About Us

The IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute focuses on grand challenges and technologies underpinning the future of the hybrid cloud, including artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented human intelligence, quantum computing, carbon capture for the sustainability of computing technologies and the environment, and AI-driven discovery of new materials.

Partnership Goals

The Institute enables communities of discovery in these areas, which have a common foundation cross-cutting themes on the future of engineering education, diversity in STEM, and new models of innovation and translation of technologies to the commercial marketplace. An open and intimately collaborative exchange across the two institutions connects people, researchers, ideas, education and socially equitable approaches to democratizing computing and technology. The outcomes will enable the hybrid cloud and AI of the future and will profoundly impact the world well beyond the two partner institutions. To sustain its communities of discovery, IFCX will support the development of close partnerships between IBM personnel and Illinois faculty, staff and students.

Research in hybrid cloud and AI, and in the thrust areas of quantum computing, materials discovery, and sustainability  is carried out by pods of Illinois predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers who rotate through IBM Research labs and senior researchers at Illinois and IBM who work together both at the university and IBM labs. IBM researchers access the educational resources at the university, hold appointments in The Grainger College of Engineering and support the college's academic mission.

The Institute anchors a new, major capital project housing quantum, AI, industry and computing projects, with $75M already committed by the State of Illinois and the university. This IBM-Illinois partnership, with support from the State of Illinois via the Illinois Innovation Network, Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and Chicago non-profit P33, will have a transformative impact on the Midwest and the nation.