Working Together: Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)

Headquartered in the Champaign, IL, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC, www.cic.net) is a consortium of the Big Ten member universities plus the University of Chicago. For more than 50 years, these world-class research institutions have advanced their academic missions, generated unique opportunities for students and faculty and served the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources and collaborating on innovative programs. Governed and funded by the provosts of the member universities, CIC mandates are coordinated by a staff from its Midwest headquarters.

CIC universities conduct more funded research each year than the Ivy League and the University of California system combined. With annual research expenditures topping more than $10.2 billion, and spanning 11 states from the High Plains to the Eastern Seaboard, the 15 universities of the CIC have an enormous influence in research and education far beyond their geographical footprint.

One successful collaboration among the CIC membership reducing costs in the area of technology and connectivity is OmniPoP. OmniPoP is a fiber-optic network collaboration between participating CIC institutions, connecting them to each other and to research “hubs” worldwide with high-speed connectivity. This collaborative project unites the members’ regional optical networks on collaboratively owned fiber cable circling downtown Chicago. It provides multiple access points for researchers as well as the sort of redundancy that eliminates network downtime due to unforeseen fiber-optic cable damage.

OmniPoP provides services to faculty and researchers that allow them to share bandwidth-intensive applications (such as high-definition video) and massive research datasets between regional, national or global collaborators. In addition, OmniPoP has established direct ultra-high bandwidth connections to higher education and research peers, which reduce users’ cost and network latency.

CIC’s latest Annual Report offers a snapshot of how the member universities collaboratively leverage their strengths to increase access to higher education, improve the health of our communities and region, and create an enormous economic impact across the nation.

For more information on CIC or the OmniPoP collaboration, or to download the Annual Report, log on to www.cic.net.

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