Research Development and Innovation have long been a hallmark of the Illinois economy. As home to approximately 440 corporate laboratories and more than 200 institutions of higher education, groundbreaking research is a cornerstone of the Illinois economy. The state’s natural, institutional and organizational resources are matched by a highly educated workforce, including 1.2 million people working in technology and related fields, making our state well positioned to foster economic growth through research, development and innovation.

This edition of ISTC Catalyst highlights the benefits of research, development and innovation to economic growth and features a guest commentary by Dr. Eric Isaacs, Director of Argonne National Laboratory.

Physicist Eric D. Isaacs is the Director of Argonne National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s first national laboratory for science and engineering research.

If you want proof of the real-world value of basic science research, take a look under the hood of GM’s innovative new Chevy Volt. There you’ll find a safe, long-lasting lithium-ion battery that uses materials developed and patented at Argonne National Laboratory.

The Chevy Volt, and the Argonne-developed materials inside the GM battery that drives its wheels, demonstrate that American ingenuity, powered by American investment, can renew our industries, create good jobs, improve our energy security and protect our environment.

As America’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, the Volt represents a major, exciting step toward electrification of our nation’s transportation fleet — a critical component of President Obama’s vision of ending America’s dependence on foreign oil.

As Director of a Department of Energy national laboratory, I am sometimes questioned about the investment of taxpayer dollars of basic scientific research, especially in these challenging economic times. Today I am proud to answer those questions by pointing to the role Argonne’s “dream team” of scientists and engineers has played in the development of the new electric car. Our fundamental research made it possible to develop reliable, safer cathode materials for car batteries, and our advanced energy storage technologies are backed up with years of world-class basic and applied research and development, as well as extensive testing and validation.

Argonne’s collaboration with the U.S. auto industry shows that our national laboratories are delivering on the Department of Energy’s mission to expand the innovation pipeline, which runs from the earliest discoveries of basic science to the development of amazing products built by U.S. industry and delivered to American consumers.

The rollout of a practical, reliable electric car represents a milestone in American auto technology that underscores the critical need for continuing, significant investment in basic research at laboratories nationwide. It shows that intellectual curiosity, combined with an innovative spirit, continue to fuel the engine of America’s economic might.

To learn more about Why Research, Development and Innovation are Integral to Economic Growth we encourage you to read more in this edition of ISTC Catalyst.

Watch and Listen:

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin Visits Northwestern University to Highlight the Importance of Funding Research


Research, Development & Innovation In Illinois:

Research, Development & Innovation Throughout the Country:

More News:

Research, Development & Innovation Day in Springfield
Wednesday, March 16 2011. Illinois Statehouse
Illinois is proud to be a leader in research and innovation. Representatives from many of Illinois’ world-class research institutions and businesses will be on hand to showcase their ongoing research efforts with a special focus on innovation and economic development.

The Executives Club of Chicago Professional Committee Breakfast
March, 31 2011
Mention ISTC and Receive the Member Rate 
STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math — are collectively considered the underpinnings of an advanced society.  In many forums, the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself. The Executives’ Club’s March 31st panel discussion will focus on the importance of STEM education in the U.S .and its effects on today’s students and tomorrow’s economy – in Chicago and across the nation.