FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla.- Broward County will soon have a focal point for research and discoveries that will one day impact all of humanity.
On Thursday, Feb. 13, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) broke ground on a revolutionary Center for Collaborative Research (CCR) that will house an IBM supercomputer, one of Florida’s largest wet labs, the NSU Technology Incubator and some of the world’s most accomplished researchers.
“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 L. Hanbury, Ph.D. “From developing new cancer treatments to finding new methods for environmental sustainability, the possibilities are endless.”
Located on NSU’s main campus in Davie, Fla., the 215,000 sq.-ft.-facility will cost approximately $80 million to construct and equip. NSU, the nation’s ninth largest private not-for-profit university, is funding the center using a combination of its own reserves and tax-exempt financing. Construction is expected to be completed in 2016.
More than 300 construction-related jobs and another 150 research-related jobs will be created through this project.
NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. More than 200 research projects are currently underway at NSU, 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 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 S. Margules, Sc.D., vice president for the NSU Office of Research and Technology Transfer.
The CCR will provide wet labs for many of NSU’s innovative 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.
The new IBM supercomputer nicknamed “Megalodon” allows NSU to join an elite group of universities with this type of research computing power. The name Megalodon was chosen as it is the biggest prehistoric shark that ever lived and the largest predatory marine creature in the history of the planet. The multi-million dollar supercomputer 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 S. Ackerman, Ph.D., 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 Broward County’s only private incubator for information security businesses.
The CCR will be connected to Florida LambdaRail, an ultra-high-speed broadband network that links the state’s higher education institutions. The network provides a medium that fosters collaboration and partnerships in support of scientific research, education and 21st century economy initiatives.
Following a long standing relationship between NSU and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), including USGS’s current location on NSU’s main campus, it is intended that USGS will 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 was designed by ACAI Associates, Inc. based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is being constructed by The ANF Group based in Davie, Fla. It is being built to the LEED silver-level standards.
The CCR will be located on the southwest end of campus near the NSU Health Professions Division, which houses the health-related colleges, including dental medicine, health care sciences, medical sciences, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, and pharmacy.
For more information about the CCR, please visit www.nova.edu/research/ccr.