UChicago CASE

Strategic Initiatives

Joint Task Force Initiative (JTFI)

JTFI was founded in 2018 to help Argonne and Fermilab achieve mission success by opening channels of frequent communication and collaboration across institutions. 

JTFI has created several joint task forces, strategic initiatives, and training opportunities that provide critical support of the national labs.

UChicago commits resources to JTFI AI for Science initiative for matchmaking workshops between AI and other fields, offering research opportunities to students, consulting experiences, and funding joint AI projects.

The Joint Task Force Initiative (JTFI) at the University of Chicago collaborates with Argonne National Laboratory through the ‘Argonne in the City’ program, constituting a long-term strategic effort. This program aims to bring the expertise and resources of Argonne to urban communities, focusing on education, workforce development, and community engagement. Through various projects and partnerships, Argonne in the City works to address challenges and promote innovation.

This strategic initiative aids a next-generation ground-based cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment, with crucial involvement from Argonne and Fermilab, alongside other national laboratories and universities. UChicago’s support includes investment in capital equipment for an Argonne clean room, provision of bridge funding, and provision of office space for the CMB-S4 planning group at 53rd Street in Chicago.

JTFI hired an external consulting firm for a six-month engagement to assist Fermilab in identifying and addressing performance challenges in the mission-critical support areas of procurement, facilities, finance and human resources.

How can we ensure that people around the world have access to the reliable, affordable energy needed for economic growth and human development without putting the environment, climate or human health at risk? In answer to this challenge question, JTFI funded four joint projects at UChicago and Argonne over two years that are answering this challenge question using diverse ideas and experiments.

This initiative is focused on developing infrastructure to serve as a model for STEM education program delivery and execution in emerging scientific areas (e.g., Data Science/AI, Clean Energy, Quantum) across South Side Chicago communities, in partnership with community-based organizations, local schools, and civic partners. JTFI is providing support for a pilot phase that will take an existing in-person STEM education program, led by the University of Chicago and the National Labs, and identify pathways to scale.

Argonne is making significant research contributions to advance radioisotope production and purification technologies, and UChicago offers a broad spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical research environment and expertise in radiochemistry, cellular, preclinical, and clinical trial studies. JTFI funded a joint year 1 research project on scandium radiotheranostics to improve the diagnosis and therapy of advanced prostate cancer. This year, JTFI has funded a new project on developing novel radiotheranostics for improved diagnosis and therapy of neuroendocrine tumors, which involve many types of cancer.

Projects supported by this initiative cut across our topic areas: Energy Technologies, Microelectronics, High-Throughput Autonomous Discovery, and AI-Microelectronics for Advanced Scientific Instrumentation.The JTFI has provided funding to research projects with an aim of deepening collaborative research opportunities among the University, Argonne, and Fermilab, positioning the projects to successfully scale and secure large-scale sponsored research funding, and accelerating the development of transformational research and technology that deliver high-impact results to society.

JTFI seeded four novel research teams that use techniques like machine learning and advanced imaging methods to create more sustainable materials and conduct basic science research. 

JTFI seeded four novel research teams that use techniques like machine learning and advanced imaging methods to create more sustainable materials and conduct basic science research. 

JTFI issued a call for proposals in 2021 for proposals in such areas as environment fate of materials, AI/ML applied to sustainability, polymer circularity, carbon capture, biotechnology, green batteries, sensing technology and sustainability, resource recovery, critical material life cycle analysis, and solar technology. Four proposals were funded in 2022 with a potential second year of support. 

Research and Events Highlights

PI Spotlight: Andrzej Joachimiak

Andrzej's current research focuses on proteins and protein-nucleic acid interactions and includes enzymes, transcription factors and molecular chaperones.

Duality Accelerator

Accelerating Quantum Startups

Anchored by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which has a 25-year successful track record running one of the top startup accelerator programs in the nation.

Fermilab European Partners Meeting

A meeting of minds: Fermilabs, UChicago, UK Research and Innovation Workshop

Chicago Quantum Exchange

A growing intellectual hub for the science and engineering of quantum information

License to Innovate

This is Your License to Innovate: UChicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Showcase New Tech

Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program (SLLP)

Leaders at several national labs, DOE, and the University of Chicago gather to take stock and consider how to use the lessons learned to prepare the national lab workforce for 2025 and beyond.

Frontiers in Energy Technologies Workshop

UChicago in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory conviens world-class thought leaders to create a vision for an ambitious energy technologies initiative at the University of Chicago. 

 PreviousNext JTFI Partnerships for Emerging Technologies Event

The Partnerships for Emerging Technologies initiative awarded $1 million in funding to 15 research projects cutting across four topic areas.

Department of Defense Research Visit:

Dr. Bindu Nair

Dr. Bindu Nair, DoD Director of Basic Research, visited the University of Chicago campus on September 29th. Slides and recording from Dr. Bindu's visit are available.

PI Spotlight: Kate Keahey

When any successful project attracts a large community, there will be growing pains. Since its launch in 2015, the experimental cloud computing testbed Chameleon has realized its vision of becoming a shared scientific instrument for computer science research and education.

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