Northwestern helps bring digital lab to Chicago

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

A Chicago lab staffed by several Northwestern researchers received a $70 million federal grant recently to help make the city a national hub for digital manufacturing.

The grant, announced Tuesday, was awarded to UI LABS and will create opportunities for increased research and innovation opportunities within the NU community.

“Once again, Northwestern is playing a significant role in a large consortium that is based in Illinois but with national collaborators,” said Jay Walsh, vice president for research. “We worked closely with the UI LABS-led team in developing the winning proposal. This now-funded grant will give our faculty and students tremendous opportunities to advance design and manufacturing via partnerships both with academic peers and — importantly — with a set of industrial partners whose products and processes have impact broadly across society.”

The grant is part of a five-year initiative by the U.S. Department of Defense focused on creating new jobs, spurring economic development and furthering innovation through digital manufacturing.

NU will serve as one of the founding partners in the project along with groups from New York, Texas, Colorado and Oregon.

The research will take place in a space called the Digital Lab and will serve as the nation’s “flagship research institute for digital manufacturing and design innovation.” It will result in the development of new projects on applied research.

Twitter: @beccasavransky