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Cross-institutional partnership propels global research in AI and quantum science

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The University of Chicago and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel will support collaborative research in quantum information sciences and artificial intelligence, in a partnership that also includes the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

This expanded partnership builds on the existing Marshall and Arlene Bennett Family Research Program, which funds research between UChicago and the Weizmann Institute of Science in life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Led by UChicago’s Office of Science, Innovation, National Laboratories, and Global Initiatives, the partnership will prioritize new research that leverages AI for new discoveries in biology and materials science, and it will promote fundamental discoveries in quantum information sciences and engineering. The collaboration among institutions has the potential to build solutions that can scale globally to benefit humanity. 

In a first step, the expanded partnership has awarded more than $1 million in research funding for three collaborative projects that advance the scientific domain and have significant impact in science and technology and travel grants for three additional research teams. Research topics for the funded projects include applications of artificial intelligence in medicine and materials science, as well as quantum information sciences with applications to communication networks.

“The University of Chicago’s commitment to scholarly work that shapes and defines fields of study is strengthened through international and cross-institutional collaborations like this,” said University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos. “The Weizmann Institute of Science is a world-class partner, and together we can forge a much deeper understanding of the foundations of data science and artificial intelligence and develop new beneficial uses.” 

“The Weizmann Institute has a long history of international collaborations that have inspired scientists to make a collective impact on global challenges,” said Alon Chen, president of the Weizmann Institute. “We look forward to continue to partner with the University of Chicago to combine our strengths in this new era of artificial intelligence and quantum science.”

“I am thrilled to see that my family’s research program has inspired a global initiative between these three renowned institutions,” said Bija Bennett, director and president of the Bennett Family Foundation.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, one of the world’s leading basic research institutions, is composed of 250 experimental and theoretical research groups across five faculties—biology, biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, and physics.

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is an academic computer science institute dedicated to basic research and graduate education. The institute is located on the UChicago campus and has a close affiliation with the University of Chicago’s Department of Computer Science.

The AI projects in health and biology will seek to use artificial intelligence to improve our ability to understand the rules of life—from the molecular scale to multicellular organisms and ecosystems. In materials science, researchers will explore how to leverage AI to predict the properties and guide the design and synthesis of new materials.

“Artificial intelligence and quantum information science have the potential to propel innovations that will cut across multiple domains,” said Juan de Pablo, executive vice president for science, innovation, national laboratories, and global initiatives at the University of Chicago. “It is with trans-institutional efforts like these that true advancements emerge. We are honored to work with these institutions, and these grants are the first step in what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership that results in exciting, field-defining breakthroughs.”

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