Public-private partnership aims to get federal tech funding

Jennifer F. Scanlon, president and CEO of UL Solutions Inc.

Gov. J.B. 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 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.”

Jennifer F. Scanlon, president and CEO of UL Solutions Inc., said, “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.”

Scanlon also serves 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.”

“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 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. Senators 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.

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.