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Pritzker Celebrates Innovation Day in Illinois
Illinois Ag Connection - 04/15/2019

Joined by entrepreneurs and higher education leaders, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a proclamation recognizing April 12 as Illinois Innovation Day at an event hosted by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition at the Governor's Mansion.

The following is an excerpt of the governor's remarks:

"This state has so much potential. Potential that is being realized through research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through partnership and collaboration.

"From university leaders, startup founders, and regional economic development groups to those running incubation spaces, the venture community, industry executives, and civic and non-profit leaders -- those gathered here today and those across our state -- drive Illinois' economy forward.

"Innovation Day provides an opportunity for us to come together to recognize our strengths and to harness this collective potential.

"With the right leadership, Illinois can build on our foundation of a vibrant innovation economy. Just look at some of the pillars of the innovation economy we have:

"We have some of the best research universities in the world - universities that not only attract students from around the globe but also produce world-class graduates who make up the most passionate, educated and dedicated workforce in the nation.

"With one out of 10 computer science degrees in the nation coming from Illinois colleges and universities, we're the second largest producer of computer science graduates in the nation.

"And we're the fourth-leading producer of MBAs and a major hub for data science.

"Our research institutions, including our national laboratories, are redefining how we understand the world by developing new technologies that improve people's lives and spark new products, companies and jobs.

"Illinois' universities are also launchpads for new companies, as the index you shared today highlights. Over the past five years, nearly 1,000 startups have been founded on campuses across Illinois. These companies have raised over $1 billion in funding and are more likely to stay in Illinois than ever before.

"Our innovation hubs are a big reason that startups are staying in the state. Hubs like Innovate Springfield, EnterpriseWorks, MATTER, mHUB, TechNexus, Blue 1647, Peoria Innovation Alliance, 1871, Quad City Manufacturing Lab, and many more are leading this charge.

"Each of these elements -- higher education institutions, top talent, and innovation hubs -- are valuable assets to our state and building blocks to a more prosperous future. We are building on this foundation to create good-paying jobs across our state.

"Together, we can keep Illinois companies on the rise, and I'm excited to be governor in a time of great promise to grow our economy for years to come."

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