Working committee

Research and Collaboration

The committee seeks out collaborative research partnerships throughout the IIN, with particular emphasis on topics that are critical and beneficial to the state of Illinois

What we do

The research and collaboration committee draws on expertise across the IIN to strengthen connections and relationships, facilitate the pursuit of large-scale grant awards, and oversee the administration of IIN’s Sustaining Illinois seed grant program.

The committee holds an annual IIN research conference focused on topics that are central to the network’s focus areas. The conferences provide numerous opportunities for faculty and student sessions. In both 2020 and 2021, the conference theme was sustainability and the event was held virtually. In 2022, the conference was held as a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual attendance.

The committee also develops and promotes the scope and parameters of the funding opportunity announcement for the IIN’s Sustaining Illinois seed grant program. The first seven rounds of the program provided funding for 40 projects, with all 15 IIN hubs serving as principal or co-principal investigators.

The research and collaboration and corporate engagement committees collaborate to host a Tech Talk series where speakers from industry and academia share their expertise on a selected topic. In 2022, the topic was 5G and V2X (vehicle to everything). In 2023, the topic was diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Finally, the committee has reviewed and supported the IIN’s response to multiple large-scale grant opportunities, both at the state and federal levels. The committee also helped coordinate statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, providing input on the availability of equipment, supplies and facilities from each of the IIN hubs.