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Lilly endowment of $15M to grow technology at IU

Grant will be distributed over 5-year period

POSTED AT 12:16 AM ON Nov. 19, 2008 

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Technology will have a chance to grow and hatch at IU, thanks to the groundbreaking of a new “incubator” and a $15 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

IU President Michael McRobbie announced the hefty grant Tuesday at a groundbreaking for the new $10 million Bloomington Incubator, which will sit on the corner of 10th Street and the 45/46 Bypass. The incubator, part of IU’s new Innovate Indiana initiative, will house new start-up companies relating to technology and the life sciences, according to an IU press release.

It will essentially act as a technology “think tank,” IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre said.

The grant, which will be distributed over a five-year period, will go toward creating the Pervasive Technology Institute, one of the first programs to be housed in the incubator, MacIntyre said.

“It’s important for IU because this is one of our cutting-edge initiatives,” MacIntyre said. “The labs that are part of this are nationally known. It’s a step forward for us.”

The institute will be made up of three different research areas. A Digital Science Center will work to create a more usable network infrastructure. For example, it will enhance supercomputers to make them more useful to scientists.

The Data to Insight Center will work with new tools to make sense of large amounts of digital data. The Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research will work to protect users’ privacy on computer networks, according to an IU press release.

“In addition to inventing things and ideas, they’re also responsible for thinking up policy-type questions and answers, such as how we handle individual privacy in a computer age,” MacIntyre said.

The institute is based on success from the Indiana Pervasive Computing Research Initiative, which was created in 1999 with funding from the Lilly Endowment, according to an IU press release. The initiative helped create the Pervasive Technology Labs and the School of Informatics, MacIntyre said.

Other companies housed in the incubator will likely include those involved in life sciences, MacIntyre said.

 

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