• >Students to excel,
  • >researchers to discover, and
  • >businesses to take off.

> DPI Does Three Things

  1. Train people for in-demand tech jobs;
  2. Fund and conduct applied R&D; and
  3. Launch new businesses built on university technology.

We are building an equitable economic development engine and we need your financial support. Already we are:

Preparing more than 300 students annually for jobs in tech. With $10 million in funding from the Pritzker Foundation, our Pritzker Tech Talent Labs are launching new opportunities by the month. We’re exposing high school students to college-level computer science courses and placing 30 computer science apprentices at Cognizant, a Fortune 500 company. These apprentices are going to go from zero to tech in one year.

Searching for early signs of new COVID-19 variants for the entire state. Our wastewater team is sampling at wastewater treatment plants and manholes at more than 90 locations statewide, which is the best early-warning system we have for surges. The program is so comprehensive it requires the involvement of many of the state’s largest and leading scientific institutions.

Launching a $100 million business that has saved lives. We have built Shield T3, which has run more than 4.8 million COVID-19 tests nationwide and served more than 450 customers. The test is, of course, our homegrown covid- SHIELD test, a gold-standard, PCR saliva test. Now Shield T3 is using its know-how to deploy rapid testing for the flu and other viruses.

We are building a more equitable economy for Chicago and Illinois. Our highly diverse, talented apprentices are undergoing rigorous training and will be available to join your team this year: summer 2022. If you’re interested in learning more, send me a note: billjack@uillinois.edu.

And we need your support to expand our efforts. Contact Suzanne Schoeneweiss at suzannes@uif.uillinois.edu to discover how we can work together to change people’s lives.

Bill Jackson

Executive Director, DPI

Principal Officer, Shield T3