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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2000

Ryan Highlights Illinois 'VentureTECH' At National Governors Assocation Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Governor George H. Ryan said today that his proposed $1.9 billion state technology initiative - Illinois VentureTECH -- will help ensure Illinois' place at the forefront of the new high-tech global economy.

Ryan discussed VentureTECH with other governors at the winter meeting of the National Governor's Association.

"Many other governors understand that to keep pace in the "New Economy," we must invest in the future and invest in technology, " Ryan said. "VentureTech is a bold initiative that will nurture and expand high-tech opportunities in Illinois and secure our role as a leader in the New Economy."

One of the overriding themes of the NGA Winter Meeting concerns "state strategies in the New Economy." Ryan serves on the NGA Task Force on the New Economy with Gov. Michael Leavitt of Utah, the chairman of the NGA, and six other governors.

Under Ryan's VentureTECH proposal, Illinois will invest $1.9 billion over the next five years in advanced research and development, health sciences, information technology and biotechnology. Ryan said VentureTECH is designed to strengthen partnerships with private industry and the federal government and will directly result in over $3.9 billion in technology related infrastructure improvements in Illinois.

In addition, the plan calls for an $800 million investment in venture capital funds over the next three years to support high-tech start-up firms in Illinois and $343 million to build the Illinois Century Network -- a statewide technology network linking schools, libraries, museums and government offices.

"The New Economy is fast, knowledge-based and service oriented," Ryan added. "It is driven by technological advances and fueled by the skill levels of the workforce. I want Illinois to be a leader in this technological revolution."

Recognizing the impact of the New Economy, other states have proposed similar investments in technology.

  • New York - $156 million for high-tech academic research, $280 million in venture capital funds to invest in emerging businesses, and the creation of technology enterprise zones to provide high-tech businesses with incentives for locating in designated areas.
  • New Jersey - A $165 million proposal that includes funds for high-tech workforce training and high-tech research and development.
  • California - A $75 million investment to create California Institutes for Science and Innovation; to be established at three campuses of the University of California.
  • Kentucky - A $20 million fund to help with the creation of high-tech jobs, as well as a $20 million loan fund to build and promote networks of technology-driven and research intensive industries and $4.25 million for commercialization efforts and research and development partnerships.
  • Hawaii - Creation of a $50 million Hawaii Technology Fund.
  • Indiana - Creation of a "21st Century Research and Technology Fund" that will provide $50 million over the next two years in grants and loans.



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