SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed April 3 as “Innovation Day” in Illinois during a Leadership Breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion that was attended by innovative companies and organizations from across the state. The breakfast and events throughout the day were organized by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) and focused on ways to strengthen the state’s four pillars of innovation: technology dynamism, talent, investment and capital and business climate.
“Innovation in Illinois drives economic growth, creates jobs and strengthens our state,” Governor Quinn said. “We are leading the nation and world in research and entrepreneurship, and my administration is working every day to support the innovative companies and organizations that will keep us at the forefront.”
Innovation Day brings the Illinois innovation community together to connect with state leadership and increase awareness of the role of research and technology in driving Illinois’ economy forward. This statewide day of action connects government, research institutions, industry and the general public across the state.
“The depth and breadth of innovation that takes place in Illinois is invaluable as it continually creates numerous new products, companies and jobs,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Adam Pollet said. “It has allowed us to attract companies to locate here as well as federal funding for research and development that will drive further innovation and growth.”
In recent years, Illinois has developed a number of hubs to connect research, talent and industry in the energy, biotech and manufacturing sectors, among other key industries. As illustrated in a fact sheet (http://www.illinoisinnovation.com/filebin/Innovation_Hubs.pdf) released today, over the past 15 years, Illinois’ investment of $200 million for innovation hubs has leveraged almost $4 billion in additional funding, fostered support for more than 600 Illinois companies and led to the creation of over 5,600 jobs across the state.
Last month, the Governor joined President Barack Obama to formally announce that Illinois had won a new digital manufacturing hub, supported by funding from state and federal governments and corporate partners. The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute will apply the newest technologies to help manufacturers try and use new innovations in digital manufacturing and design, with an emphasis on defense manufacturers. Further, the state has secured its reputation as a national leader in science and technology as evidenced by:
- Winning federal support for initiatives like UI LABS’ Digital Lab for Manufacturing, which will transform American manufacturing design and production, and Argonne National Laboratory’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, which is creating the next-generation of battery technology.
- Increasing total R&D expenditures for Illinois academic institutions to $2.36 billion in 2012.
- Generating a total of 354 companies from Illinois university ideas and technologies between 2010-2013.
- Producing 47 percent more patents from 2008-2012 as compared to the previous four years.
“Illinois has a robust innovation ecosystem, and Innovation Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate and gain greater visibility for the advancements in science and technology happening throughout the state,” ISTC President and CEO Mark Harris said. “We appreciate Governor Quinn’s continued support for innovation and STEM education, and look forward to continuing our work to drive public-private partnerships that grow our state’s economy through technology commercialization and talent development in the coming year.”
In addition to the breakfast with the Governor, the ISTC and the Illinois Innovation Network has convened its community of more than 100 organizations across the state to showcase their innovative work this week through new initiatives, meetings and events, some of which include:
- Chicago Coalition for Science & Technology hosted “The Science of Star Trek” event for the public on April 2 that discussed the scientific ideas behind Star Trek technologies.
- Argonne National Laboratory will hold an Energy Slam event for families on April 3 with a goal of creating a more energy-literate populace and drawing attention to the important work taking place at Argonne.
- iBIO Institute’s PROPEL Center will host a Medical Coding Basics and Impact at Life Sciences Startups seminar on April 3 to explain how medical coding systems impact the commercialization path for a life sciences startup.
- 1871 will host Campus 1871, a three-day startup weekend event (April 4-6) where students will work together to ideate, create and bring to life their own startups, while learning about entrepreneurship from Chicago’s most prominent business leaders.
- University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Computer Science and College of Engineering will host Flourish Conference on April 5 to promote the use and adoption of Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS).
- Innovate@UIC will host a pitch day and public open house on April 9 for the new HTI facility at the Illinois Medical District.
About the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition
The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) is a member-driven, non-profit organization that cultivates and attracts research and technology-based investment, talent and job growth in the state. Through strategic public-private partnerships, advocacy efforts and project management, ISTC connects government, academia and industry to leverage the state’s world class research and development assets to drive innovation and economic growth.