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Tech. Research. Talent.

DPI does three things: Tech Talent Development; Applied R&D; and Business Building.

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Tech Talent Development

We are preparing promising and diverse Illinoisans to step into lucrative and resilient tech jobs.

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Applied R&D

DPI is a place where companies, researchers, and students can access smart people, advanced equipment, and funding to turn their ideas into new products.

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Business Building

DPI strives for equitable economic development by looking to grow businesses from university research and supporting start-ups and mid-sized companies looking to grow.

Our commitment to diversity

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are a core foundation of our programs — not an afterthought

In 2019, the U of I system’s computer science, computer engineering, and data science programs graduated 3,476 people. How many of these graduates do you think were students of color? Just 59, or 1.6%, were Black. And just 183, or 5%, were Hispanic.

We must do better. DPI’s tech talent development programs are going to help fix this.


DPI will intentionally design programs to address key challenges & friction points that have historically disadvantaged underrepresented groups in tech.


We will partner with organizations that have relationships with underrepresented communities to build deep connections with the local tech community.


DPI will systematically support a learner’s journey with wraparound services to ensure success.


Internally, DPI is building a representative workforce and will conduct business with a diverse supplier base.

The 78

Chicago’s newest neighborhood

DPI is the anchor of a new neighborhood, in which 13 million square feet of office, retail, residential and hotel space has been mapped.

DPI’s facility:

  • Computational and engineering labs
  • Classrooms
  • Startup offices and labs
  • Meeting & event space
  • Public space
DPI Vision

What We’re Solving For

Illinois is a top producer nationally of computer science and data science graduates. Yet, the state still faces a significant shortage of talent needed for its economy to grow.

Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 30,000 more entry-level job postings seeking technology workers than there are related graduates. This gap is exacerbated by Illinois’ ongoing loss of young talent, with almost half of university-bound high schoolers leaving the state and an additional net loss of 20,000 millennial workers each year.

We are in a global war for the best and the brightest; DPI is Illinois’ offensive. It is a coordinated effort among the state’s top research universities and Argonne National Laboratory to band together to develop, attract and retain talent.

With $230 million in taxpayer funding, DPI is gradually becoming a hive of technology activity — from applied R&D, performed by faculty and funded by corporations, to tech training programs for minority students.

Talent Advantage

Illinois is second nationally in computer science graduates, third in MBA graduates, and fifth in data science graduates. Let’s keep them here.

Tech Talent Development

We are preparing promising and diverse Illinoisans to step into lucrative and resilient tech jobs. We are identifying these students in high school and staying with them through to their first job out of college. We also are upskilling current workers for in-demand jobs in data and analytics.

R&D Clusters

Some of our initial research clusters are tracing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 RNA) in Chicago’s waterways; developing new software and hardware to help companies operate machinery remotely; creating a new repository for data about the human brain; and training software engineers to build safer and more ethical algorithms.

Representation and Diversity

In 2019, the UofI system’s computer science, computer engineering and data science programs graduated 3,476 people, yet just 59, or 1.6%, were Black. We must do better.

We Have Buy-In & Support

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“We look forward to collaborating with [Discovery Partners Institute] on our shared goals of developing inclusive, long-term economic growth.”

Lori LightfootMayor of Chicago
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“. . . strengthening Illinois’ long-term economic vitality for generations to come.”

J.B. PritzkerGovernor of Illinois