Program to support collaborations in complex systems, data science, digital manufacturing and on-demand power
Sandia National Laboratories and the U. of I. have signed a five-year agreement to advance collaboration and information sharing between the U.S. Department of Energy's national security lab and one of the world's premier research universities.
This partnership's goals include solving the nation's big problems, sustaining and engaging human capital, and accelerating the adoption of new technology.
Initial technical focus areas include programs in complex systems and resiliency, data science, digital manufacturing and on-demand power.
"We are excited by the potential this partnership presents," said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise "With a greater Sandia presence here in Champaign-Urbana and an Illinois presence on the Sandia campus, there will be a two-way street of innovation that fosters the development and actualization of radical new technologies that support future research relationships."
Paul Hommert, the director of Sandia National Laboratories, expressed satisfaction that the agreement is official: "This agreement advances the long-standing partnership that we have with the University of Illinois to a more strategic level, and will serve as a model for productive collaborations between Sandia and other national research universities."
The partnership is expected to proceed quickly. The partners plan to significantly increase interactions between the two campuses by spring 2015. The U. of I.'s Applied Research Institute will host Sandia at its facility in the U. of I. Research Park. Likewise, Sandia will provide a U. of I. Outreach Office on its premises. "As this relationship unfolds, the guiding ideology will be that of a culture of collaboration that propels this country's research agenda forward," said Russ Skocypec, Sandia's campus executive for the U. of I.
In the future, opportunities for joint faculty appointments and for research sabbaticals are expected to further intensify collaborations.
Moreover, to act upon vital national needs, a program that enables classified and compartmented research at the U. of I. will be established that also will include combined seed-funding opportunities that follow the National Laboratory Directed Research and Development agenda.
"This partnership will help the University of Illinois establish a firm foothold in emerging technical arenas such as digital manufacturing and data science and it provides Sandia a clear conduit to the technical and human capabilities on this campus," said ARI director Jeffrey Binder. "We're enthusiastically setting a program in forward motion that will help improve national security and commercial opportunities over the coming years."