Driven by purpose, we are committed to transformative discoveries and translating them to ensure societal impact.
The Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I³R, pronounced “i cubed r”) at the University of Arkansas is the new model of public research and economic development.
I³R is about discovery and innovation to bring the future to the Now.
I³R is bringing change-makers and thought-leaders together, collaborating with commercial, philanthropic, non-profit and governmental organizations to deliver positive societal impact.
I³R drives innovation and impact through Collaboratories:
Collaboratories of People
The people of I³R address the challenges facing our world and have a mindset that is driven by purpose and ready to adapt. They intertwine into mission-based, cross-functional teams ready to pursue complex problems and to converge ideas and expertise.
Collaboratories of Physical & Digital Spaces
The physical and digital spaces of I³R allow us to gather to deliberate, to disseminate knowledge and to put discovery into action to spur economic development.
The Initial Grand Challenge I³R will undertake is Metabolic Health.
Learn how I³R will grow convergence research and foster collaboration to address the Grand Challenges by integrating the Innovation Clusters, areas of strength at the University of Arkansas: Data Science, Food + Technology, Materials Science and Engineering, Bioscience and Bioengineering Research in Metabolism, and Integrative Systems Neuroscience.
Education and Empowerment are essential to making the impact of I³R lasting and sustainable. We will engage with diverse communities - all the communities – in Northwest Arkansas and every region of Arkansas. We will leverage our geography and our people to enable a growing wheel of impact that expands from the local to the global. I³R is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility and empowering women and other underrepresented groups missing from the workforce.
The ~144,000 square foot facility will house leading-edge technology, laboratory space and research equipment. Perhaps more importantly, every floor will feature expansive collaborative spaces designed to bring the people of I³R together to workshop ideas and move those ideas toward innovation.
How I³R was established
I³R was established by a $194.7 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
This landmark grant created an endowment for hiring faculty teams, for supporting for state-of-the-art facilities that will include additive manufacturing, maker space, microscopy and imaging, cleanroom, pre-clinical labs, and human subjects study labs — including brain imaging with many modalities including MRI, and metabolic, sensorimotor and posture and locomotion assessments.
Additional funds are already supporting entrepreneurship education to encourage and support moving discoveries to the marketplace, as well as the establishment of the Collaborative in Bentonville.