people walk into a building

DPI Comes to The 78

The Innovation District at The 78

Inspired by some of the most successful innovation districts across the country, the Innovation District will anchor The 78 and include the Discovery Partners Institute,  a $250M+ U of I System-led advanced research and innovation center. The Innovation District consists of 11 acres including multiple mixed-use supporting building, riverfront development and green and open space.

200,000 sq. ft. innovation hub
breaking ground 2024 at The 78
7,000+ individuals trained and upskilled each year
to step into high-demand tech jobs
$200M annually invested in R&D per year
from public and private sector

The Discovery Partners Institute’s ambition is to propel Chicago into a pre-eminent and inclusive tech economy over the next decade. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with top research universities, it does three things: tech talent development, applied R&D and business building. DPI prepares diverse students and workers to step into high-demand tech jobs. It also builds research teams and matches them with new funding. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer — and keep them here.

Discovery Partners Institute Innovation Ecosystem

Developing Tomorrow's Tech Talent

DPI will develop promising and diverse tech talent, focusing on high school through to the first job out of college, and current workers seeking new skills in computing, data and analytics. Our systemwide approach will develop:

  • K-12 new economy programs for learners and teachers.
  • Student experiential immersion programs for DPI partner institutions.
  • A professional skilling accelerator.
  • Developing career pathways for underemployed, diverse talent.

Accelerating for the New Economy

This fusion of university and corporate partners will produce game-changing research to fuel an economic engine for future growth and job creation in the city.

  • Bringing the best minds from academia and industry together with thousands of students in an interdisciplinary hub of critical mass
  • Serving as a magnet for entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists for investors, from across the state and nation
  • Building research centers of excellence where Illinois already excels, including data analytics and computing, and their applications in food and agriculture; health and wellness; finance and insurance; and transportation/logistics.