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Gov. Pritzker Announces Innovate Illinois: A Public-Private Partnership to Secure Federal Funding for Illinois

Press Release - Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Coalition to launch coordinated and robust efforts to bring home federal investment in science, technology, and climate initiatives

CHICAGO -- Seizing the opportunity to capture the billions of dollars of federal and private investment in science, technology and climate initiatives, Governor JB Pritzker, in partnership with P33,the Civic Committee, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, is launching Innovate Illinois, a diverse coalition of business leaders, higher education institutions, and elected officials to coordinate the state's efforts to secure funding through the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

"With the formation of Innovate Illinois, we are launching a first of its kind effort to bring federal dollars to Illinois and strengthen the state's long-term economic vitality for generations to come," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We are uniquely positioned to leverage our innovation hubs, public and private universities, and national laboratories to provide 21st century opportunities for our state's workers, scientists, and businesses. With this effort, Illinois will accelerate an innovation-driven economic development plan and usher in a new era of scientific and technological progress."

"Given the enormous capability and innovative nature of the companies and institutions within our state, this powerful coalition positions us to compete aggressively for Federal and private resources that will help us make critical technology advances and inclusively grow our economy," said Jennifer F. Scanlon, President and CEO of UL Solutions Inc., board member of P33 and Chair of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

"Researchers at higher education institutions across this great state have a history of working with the private sector and government to develop game-changing technologies, scientific advances and training the sophisticated workforce that, together, change the world," said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. "Innovate Illinois will build on those foundational connections and propel us forward, together. That's good for our collective institutions, good for the state, and ultimately, critical to our national competitiveness."

"Thanks to federal funding secured by Congressional Democrats, we are providing Illinois with the tools to succeed in economic development and innovation," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "Through Innovate Illinois, we are creating a unique partnership between business leaders, higher education institutions, and elected officials that will spur scientific development. I look forward to working with the Governor to see the success of this dynamic initiative."

"I'm pleased to help put Illinois in the best position possible to bring home the federal dollars that Senator Durbin and I helped passed into law," said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). "Illinois is already at the forefront of innovation in technology, biopharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, clean energy and more, and we have projects throughout the state ready for investment. This effort will ensure we have the resources needed to equitably catalyze economic development for years to come."

"Illinois has always distinguished itself by leading on many of the most cutting-edge, challenging challenges of our time," said Brad Henderson, CEO of P33. "With this coalition, we believe Illinois will extend its leadership in critical areas like quantum computing, energy storage and biotechnology in way that will include the full diversity of leaders and contributors in our State"

"This coalition creates an incredible opportunity for our State at a historically important moment," said Derek Douglas, President of the Civic Committee and Commercial Club of Chicago. "This effort brings together our universities, state and local leaders and our business community into a common cause."

The coalition will be chaired by Governor Pritzker, and vice-chaired by Jenny Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer of UL Solutions and Civic Committee Chair, and Robert Jones, Chancellor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. US Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth will serve in advisory roles. In addition, Innovate Illinois will include a broad coalition of members representing state and local economic development partners, including the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, World Business Chicago, and Intersect Illinois; higher education institutions including the University of Illinois system, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and our state's Community Colleges; as well as private sector representation through business CEOs, the Civic Committee, and P33. This collective effort will bring together the relevant expertise and capacity to pursue specific grant opportunities in a coordinated way with rigor and focus on priority areas, including science, transportation, innovation and technology where Illinois has a competitive advantage and is well positioned to win. The initiative will serve as the "front door" for businesses who would like to partner with the state and education system for research, technology, and workforce development for innovation-related federal grant opportunities.

This initiative builds on the state's proud history of leadership in the scientific and technological spheres. In recent years, Governor Pritzker made major investments in economic development through Rebuild Illinois, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, and the Reimagining Energy & Vehicles Act. Thanks to this work, Illinois is uniquely positioned to play an outsized role in manufacturing and training the diverse workforce required for the next generation of chip technology, in addition to energy storage, quantum computing, synthetic biology and biotech.

The CHIPS & Science Act, Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act unlock hundreds of billions of dollars in economic development and Justice 40 opportunities for the nation. Through this partnership, state efforts to procure that funding will be robust and coordinated, with state government, private sector, and our leading research institutions forming a united coalition to take advantage of this historic opportunity.

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