CHICAGO – March 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn announced that his Illinois Innovation Council held its first meeting today. The council, which is chaired by Groupon Co-Founder Brad Keywell, will help ensure the state remains on the cutting-edge in the global economy. The focus of the initial meeting, which was held at Groupon’s Chicago headquarters, was areas where Illinois is a hub for innovation and accelerating sectors where our state is a demonstrated or emerging leader, including clean energy, biotech and life sciences, and information technology.
“This council is an important part of helping us support the jobs of today, while paving the way for more jobs tomorrow,” said Governor Quinn. “I thank these leaders in science, business, education and finance for beginning their work to help us develop new and innovative ways to support our entrepreneurs and build the platforms they need to create more cutting-edge Illinois companies and sustainable jobs.”
The council will promote the role and importance of innovation in economic development and quality of life; convene and partner with academic, business and governments to evaluate and recommend initiatives to improve support for innovation, and align public and private resources. The council will also develop methods to identify, promote and attract innovation-driven enterprises and individuals to Illinois, in order to grow existing industry clusters and contribute to the development of new clusters. It will also develop policies to cultivate and retain entrepreneurs, innovative researchers and other enterprises.
“We must continue creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Illinois that promotes innovation and intelligent risk-taking, along with the access to capital to make that a reality. Our first meeting today was an important first step in that process, and Governor Quinn and I believe we must continue connecting the dots so great Illinois ideas go from concept to commercialization while creating new jobs,” Keywell said.
Governor Quinn announced the creation of the council during his budget address for fiscal year 2012. The council, recommended by the Governor’s Economic Recovery Commission, will meet at least four times over the next year. The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, an independent, not-for-profit organization, will also assist the council.
A complete list of members is linked here.