Champaign-Urbana is a top destination for corporate innovation centers due to the availability of a talented workforce, low business costs and a vibrant tech community. Champaign County is the most highly-educated county in Illinois. Champaign is also one of the top 20 US cities for early-stage venture capital funding and PhD’s per capita. Visit YoureWelcomeCU.com to learn more about what Champaign-Urbana has to offer.
Corporations have sought out the Research Park to address recruitment needs to attract high-quality technical talent, both students coming out of the university as well as tapping into the experienced talent pool of engineers in the community. More than 800 students work year-round in the Research Park, representing one-third of the total Research Park workforce.
Most companies are also seeking research collaboration with the University of Illinois and access to our leading faculty in areas of mutual interest. The campus location encourages dialogue with departments and creates more visibility access for the company to the University.
The Research Park aids in speeding up the innovation process through rapid application/prototype development that allows companies to accelerate the process of trying out new ideas and testing a much larger volume of concepts than they would with full time resources and contractors.
Some companies use their Research Park operations as a corporate innovation hub, exploring new technologies or concepts for the company’s future. Companies are employing an interdisciplinary mix of students to pilot new technology solutions for company short and long term adoption. Corporate innovation centers also interact with faculty members and departments across the university, including relationships with a broad range of departments based on technology and expertise needed.
The location on-campus uncovers new connections and unexpected areas for collaboration. In addition to providing access to academic research relationships, companies report that work done at Research Park facilities with students and full time employees results in new publications, inventions, and company patent filings.
- Enhancing the corporate innovation process with faster prototyping and development
- Access to faculty and research at the University of Illinois
- Talent recruitment pipeline for full-time hires after graduation
- Employing interns as staff augmentation for tech projects needing more capacity, cost of internships vs. contractors
- Peer relationships for active collaboration between companies and industry sectors
- Cost of tech development in Champaign-Urbana vs. other peer geographic locations
- Company branding on the University of Illinois campus
- Opportunity to assemble interdisciplinary teams to inspire more creative product and technology solutions
- Technology scouting for new innovative solutions for industry adoption
- Quality and excellence of full-time technology professionals in Champaign-Urbana
Submit a tenant application to the University of Illinois to confirm your company’s eligibility for locating in the Research Park.
For questions about joining the University of Illinois Research Park, contact Director of Research Park Laura Appenzeller at [email protected].