At $10.2 billion, the 15 universities in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation - including the U. of I. - were awarded more research funding last year than the Ivy League and the University of California system combined.
That fact is one of many that can be found in the CIC's 2013-14 annual report, which can now be accessed online.
Barbara McFadden Allen, the CIC's executive director, said the huge amount of funded research surprises some people, but the impact is even larger if you count the exponential impact it has on research collaborations - including partnerships outside the CIC - and the communities member universities serve.
"The CIC helps bring together faculty members from several different institutions to research and share the information they have with each other," she said. "We are a springboard and an enormous influence in research and education far beyond our geographical footprint."
The annual report details the committee's collective power and progress, and highlights the emerging Health Disparities Collaborative between state departments of health and the member schools; the work of the Big Ten/CIC-Ivy League Traumatic Brain Injury project; and data on the economic impact of the scientific workforce and the research being done across the campuses.
Another new CIC program, a four-year, $1.4 million project funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to double the number of underrepresented faculty members in STEM fields through the increased training of postdoctoral scholars and targeted recruitment.
The annual report says CIC schools have an economic impact of $8 billion on more than 1,700 counties across member states.
Founded in 1958, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation is an academic consortium of top-tier research universities, including the members of the Big Ten Conference and the University of Chicago.