About NICCS

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen and Governor Bruce Rauner joined NIU President Lisa Freeman for an October 2018 news conference in DeKalb announcing NICCS

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen (left) and Governor Bruce Rauner joined NIU President Lisa Freeman
for an October 2018 news conference in DeKalb announcing NICCS

Overview

The Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability (NICCS) will be the fourth “hub” in the state’s new Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), along with the University of Illinois campuses in Urbana, Chicago and Springfield. It will be housed in a new, state-of-the-art facility on NIU’s far west campus, funded in large part by state capital appropriations.

NICCS will create locally based innovative solutions focused on improving food systems and water resource management in a world facing shrinking natural resources, changing climate and increasing urbanization. The center will support interdisciplinary research, policy development and public-private partnerships to stimulate economic development and job creation. 

Read more details here about the NICCS proposal as it was presented to the University of Illinois in August 2018.

Other Facts About NICCS

  • NIU’s new center and those at other regional hubs throughout Illinois will be virtually connected to the network’s centerpiece – the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in downtown Chicago.
  • Led by the University of Illinois System, DPI will be home to more than 100 world-class researchers and thousands of students pursuing economy-building discoveries.
  • NICCS work will be supported by a collaborative partnership between NIU and the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as governmental agencies and the private sector.
  • NIU has faculty who are acknowledged nationally and internationally for their research and policy expertise related to energy, water, ecosystem restoration and environmental policy and law.  Its well-known Institute for the Study of Environment, Sustainability and Energy fosters research, education and community engagement about the environment and sustainability.  

Contact Us

Gerald Blazey, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships
gblazey@niu.edu
815-753-1883