FOR RELEASE: September 21, 1999

DeAnna Hines
Gerry Bernbom

Press Release


Indianapolis, IN — Lilly Endowment Inc. announced today (Sept. 21) a $29.9 million grant to the Indiana University Foundation for IU to develop a world-class research initiative in some of the fundamental information technologies of the next century. This is one of the largest grants in support of research that the Endowment has ever made.

The Endowment also announced a $29.7 million grant to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to establish a Center for an Innovation Economy.

This five year grant will enable IU to establish the Indiana Pervasive Computing Research (IPCRES) Initiative. IPCRES will be devoted to research in one of the most important new areas for information technology in the next century, pervasive computing. Under this Initiative, six world-class research laboratories will be established at IU in key areas that underpin the pervasive computing environment of the future. IU will recruit Distinguished Scientists — researchers of the highest international standing as well as their research groups including staff and graduate students to lead the IPCRES Laboratories.

Pervasive computing is the increasingly powerful combination of high-speed computers and intelligent devices, ranging from scientific instruments to home appliances to online digital libraries, all completely interconnected by wired and wireless networks and accessible anywhere in the world.

Pervasive computing anticipates the continuation and acceleration of three major trends in information technology — rapid improvements in size, speed and cost — as smaller, faster, and less expensive microprocessors become integrated into every aspect of day to day life. This will have increasingly major impacts in education and entertainment, manufacturing and design, health care and home safety. All these areas and more will be transformed as advances in information technology lead to a world in which computing, telecommunication, and information are truly pervasive.

"Indiana University is greatly honored to partner with Lilly Endowment in this landmark award to substantially expand the research capabilities of the University and the State in information technology," said IU President Myles Brand. "Advances in IT are partnership driven. Through IPCRES we expect to work with Purdue in the computer security area, to cooperate with Rose-Hulman in their Lilly Endowment funded project, and most especially we will work with industry. The partnership we have with State Government has made a vital contribution to our success with IPCRES through the provision of technology funding and strong support for IU's central role in Internet2 by the Governor and the Legislature."

Brand added, "IU is extremely serious about its obligation as a public university to assist the state in economic development. This project will be a launching pad for growth in the Indiana IT industry: and for Indianapolis this means telecommunications and potentially e-business."

N. Clay Robbins, the president of the Endowment, commented, "We have watched Indiana University's growing reputation as an international leader in the arena of information technology. We have noted the significant progress they have made to attain this position forming important collaborations with corporations such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco; seeking and securing the designation as the Internet2 Network Operations Center and establishing a new School of Informatics. Through its IPCRES Initiative, IU will create a critical mass of intellectual capital that should significantly enhance Indiana's prospects for prosperity in a future where high-tech will be critical."

The IPCRES Laboratories will be geographically located so as to leverage Indiana University's IT strategy and its academic strengths. Three will be established in advanced telecommunications at IUPUI in areas such as high performance networking, wireless networks, telecommunications convergence and distributed storage. This will build on the central role of IUPUI and Indianapolis in IU's telecommunications infrastructure. The other three IPCRES Laboratories will be established in software technologies at IU Bloomington in areas such as information grids and portals, human computer interaction, smart devices and network agents. This will build on IUB's strengths as the center of IU's activities in computational and data-intensive software systems.

IU Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Michael McRobbie said, "This grant will enable IU to build on the formidable IT infrastructure that it has established in recent years, its information technology research programs and new developments such as its proposed School of Informatics in a way that will help significantly grow the State's information economy. This will in turn lead to the retention of more highly-trained Indiana graduates in the State through expanded employment opportunities in information industries."

Brand also announced the first two key executive appointments in IPCRES.

Bill Stephan has been appointed as Director of the IPCRES Economic Development Office. The goal of this Office is to build on the technology developments and scientific discoveries of the IPCRES Laboratories and other activities at IU to create new businesses, to infuse new technologies into existing businesses and to attract new companies to Indiana. Stephan is currently Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. He brings a wealth of experience with government, industry and economic development to this Initiative.

Dennis Gannon, Chair of IU Bloomington's Department of Computer Science presently on leave at NASA, has been appointed as the IPCRES Science Director and will have a major responsibility for establishing the IPCRES Laboratories. Gannon is one of the nation's most distinguished computer scientists internationally known for his work in advanced scientific computing. A key element in the success of IPCRES as a force for economic development in Indiana will be an increase in the number of graduates trained in information technologies. IU's proposed new School of Informatics will be the focus of these efforts. This School is IU's first new School in 25 years and the University is confident that it will be approved by the Higher Education Commission.

IU's Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) will play an important part in the IPCRES economic development activities and will work with the Initiative to provide researchers with a focus for collaboration with industrial partners on joint projects.

Indiana University is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and is also one of the largest universities in the US, with more than 100,000 students, faculty, and staff on eight campuses.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation which supports its founders interests in the causes of education, community development and religion.

For further information, see also:

News Releases    CPO Web page    IT@IU Web page

Posted 21 September 1999
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Copyright © 1999, The Trustees of Indiana University