Friday, March 6, 2020

UIS will have a downtown presence

The University of Illinois Springfield is working to bring a presence to the downtown area.

An innovation center will give their students real-world experience. The discussion and planning of a downtown presence has been in the works for over a year, but university officials want input from the public before any further planning is done.

Some people are in favor of the proposal. "We need that kind of stimulation for the business of Springfield: jobs, entrepreneurship, and these folks seem to have a handle on that,” Springfield resident Jerry Jacobson said.

UIS officials said they hope with the public's input, it will soon become a reality. "If we locate within the community and in proximity with other businesses and residential, we'll bring jobs down here,” Bruce Sommer said, UIS Director of Economic Development and Innovation. “We'll be able to have these interactions with community participants that will create advanced economic growth."

Sommer said the new innovation center will focus on five strategic areas: business incubation and acceleration, technology and research commercialization, social innovation, public policy research, and workforce development and education.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on March 5, 2020..

Watch the entire story online.