Motorola establishes innovation center at Research Park


By The Daily Illini Staff Report

Motorola Solutions will be employing both undergraduate and graduate University students in its new innovation and design center located at Research Park. 

Laura Bleill, director of communications and external engagement for Research Park said the Gies College of Business suggested Research Park as the place best suited for outreach and engagement. 

“The Research Park is frankly the best place on campus to work,” Bleill said. 

She said not only do students have the opportunity to apply skills from the classroom, but they have the opportunity to stretch those skills to potentially find a career path. 

Kelly Palecek, communications specialist for Motorola Solutions, said in an email that Motorola Solutions selected the University among many reasons, some including the top tier engineering program across many engineering disciplines and the close proximity to Motorola Solutions headquarters in Chicago.  

This opportunity will allow engineering students to get hands-on experience in the company’s Chief Technology Office, Advanced Technology and Products organizations, according to a press release

Bleill said Motorola is looking for students with talent and innovation in any field, from engineering to the arts. 

“One of the biggest issues for corporate America is not only having the right talent, but also talent that comes from diverse backgrounds and would be a great fit in the company’s environment,” Bleill said. 

Palecek said though engineering is the company’s focus, Motorola Solutions has partnered with the College of FAA to hire an art intern. 

“This role works side-by-side with our engineering interns, helping us apply the rich lessons in innovation from art history to the engineering problems we are trying to solve today,” Palecek said. 

Students’ job would be helping the company to increase efficiency in transforming ideas into the testing phase. 

Bleill said students at Research Park would be on teams to work through problems the company faces. 

“Whether those are technology problems, business problems, (we’re) utilizing the fresh perspectives of students that someone in an older corporate background might not have,” Bleill said. 

Palecek said in October, the company will be holding an inventing session facilitated by intellectual property experts. Interns will learn about the patent process and have the opportunity to propose and patent innovations related to their core businesses. 

“We will provide our interns with experiences and exposure to opportunities that may be rare to come by at offsite internships,” Palecek said. 

The design center opened for the fall 2019 semester and has 40 potential openings for interns who then have a chance of becoming full-time employees if given this opportunity. 

Palecek said in terms of plans for other innovation centers, Motorola Solutions is solely focused on its partnership with the University.

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