A press release from Congressman Randy Hultgren:
Hultgren, Lipinski Lead Bipartisan Delegation Effort to Maximize Ongoing State Investment in Tech-Based Economic Development
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL-03) this week led a bipartisan Illinois Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Commerce in support of maximizing ongoing state innovation investments.
Implemented by the University of Illinois, the Illinois Regional Proof-of-Concept Network would link top research institutions together and help accelerate deployment of top new technologies, “thereby driving competitiveness in key Illinois industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and information technology,” according to the letter.
The network would cultivate Illinois’ regional innovation ecosystem—connecting Illinois researchers with the necessary tools and network to bring innovative technologies to the market, thus helping to create jobs and propel technology commercialization across the state.
Excerpts of the letter follow:
We write to you today to express our strong support for the Illinois Regional Proof-of-Concept Network grant proposal for the 2014 EDA i6 Challenge. The EDA i6 funds will catalyze systemic infrastructure and collaboration across technologies and across the state—broadening efforts beyond a single proof-of-concept center in one region or university.
Partners in the state – including the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition – have provided more than $2 million in matching commitments…More than 40 research institutions, companies, and regional economic development organizations from all parts of the state have supported this proposal demonstrating Illinois’ strong commitment to technology-based economic development.
This project will build on significant State investments in innovation infrastructure to establish connections between top research institutions and accelerate deployment of top new technologies, thereby driving competitiveness in key Illinois industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and information technology. This unique approach will strengthen and sustain proof-of-concept activities at multiple top research institutions – nine initially – and link their researchers to technology commercialization and industry partners.
Project implementation will continue to be run through the investment arm of the University of Illinois, IllinoisVENTURES, which has a strong track record of delivering impact through publicly-funded investment and commercialization programs.