2012 Illinois Nanotechnology Report

Illinois Partners is proud to have contributed to the Illinois Nanotechnology Report, a work spearheaded by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. The actual report as well as a nanotechnology fact sheet can be found on the Resources tab. A copy of the press release announcing the study is pasted below.

Illinois Organizations Release Recommendations to Maintain Illinois’ Leadership in Nanotechnology

Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, Illinois Nanotechnology Collaborative Identify Market Opportunities


CHICAGO – June 28, 2012 – The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), a statewide organization that works to cultivate innovation and technology-based economic development in Illinois, today released a report outlining a road map to encourage collaboration, create business development opportunities, and enhance the economic contribution of nanotechnology to the state of Illinois.

The report, “2012 Illinois Nanotechnology Report: A Road Map for Economic Development,” was made possible by a U.S. Small Business Administration grant and completed in partnership with the Illinois Nanotechnology Collaborative (INC), an umbrella organization founded to coordinate statewide activities, promote developments, and to identify the challenges and opportunities for nanotechnology development in Illinois.

“Nanotechnology presents endless possibilities to address some of the most pressing challenges we face today and Illinois is uniquely positioned to tap into these growing commercial opportunities ,” said Mark Harris, President and CEO of ISTC. “The combined power of Illinois’ researchers and businesses have created a vibrant nanotechnology industry in the state, which we must continue building by promoting grand challenges to spur economic development by focusing the state’s leadership and funding.”

Illinois has become a leader in nanotechnology from its world class research institutions and federal laboratories, talent, and a cluster of more than 70 nanotechnology companies and start-ups. As identified in this report, the grand challenges to build on this growth fall within the sectors of energy and energy storage, clean water, personalized medicine, and advanced manufacturing. The sectors were chosen by the INC Advisory Board based on Illinois’ unique positioning through research talent and infrastructure, federal funding priorities and high growth potential.

Working at the nanoscale, researchers can create stronger, lighter, more durable and reactive materials, which will only create more market opportunities in the coming years. However, to capitalize on these opportunities and solidify its position as a leader in nanotechnology, Illinois should do the following:

  • Promote nanotechnology and coordinate existing efforts: Drive the state’s efforts by creating an organization comprised of leaders in nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization.
  • Establish a proof of concept center program: Accelerate the commercialization of innovations out of universities and labs into the marketplace by providing funding between the initial concept and seed-stage investing.
  • Encourage the use of shared facilities: Mitigate the overhead costs and lack of qualified workers by establishing a nanotech commercialization grant program, making trained personnel available, and developing intellectual property policies.
  • Support workforce development programs: Attract top talent by implementing a two-plus-two program or stand-alone community college programs tailored to the nanotechnology field.
  • Create a grant-matching or application assistance program: Raise more capital by instituting a state matching grant or application assistance program, which will increase the number of applicants for SBIR funds.

“A coordinated strategy will help achieve the full potential for economic development through nanotechnology in Illinois. By creating a better ecosystem for nanotechnology companies in Illinois, we will have a tremendous impact on the growth and dynamism of our state,” said Neil Kane, President of Illinois Partners Executive Services, LLC. “The recommendations from ISTC and INC will ensure that Illinois maintains its leadership position in nanotechnology and provides startups and established companies with the resources they need to excel.”

The report was formally released today at the National Academies Conference on Building the Illinois Innovation Economy. For more information about the report and to view it in its entirety, please visit ISTC’s website at http://istcoalition.org/index.php/about-istc/resources/.

About ISTC
The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) aims to cultivate economic development in Illinois by increasing resources for Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) initiatives at Illinois-based institutions and businesses. As the only organization representing the full range of science and technology activity in Illinois, the ISTC’s mission is to foster public-private partnerships to develop and execute RDI projects, advocate for funding for RDI initiatives, and collaborate with public and private partners to attract and retain RDI resources and talent in Illinois. For more information about the ISTC, visit www.istcoalition.org.

Neil Kane information

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