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Design proposals sought for new IHMC research center

Human performance research at IHMC will find a new home in a planned facility slated to open in early 2024.

A $20 million hub of research into human healthspan, resilience, and performance is moving closer to coming out of the ground. 

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has issued a Request for Qualifications for architectural, engineering and construction administration services. This RFQ can be found at https://www.ihmc.us/2022building/ 

Proposals are due Feb. 11. Once finalists are culled from the applications, presentations will be scheduled. A decision is expected by Feb. 28, 2022; construction is expected to begin later this year. 

The new IHMC Healthspan, Resilience and Performance Research Complex will be a leading-edge lab and office building. The projected four-story 44,000 square foot facility will include space for administrative support, outreach and training, in addition to state-of-the-art laboratories for the scientific team. 

It expands IHMC’s downtown campus to three primary buildings and dedicates a space for the center’s research into improving the resilience and performance of people. 

Since IHMC’s founding in 1990, it has built an international reputation for excellence and innovation in robotics and artificial intelligence. 

The HRP Center will extend that reputation for excellence in a new direction and reflects a strategic expansion of the vision of IHMC founder and CEO Ken Ford. 

“IHMC’s international reputation in robotics and artificial intelligence speaks for itself,” Ford says. “Our Healthspan Resilience and Performance team will focus on innovative ways to extend the capabilities and resilience of high-performing humans such as astronauts, fighter pilots, and elite special operators.” 

The HRP team’s work is focused on improving the performance of elite military members given the stressors they face. But the ultimate applications could be far-reaching, offering substantial healthspan benefits to the general population. 

Dr. Marcas Bamman, the senior research scientist who leads the HRP team, sees the center’s work as something that covers “molecules to the whole human.” 

“It’s more than applied science,” he says. “It’s seeing who performs a task well, unraveling the how and why, and taking what we learn to optimize ways of improving each person’s abilities.” 

The goal is for the team to occupy the new building in January 2024. 

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. For more information, visit ihmc.us.