High Tech

Designing Academic Research Facilities for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Combining Engineering, Biology, and Computational Disciplines into Collaborative Environments That Support Tomorrow’s Science

Published 7-17-2019

The term “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR) was coined in 2016 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, to describe the exponential transformation society and commerce are experiencing due to converging breakthroughs in numerous fields, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, the internet of things (IoT), and quantum computing. While this latest advancement is to some degree an extension of the third revolution (aka: The Digital Revolution), 4IR is considered a new era because of the unprecedented speed, scope, and systems impact of the coming changes. It is evolving at an exponential rate rather than a linear one and is expected to disrupt entire systems of production, management, transportation, and governance on a global scale. In response, a new breed of interdisciplinary research facility is emerging, as academic institutions try to anticipate training students for the unforeseen demands of the 4IR.

First Engineering-Based Medical School Integrates Disciplines with an Eye to the Future

Simulation, Collaboration Emphasized at Carle Illinois Medical School

Published 6-5-2019

A two-year, $55 million renovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Everitt Laboratory has transformed the four-story, 136,763-sf building into the first engineering-based medical school in the country, with a focus on medical simulation, research, and instruction. With final completion in June 2018 and the first medical classes starting in July, the Carle Illinois Medical School’s state-of-the-art features enable bioengineering students and future medical professionals to engage in project/problem-based learning and maximize their medical training by using the latest simulation and virtual reality technology.

Innovation Hubs and Incubators Drive Academic Research to Commercialization

Facilities Provide Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Low-Cost Rent, and Access to Talent

Published 9-19-2018

Innovation hubs and incubators are emerging as the best solution to help universities, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students transform their creative ideas into viable commercial ventures. Users want facilities that focus on entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation; foster interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships; offer responsive and flexible spaces; create a spirit of ground-up innovation; support commercialization of ideas/products; and connect to nearby universities, companies, and amenities.