The future of research is changing.
The complex problems we face as a state, nation and world can no longer be solved by one person in one discipline; they demand the insights and innovations of talented researchers working together across disciplines.
As the state’s land-grant institution, and as one of the top 100 research universities in the nation, the University of Idaho is a proven leader in this collaborative approach to research, with successful interdisciplinary programs addressing pressing issues like water resources management, climate change and energy. However, as the globe’s problems become increasingly sophisticated, so must the facilities that support the research to uncover the solutions.
The 21st-century interdisciplinary research needed to solve the intricate problems of our times requires 21st-century facilities. The new Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) will be such a facility, featuring advanced equipment and forward-looking research laboratories, designed with maximum adaptability and flexibility to meet the challenges of the future. The contemporary facility will:
• Enhance research potential by adding much-needed physical space and advanced technological capabilities.
• Attract and retain high-caliber faculty researchers and graduate students.
• Invigorate interdisciplinary research and creative activity across all 10 University of Idaho colleges.
The IRIC will be erected at a pivotal time for the University of Idaho. Over the last decade, we have more than doubled research expenditures, reaching a record high last year of $100 million—approximately 73 percent of all research dollars generated by Idaho public universities. Our robust research enterprise has never been stronger. We plan to build on this momentum by significantly increasing our competitive research funding to $150 million by 2020. The IRIC, which will become the first research facility built on the University of Idaho Moscow campus since the biotechnology building in 2001, is a key factor in our ability to achieve this strategically important goal.
Construction of the $50-million IRIC will be funded in part by university appropriations and bonds, but private support of this project is essential. In fact, the building is the signature project of the Inspiring Futures: Invest in the University of Idaho—the University’s recently launched $225 million comprehensive capital campaign that aims to increase private investments in the university’s students, faculty, programs and facilities.
World-class science demands facilities that are equally impressive. By bringing together stellar faculty and students from multiple disciplines and providing them with superior facilities, we can powerfully enhance the University of Idaho’s ability to develop new knowledge, solutions and products to fuel Idaho’s economy and improve our collective quality of life. Please consider an investment in Idaho’s future and support the Integrated Research and Innovation Center.
John K. McIver, Vice President for Research and Economic Development