Saint Louis University and Washington University on Tuesday officially unveiled the COLLAB, a joint venture innovation center in the Cortex district.
The two universities plan to use the 7,700-square-foot facility, located inside Cortex’s 4220 building, for education programs in cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and cutting-edge disciplines. SLU and Washington University also intend for COLLAB to foster collaboration between academia and industry, with plans to hold events that bring together academic, business, civic and innovation officials.
“All regional tech hubs have strong universities that provide talent, generate research, and produce technologies that launch entrepreneurial companies and advance the regional economy. The COLLAB is a powerful innovation focal point that will bring students, researchers, entrepreneurs and corporates together to propel Cortex and the region forward,” said Dennis Lower, president and CEO of the Cortex Innovation Community.
COLLAB is Washington University’s first academic space in Cortex, and will be used by the university’s McKelvey School of Engineering. Washington University will use the facility’s shared teaching spaces for courses in cybersecurity, IT and engineering management. SLU’s Chaifetz School of Business will teach courses on entrepreneurship at COLLAB, with the university’s Research Strategy and Innovation Group also housed in the facility.
“I can tell you the kind of collaboration which this space represents simply would not be possible in most other places, if not all in the country. Two research universities joining forces to train talent for the region and to conduct research side-by-side, mobilizing our assets to move the region forward, this would not have happened in most other places. Part of the reason this is possible here is because of Cortex,” said Ken Olliff, SLU’s vice president for research.