Northeastern to Build $100 Million Research Campus in Portland

Council member Northeastern University announced that it would use a $100 million gift to open a new research institute in Portland, ME.

The new center, named the Roux Institute after its benefactors David and Barbara Roux, will focus on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the digital and life sciences. Citing the Boston-based university as “an elite university that’s not elitist,” Roux selected Northeastern after a two-year search for the right fit to lead the institute. The new campus will offer graduate degrees and certificate programs in order to help create a tech hub in the largest city in Maine. Additionally, the Roux Institute will feature partnerships with leading employers in Maine and across the country. The move highlights Northeastern’s continuing expansion, with regional campuses in Charlotte, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and London already established by the university in recent years.

“The Roux Institute at Northeastern University brings a new vision, critical investment and proven research capacity to the Portland region,” said Dannel Malloy, University of Maine system chancellor. “It can be a game-changer for Maine’s participation in the innovation economy and create new opportunities for Maine’s students and entrepreneurs.” Because Northeastern’s new campus will offer only graduate programs, it won’t be directly competing with many of Maine’s higher education institutions, according to Malloy. The new venture can, however, provide both school systems with a potential new influx of students and opportunities for joint programs and fellowships between them, Malloy said. A rural state with an aging population, Maine has subsequently been facing enrollment challenges in higher education; the Roux Institute is a bet that the new Portland research institute can change that. “The impact of the Roux Institute will reverberate across the region for generations to come. It will serve as a national model for expanding growth and innovation, and reducing inequality,” Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun said.

The Council commends Northeastern University and the City of Portland for this exciting new development for both education and the economy of Maine. Read more in Inside Higher Ed and News Center Maine.

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