• Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!


March 26, 1999

In his first budget address, Illinois Governor George Ryan outlined a series of initiatives which would catapult Illinois into the top tier of states for technology-based economic development spending. Coupled with the $3-million-plus technology initiative announced earlier this year by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois S&T investments could grow to $20 million annually, a threshold only six other states have crossed and maintained: Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Citing Pennsylvania's "Tech 21 Initiative" as the model, Governor Ryan outlined $100 million in technology investments, the vast majority to support information technology acquisition for educational institutions. The Governor's S&T proposals include:

  • $10 million for the Technology Development Bridge Program, which provides seed stage equity financing to small technology companies. The program, developed by the Illinois Coalition, is administered by the Illinois Development Finance Authority. Currently the program invests approximately $2 million annually.
  • $5 million for the Technology Challenge Grant Program, which provides matching grants to help small businesses leverage federal research and technology commercialization funding, such as SBIR and STTR. The program also will provide the match for the state's activities in the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. The Technology Challenge Grant Program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.
  • $1 million to create the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation (ITEC). ITEC will establish regional centers to promote technology transfer from universities and to provide small technology businesses with research proposal development assistance and angel/venture capital networking services. Each ITEC center will have to match the state investment 1:1. The new program will be administered by the Illinois Coalition.
  • Doubling the state's contribution for base support of the Illinois Coalition to $260,000.
  • $250,000 to develop a technology park adjacent to Fermilab in western DuPage County.

Governor Ryan also recently announced the creation of the Illinois Technology Office, which will be responsible for Amanaging technological innovation in state government, improving public service and standardized operations among state agencies. A role for the office outside of information technology was not identified.

Some of Governor Ryan proposals for Illinois are in his FY 2000 budget request and others are incorporated in Illinois Senate Bill 40, which cleared the Senate Revenue Committee unanimously last week.

For more information, contact the Illinois Coalition at 312/814-3482.