Gov. Pritzker releases funding for IIN

Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday announced that the State of Illinois is moving forward with $500 million in capital funding for the University of Illinois System's Illinois Innovation Network (IIN) and Discovery Partners Institute (DPI).

"With this announcement today of Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network, we are launching a new era for Chicago as an extraordinary focal point for an unparalleled tech workforce and research and development that will attract talent to our state from around the world, strengthening Illinois' long-term economic vitality for generations to come," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Illinois' nexus of partnerships, innovation hubs, public and private universities, national laboratories, and international research programs is the foundation for a technology ecosystem that will rival any location in the world. And through the Illinois Innovation Network, DPI's success will radiate across the state to 15 hubs from Chicago to Rockford to Peoria to Edwardsville. We are investing in workforce development, innovation and R&D all across our state."

The funding committed by Gov. Pritzker will allow DPI and other hubs of the IIN across the state to begin architectural design work while attracting more private funding from both corporate partnerships and philanthropy. Under Gov. Pritzker's leadership, the university dramatically accelerated its private fundraising, and has raised roughly $230 million to date from private donors.

Adding to that momentum, the governor also announced a new gift from University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Don Edwards and his wife, Anne. Edwards is giving $10 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, $5 million of which will be dedicated to IIN and DPI. Board of Trustees Chairman Edwards' $10 million gift is the largest ever by a University of Illinois trustee.

"Chicago is thrilled to be taking this important next step with DPI, Governor Pritzker and Related Midwest in developing a state-of-the-art innovation hub that will drive cutting-edge technology advancements and propel growth and opportunity throughout our city and entire region," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "DPI's decision to anchor in Chicago is a vote of confidence in the talent of our people and strength of our diverse, local economy, and we look forward to collaborating with them on our shared goals of developing inclusive, long-term economic growth through an array of investments that will create jobs, start companies, and help shape the future of our city for generations to come."

Full news release

Don, Anne Edwards donate $10 million to U of I