The Illinois Innovation Network has launched four working committees to develop a vision and agenda in each of their respective areas. Committees are composed of representatives from all the IIN hubs and partner organizations. Each IIN Council member appointed representatives from his or her hub.

Working committees have been established in these four areas: education and workforce development, entrepreneurship and corporate engagement, public policy, and research and collaboration.

Education and Workforce Development

The education and workforce development working committee seeks to ensure that there is a continually learning, self-improving, and diverse workforce that is able to meet the global demands of industrial, professional, social, and business landscapes to drive leading-edge innovation and the economy of Illinois. Further, the IIN recognizes that partnering with community colleges throughout the state of Illinois will bolster the talent pipeline and a create more diverse student body and workforce that is key to the success of Illinois' economy. The committee seeks to ensure that the IIN taps into community colleges that are already producing innovative programming and reaching an inclusive audience across the state.

Chair: Elizabeth Cada, Governors State University
IIN Staffer: Kandace Turner

Entrepreneurship and Corporate Engagement

The IIN aims to ensure that entrepreneurs in Illinois have opportunities to bring their ideas to life and foster economic growth in their communities. Entrepreneurs create businesses and new businesses create jobs, strengthen market competition, and increase productivity. By creating an inclusive environment where opportunities are available to entrepreneurs across the state, the IIN can help increase participation, create more innovative solutions, and drive economic growth. Engaging corporate partners will maximize private-sector partner opportunities and further accelerate the growth rate of entrepreneurial activities that drive innovation.

Chair: Bruce Sommer, University of Illinois Springfield
IIN Staffer: Kyle Harfst

Public Policy

Understanding the interplay of policy and innovation is essential in building a community of stakeholders from various sectors: entrepreneurs, business and industry leaders, policymakers, venture capitalists, government, and academia. The IIN will advocate for policy and regulations that protect the public and the statewide economy without creating barriers to innovation and growth. Creating a landscape where access to and participation in economic development initiatives will encourage growth and promote the Illinois portfolio as worthy of funding and investment.

Chair: Ryan Spain, Peoria Innovation Hub 
IIN Staffer: Ben Taylor

Entrepreneurship and Corporate Engagement

The IIN aims to ensure that entrepreneurs in Illinois have opportunities to bring their ideas to life and foster economic growth in their communities. Entrepreneurs create businesses and new businesses create jobs, strengthen market competition, and increase productivity. By creating an inclusive environment where opportunities are available to entrepreneurs across the state, the IIN can help increase participation, create more innovative solutions, and drive economic growth. Engaging corporate partners will maximize private-sector partner opportunities and further accelerate the growth rate of entrepreneurial activities that drive innovation.

Chair: Ryan Hendrickson, Eastern Illinois University
IIN Staffer: Kyle Harfst