The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced a $100 million public-private partnership, including a ten-year $50 million commitment from Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT), to develop a global hub for intelligent network technology.
The commitment by FIT will support programs and research at a new Center for Networked Intelligent Components and Environments (C-NICE) in the Grainger College of Engineering, including the development of new measurement techniques for nanoscale components, new methods for capturing and curating manufacturing data, and new sensors and sensor data-processing techniques. The university, in partnership with the Discovery Partners Institute and Illinois Innovation Network — statewide initiatives led by the U of I System — will invest $50 million to expand facilities housing C-NICE, upgrade its research infrastructure, and hire faculty.
Once the center is up and running, teams of researchers from FIT and U of I will collaborate on a range projects, selected and funded annually, related to FIT's core businesses in computing, communication, and sensing infrastructure critical to Internet of Things-enabled systems and environments. C-NICE researchers also will focus on next-generation communications infrastructure, consumer electronics, and mobile devices designed to connect to the intelligent, safe environments of the future.
"It's with great excitement we announce the company that I am so proud of and the university that touched my life coming together to create the center," said FIT chief executive and U of I alumnus Sidney Lu. "By co-developing intelligent components and technologies and the ecosystem in which they operate, we can do the same for any number of devices and environments like factories, cars, homes, and hospitals. The potential impact technology has on the future is limitless."