Policy and Funding Initiatives
ISTC advocates for sound tech policies and programs at the state and federal levels. We actively support legislation and initiatives that have a positive impact on research, innovation, and technology commercialization. We also collaborate with elected officials, policy makers, regional economic development organizations, universities, industry, and state agencies to attract federal research and technology commercialization dollars to Illinois.
Federal Funding Support
As part of our mission, the ISTC serves as an intermediary organization to unite diverse parties and expertise around federal funding opportunities. This includes identifying and supporting areas of common interest to the state’s universities, federal labs, industry, economic development groups, and government to best position Illinois to apply for and receive critical federal investments.
Historically, this has included playing a significant role in securing research- and technology-focused federal funding, including the $120 million U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) center at Argonne and the U.S. Department of Defence’s $320 million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) at UI LABS.
Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program
Led by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), the RIS program competition aims to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. For the last several years, ISTC has partnered with SSTI, a national advocacy organization for technology-based economic development, to help secure funding for the program. Through the efforts of SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council (IAC), the ISTC joined forces with almost a dozen other states to successfully secure a first-time appropriation for the RIS program in FY15, which was increased to $15 million in FY16. We will continue supporting the growth of this program.
ISTC has played an integral role in supporting a number of successful applications for the RIS Program, including the Energy Foundry Seed Investor Education and Strategic Partner Development Project, which is helping to expand the pool of available capital that is accessible for energy start-ups and technologists in the Midwest. In addition, ISTC assisted mHub, Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, in its successful application for a $500,000 i6 grant through the RIS Program competition in 2016.
Immigrants play an integral role in the growth and success of Illinois’ economy – particularly within our research and tech community. ISTC actively supports inclusive policies around immigration reform to ensure that Illinois and the United States maintain a position of leadership and competitiveness in the global economy. ISTC works in partnership with the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC), FWD.us and a number of other entities to generate more awareness and advocate for comprehensive and sensible immigration reform.
State Tax Credits
ISTC supports the use of state-level tax credits to support investment in research and development (R&D) and angel investments. Currently, the R&D and Angel Investment Tax Credits have expired, which have provided a strong return on investment and utilized as tool to attract and retain innovation-driven companies and entrepreneurs. In partnership with the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA), ISTC will continue advocating for renewal of these tax credits. Read more.
State Capital Investment
Over the last 15 years, the State of Illinois has invested $216 million to support innovation hubs across the state, which has leveraged almost $5.9 billion in additional investment, a 27:1 return on state investment. These innovation hubs connect Illinois’ research, talent and industry to commercialize new technologies that create economic opportunity and solve important challenges in energy, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and other key Illinois industries. State capital support for public-private partnerships with universities and other innovation-driven entities leverages private and federal investments to strengthen the knowledge-based economy across the state.
The ISTC has helped to lay the groundwork for the importance of investing in these innovation hubs that will create companies and jobs and attract top talent – and will continue working with state leaders to support additional capital investment.