ISTC Illinois Science & Technology Coalition

Illinois Innovation Council

The mission of the Illinois Innovation Council is simple and direct:  To identify and advance strategies to foster and accelerate the innovation and economic growth that will create the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Innovation has long been a hallmark of the Illinois economy.  However, in a global age, the nature and pace of innovation has changed dramatically.  Today, our economy is driven by our ability to find and nurture value though new products, improved processes or advanced scientific discoveries.  Success in this era requires an extensive network of support, and it is the depth and resources of these networks that will define Illinois’ ability to renew and revitalize our state as a leading center for innovation.

Governor Quinn recognizes that our state’s public, private and institutional leaders must work together and commit, on a daily basis, to support innovation by aligning interests and resources.  Our economic future and quality of life demand it.  For more than 150 years, Illinois has led by example, turning out innovations in agriculture, air and ground transportation, communications, financial services, heavy machinery, healthcare and medical products, software, consumer products and retail, materials and chemicals, business services, research and development and the list goes on and on.

Nonetheless, we are at a critical crossroad – and we are at risk economically – if we do not improve the manner in which we invest in our networks and capitalize on our talented workforce.  We are not competing with our Midwestern neighbors, we are competing on a global stage – for capital, talent and attention.  Recognizing that Illinois must improve its standing if we are to stay on the leading edge of innovation and remain globally competitive, Governor Quinn has formed the Illinois Innovation Council.

Duties of the Illinois Innovation Council

  • Promote the role and importance of innovation in economic development and quality of life.
  • Convene and partner with academic, business and governments to evaluate and recommend initiatives to improve support for innovation and align public and private resources.
  • Develop methods to identify, promote, and attract innovation-driven enterprises and individuals to Illinois in order to grow existing industry clusters and contribute to the development of new clusters.
  • Develop policies to cultivate and retain entrepreneurs, innovative researchers and other enterprises.
  • Recommend criteria to measure, index and communicate Illinois performance as a global source for innovation.
  • Develop and implement grant or investment program(s) to support innovators from research institutions, entrepreneurs and others.