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Nova Southeastern U Building $80 Million Center for Collaborative Research

Florida's Nova Southeastern University broke ground today on a new Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), an $80 million research facility that will house an IBM supercomputer, one of the state's largest wet labs and more. The 215,000-square-foot building is being funded by a combination of the university's own reserves and tax-exempt financing. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2016.

"The Center for Collaborative Research will expand the university's research capability and provide the infrastructure to advance knowledge, support innovations and develop new research partnerships," said Gary Margules, vice president for the NSU Office of Research and Technology Transfer, in a prepared statement. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU currently has more than 200 research projects under way, including studies on cardiovascular disease, anti-cancer therapies, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, coral reef restoration, stem cells and wildlife DNA forensics, among other subjects. The CCR will provide wet labs for NSU researchers as well as a General Clinical Research Center, which is an outpatient facility with a centralized clinical research infrastructure for investigators in multiple disciplines.

Research computing power will be provided by a new IBM supercomputer nicknamed "Megalodon" after the large prehistoric shark. The multi-million-dollar equipment was donated by Centaurus Energy in Houston, Texas. "This supercomputer allows researchers to create more accurate models of complex processes, simulate problems once thought impossible to solve and analyze increasing amounts of data generated by experiments in weeks or months, rather than the years required by conventional computers," said Eric Ackerman, dean of NSU's Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences.

The center will also house NSU's Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine; Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research; the Emil Buehler Research Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics; and a private incubator for information security businesses. Following a long-standing relationship between NSU and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), including USGS's current location on NSU's main campus, USGS plans to occupy the entire first floor of the CCR. The USGS and NSU will partner on collaborative inter-disciplinary research involving greater Everglades restoration efforts, hydrology and water resources and more.

The CCR will be connected to Florida LambdaRail, an ultra-high-speed broadband network that links the state's higher education institutions in support of research and education initiatives.

"This new multidisciplinary center will provide our world-class team of researchers with the tools they need to continue to make discoveries that will impact the way we all live," said NSU President George Hanbury in a press release. "From developing new cancer treatments to finding new methods for environmental sustainability, the possibilities are endless."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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