Companies looking for research and development assistance to solve Internet of Things-related hurdles now have a new place to turn: the University of Colorado Boulder.

CU Boulder, along with partners at the National Science Foundation and Oregon State University, is leading the launch of the Center on Pervasive Personalized Intelligence.

The purpose of the center is to facilitate connections between industry representatives and academic researchers to help firms boost R&D capabilities and bring new technologies to market faster. The Center on Pervasive Personalized Intelligence was built on the principles of the federal government’s Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers program, which allows industry partners to pay to participate in a consortium of organizations that could all benefit from the research conducted by the schools.

“Today’s problems are too complex to solve in isolation,” OSU interim vice president for research Irem Tumer said Monday during a virtual kickoff event for the center.

The internet of things, known as IoT, refers to the web on interconnected devices that are able to send messages back and forth. Examples include web-enabled security systems, thermostats, vending machines and household appliances.

“Our mission is not to build and commercialize (IoT systems) ourselves … our mission is to come along with you as your R&D partner,” Danny Dig, center executive director and CU Boulder computer science professor, said to potential industry partners during Monday’s event.

It’s not just IoT companies that could be poised to benefit from the launch of the center, but also CU Boulder and OSU students.

One of the major aims of the center is to “get (students) exposed to real world problems and interacting with corporate and government partners,” Tumer said, “and in the best scenarios we get them good jobs.”

CU Boulder vice chancellor of research and innovation Terri Fiez participated in an Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers program when she was a student and said it “shaped my entire career.”

Student participants get a “broader view and another perspective” than is typically offered in academia.

Their research ”will be used in the future and not just to write a paper,” she said.

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