Monday, May 13, 2019

Innovate Springfield offers update on impact

Stakeholders in the Illinois Innovation Network and Innovate Springfield spoke before the Springfield Citizen’s Club Friday morning, offering an update on the progress of the statewide network and, specifically, the Springfield hub.

In August 2018, the University of Illinois Springfield acquired Innovate Springfield. Soon after, the university was awarded the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network, a University of Illinois system-led initiative meant to foster economic growth through research and innovation by connecting satellite hubs spread across the state with the flagship Discovery Partners Institute, a research institute to be based in Chicago.

“This is a tremendously exciting opportunity. It’s a big idea, a real big idea,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “And if we can pull this off, it’s going to harness the intellectual talent of the entire University of Illinois to focus economic and social development across the state, including here in the state capital.”

Officials did share some statistics regarding the incubator’s economic impact in 2018.

Innovate Springfield’s 65 members collectively created 31 full-time and 21 part-time jobs. They also generated $1.9 million in gross revenue and raised $1.2 million in angel investment.

Officials said they hoped to have support from the community, which they say is necessary to make the hub a success. “This really is about having a community mindset focused on innovation,” said Katie Davison, Innovate Springfield’s executive director.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 11, 2019.

Read the entire article online.