This Week In Illinois Research, The Power of Public Private Partnership
I recently had the chance to visit the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, the "bioprocessing product research and development facility that bridges the gap from basic discovery to commercialization of bioproducts" on the south side of campus. The facility, which is part of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, essentially turns plants into products. There is significant potential for growth in this space, especially in a state like ours with such a strong agricultural sector and particularly along the I-72 “Biocorridor."
The IBRL opened last fall, thanks to considerable support from the state of Illinois, and the facility quickly ramped up. They are an integral CABBI partner, for example, and the public-private partnership aspects of the IBRL are truly exciting. Student clubs, individual researchers, and start-up companies can all access IBRL resources, but so can Fortune 50 companies. Several courses are even taught there.
The IBRL is one of many incredible examples of how we continually evolve our land-grant mission to address 21st century challenges. Congratulations to Vijay Singh and the rest of the IBRL team for implementing a forward-looking vision that not only integrates naturally into our campus research and teaching infrastructure, but attracts the private sector.
P.S. I was in D.C. this weekend to attend IGB's World of Genomics DecisionTown at the National Academies. What a remarkable event! I'm looking forward to sharing more of my impressions with you next week.