SSTI Digest

Geography: Illinois

People & Organizations

The Center for Applied Innovation, a Chicago-based think tank, appointed Michael Patin as its new executive director.


Lori Clark is the new coordinator of agency relations and research park initiatives at Northern Illinois University.

Legislative Actions & Tech Talkin' Govs 2006, Part III

The third installment to Walkin' the Tech Talkin' Gov Walk (see the April 17 and May 8 issues of the Digest) covers the outcomes of the 2006 legislative sessions for two states, Illinois and Wisconsin. Following is a synopsis of bills passed and budget appropriations relevant to tech-based economic development and the priorities outlined in respective gubernatorial addresses at the beginning of 2006.


The General Assembly approved and Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law the FY 2007 budget last month. The General Assembly passed most of the governor's initiatives, including funding for new programs within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), increases in higher education, and approval and funding for the River Edge Redevelopment Initiative. According to news reports, the legislature did not include $15 million requested by the governor for stem cell research.

The General Assembly approved funding for all of the programs within DCEO (refer to SB 1520) requested by Gov. Blagojevich, which includes funding for two new programs:

'The Better World Project' Examines the Impact of Technology Transfer

While it is safe to say that new medicines, electronics, educational tools and other inventions have improved the lives of countless people, a new project by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) describes more than 100 such breakthroughs that probably would not exist if not for the practice of technology transfer.

Participate in State VC Survey By Mar. 15

Innovation and tech entrepreneurship take money — different amounts at different stages with different strings. As a result, increasing access to capital is an objective of many state and local technology-based economic development programs.

Tech-based ED Prominent in Illinois Governor's '07 Budget Request

Stem cell research, an expanded tax zone redevelopment initiative and faculty/researcher recruitment are all beneficiaries in the fiscal year 2007 budget proposal submitted by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week. In addition, while overall funding for the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is down 16 percent from the FY 2006 appropriation, the governor's request includes several new programs to assist technology entrepreneurship. Highlights of the economic development portions of the budget are provided below.

Recent Research:Chicago Fed Looks at Higher Ed and Economic Growth

It is no coincidence that every article in this issue of the SSTI Weekly Digest touched on some aspect of higher education's role in promoting economic growth. Knowledge-based economies driven by innovation require strong and successful institutions of higher learning. Those same types of economies, particularly when applied on a global scale, present unique challenges to sustaining educational and research excellence with academia based on older models of financing and leadership.


The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) selected Vicki Loise as its first executive director.


Jim Pennekamp will be the executive director of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's research and business park, effective Dec. 1.


Sue Strommer has joined the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds as Chief Executive Officer (NASVF) as CEO. Charlie Spies, the former president and CEO, will remain as president of NASVF.

Illinois Uses Executive Order to Fund Stem Cell Research

While some state legislatures debate banning public funds for some or all stem cell research, others are using whatever funding tools they have available to advance the controversial science. Some states use tobacco settlement money, others use revenue bonds, and still others use direct appropriations. Some states use voter referenda while most stay within the traditional state legislative process. The newest twist comes from Illinois, where Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is using an executive order to commit $10 million toward stem cell research.

ITDA Seeks Venture Development Director

The Illinois Technology Development Alliance (ITDA) is looking for a Venture Development Director for its Chicago office. Duties include management/operations consulting; client’s screening/selection; coordination entrepreneurship mentoring; consulting/technical assistance; technical review of commercial potential of technologies. Qualified applicants must posses an MBA/B.S. in Engineering with at least five years of experience in the fields of business development/consulting. Resumes may be sent to