U. of C. hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for the Army Research Laboratory Central Site at the Polsky Center
By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
The University of Chicago (U. of C.) and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour for the previously-announced Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Central Site on the eve of Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 7, at the University of Chicago’s Polksy Exchange North Center, 1452 E. 53rd St.
The ceremony was a part of the open campus initiative, ARL Central, in an effort to co-locate Army research and development personnel in the central region of the nation to gain access to subject matter experts, technical centers and universities not well represented on the East Coast.
According to the University of Chicago, the new facility, which will be based at the University of Chicago’s Polksy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the new building planned for the northeast corner of the Harper Court development area, will help establish ARL’s physical presence in the city of Chicago and other surrounding areas.
Its mission is to help enhance ARL’s growing global science and technology ecosytem across the country, according to the university.
“It’s really reinvigorating the partnership,” said Ryan McCarthy, acting secretary of the United States Army. “I think we always had a relationship with the University of Chicago, since the 75 year anniversary that’s approaching. What’s unique about it this time is the synchronizing and development of an ecosystem with all of the academic institutions in the Midwest.”
McCarthy said the relationship with the University of Chicago and the United States military could be traced back to over 70 plus years. He said during the press conference, that historically, everything from the Manhattan project to new nuclear technology has helped the military successfully fight its wars.
McCarthy also said that the collaboration between the two institutions will not only allow the military to use the brightest minds that are in the country but will justify the military’s purpose of bringing ARL to the Chicago campus.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several other dignitaries spoke at the press conference. Emanuel spoke on the significance of the facility being in Chicago and the United States Military new research and development hub.
“ARL Central will be a strong addition to our innovation ecosystem and help usher in groundbreaking new discoveries that will continue to keep Chicago and the country on the cutting edge of research and development,” Emanuel said. “Chicago is leading the nation in corporate relocation and direct-foreign investment because investments like this have created the most talented workforce, most diversified economy, and best educated big city in America.”
In addition to Emanuel, other dignitaries who spoke at the event included, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill), Dr. Phillip Perconti, director of Army Research Laboratory, and Major General Cedric Wins, commander, research, development, and engineering command for the United States Army. Michael Polsky, the eponymous benefactor of the Polsky Center, also attended the event.
Most recently, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory made its announcement to establish a new partnership with the University of Chicago and other regional universities formally establishing “ARL Central” back on Oct. 19, 2017.
According to ARL, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is the Army’s corporate, or central, laboratory. Its diverse assortment of unique facilities and dedicated workforce of government and private sector partners make up the largest source of world-class integrated research and analysis in the Army.