerships with the University of Chicago and other regional universities formally establishing ARL Central. ARL Central gives ARL a physical presence in Chicago and surrounding areas, enhancing ARL's growing global science and technology ecosystem.
The vision of the organization is to broaden its access to regional technology innovation hubs by establishing extended campuses across the United States. Like ARL West, established with its headquarters at the University of Southern California in April 2016, and ARL South, established with the University of Texas Systems earlier this year, ARL's latest facility--ARL Central--will leverage regional expertise and facilities throughout the central region to accelerate discovery, innovation and transition of science and technology.
Laboratory officials announced ARL Central yesterday at the 2017 open house for the Open Campus program at APG. ARL's Open Campus program aims to introduce the S&T community to ARL's scientists, research and specialized facilities for collaborative partnerships.
As part of the Open Campus initiative, ARL Central is established to create strong, enduring S&T partnerships through co-location and close collaboration on research and innovation activities that are good matches with the Army's interests.
"We are thrilled to have brought ARL Central into the Army's expanding science and technology ecosystem," said Dr. Philip Perconti, ARL Director. "Allowing the Army to tap an extraordinary pool of talent across the central region will help the Army maintain technological leadership in an ever increasingly complex global environment."
Perconti said establishing research teams with regional partners will lead to new technology directions, perspectives on Army problems, industry collaborators and ultimately new discoveries that will help the Army solve current and future challenges.
"This exciting initiative will bring the capabilities of the Army Research Laboratory to Chicago for the first time, and will allow its researchers to interact in new ways with scientists at the University of Chicago and collaborating universities," said John Flavin, Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. "This provides additional momentum for the growing innovation ecosystem on Chicago's South Side, which will play a major part in the next generation of technological breakthroughs and economic development for the entire region."
ARL Central's partnership with the University of Chicago will be based at the University's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Hyde Park on Chicago's South Side, and ARL research teams will be present at a number of other regional institutions.
"The University of Chicago will serve as the hub for our efforts to increase our research portfolio in materials science," Perconti said, "We look forward to maturing our collaborations with the University of Chicago and all the academic institutions that will make up ARL Central, to include Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, Purdue University, Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin as well as the industrial institutions."
"ARL Central will be a strong addition to our innovation ecosystem and help usher in groundbreaking new discoveries that will continue to keep Chicago and the country on the cutting edge of research and development," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Chicago is leading the nation in corporate relocation and direct-foreign investment because investments like this have created the most talented workforce, most diversified economy, and best educated Big City in America."