The IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute serves as a leading model for collaboration between the private sector and academia. This partnership facilitates connected and interactive research, weaving together the strong scientific foundation of an academic institution and the real-world translational expertise of a large industrial research organization.

In the Discovery Accelerator Institute, IBM Research teams and Illinois faculty and students will work side-by-side on projects to accelerate:

Hybrid Cloud & AI

Technological innovations in hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence to expand the potential of edge computing and cloud security capabilities across public and private clouds. As the high-performance computing needs of global society ramp up, the ability to access curated data and processing power from multiple distributed data centers and workloads will be paramount. With an emphasis on data protection and isolation, IBM and Illinois teams will collaborate to explore how open-source innovation and artificial intelligence can drive the next era of cloud computing, and define the essential workforce skills necessary for running increasingly powerful and critical workloads. 

Research Projects

Quantum Computing

Systems, architectures, materials, and algorithms, to advance quantum computing as an industry, including a multi-node quantum testbed that enables researchers to explore and implement new ideas for distributed quantum processing and quantum networks. With Illinois' strong interdisciplinary leadership in quantum technologies across physics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and materials science, and IBM’s world-class expertise in quantum computing, researchers will aim to envision and realize the future of hardware and software for quantum information.

Research Projects

Materials Discovery

Materials discovery driven by AI and computation to unlock accessible and transformative solutions to global challenges. For example, research teams will tap into AI to investigate potential new materials for applications like affordable and sustainable energy generation and storage and more environmentally-friendly electronics and transportation materials. Additionally, scientists and students will explore how AI can enable new, accelerated and autonomous discovery of molecular materials.

Research Projects


Sustainability-focused innovation and discovery to address grand climate challenges through carbon accounting, capture and utilization. Powered by IBM Research and leveraging Illinois' technology strengths, extensive domain expertise in climate science, sustainable supply chains and CO2 management strengths, researchers will explore technologies to create a sustainable hybrid cloud and climate-smart supply chains and accelerate the discovery of new materials for CO2 capture and conversion.

Research Projects