Today, we cut the ribbon on a game-changing new building at the University of Idaho — the Integrated Research and Innovation Center, or IRIC.
I was honored to celebrate the occasion with our many supporters and partners, including Dr. Dayal Meshri, Avista Foundation executive director Kristine Meyer, and leaders from the Idaho National Laboratory. Above all, I was excited to see so many members of our UI community — faculty, staff and students — gather in the IRIC’s light-filled atrium.
This beautiful building is a spectacular space, but it’s more than just bricks and steel. It signifies the University of Idaho’s opportunity to shape our destiny as a research leader for the state, nation and world.
The IRIC will be defined by the imagination of the research teams in it. The building is engineered to host teams conducting both short-and long-term projects, as well to house specialized equipment and core facilities. The flexible, customizable design accommodates extensive interdisciplinary needs and catalyzes collaboration among researchers.
The more than 20 groups who are moving into the IRIC represent every UI college and bring together diverse disciplines to explore frontiers of knowledge and tackle urgent problems.
The UI community’s dedication to research that transcends traditional academic boundaries reflects a larger national movement of integrating the knowledge and tools from multiple disciplines to solve complex world problems. (If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to review the National Academies of Sciences reports on Convergence and Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science.)
The IRIC demonstrates UI’s commitment to this approach. I am so proud to see our internal investments help support a culture of transdisciplinary research.
Our researchers and partners will shape IRIC, and through it, shape Idaho and the world. I am excited about the potential for collaboration in our research endeavors and invite you to join in the partnership.
Janet E. Nelson
Research and Economic Development
Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment
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