Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday eight science-focused facilities statewide will receive a total of $15.4 million to support the development of new research spaces focused on subjects such as biology, botany and biochemistry.
Pritzker made that announcement at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which will receive nearly $1.5 million in funding. The money comes from the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital program.
The governor said Illinois must “put the pedal to the metal” when it comes to the life science sector, which includes biology, botany, biochemistry because its success is “so critical to our future economic security.”
“Our state is a national hub for entrepreneurship and innovation because of leaders like Illinois Tech, paving the way forward for the talent and technology of tomorrow,” Pritzker said. “The more that we can do to support your mission here at Illinois Tech, the better off we’ll all be in the state of Illinois and in the United States.”
The $15.4 million Pritzker announced Thursday will support the development of wet lab spaces to aid advancements in research and medicine in the field of life sciences and grow start ups. Wet labs are facilities where liquids are used to test or analyze chemicals and biological matter, according to University Lab Partners.
Recipients of the funds are:
- Back of the Yards Algae Sciences LLC, $250,000
- Illinois Institute of Technology, $1,499,569
- Northwestern University, $3,000,000
- NuMat Technologies, $3,500,000
- Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, $2,007,000
- Southern Illinois University Carbondale, $2,734,008
- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, $1,875,569
- University of Illinois Research Park LLC, $550,000
In addition to the nearly $1.5 million the IIT received through the Rebuild Illinois program, the institute will also receive another $5 million for its microgrid project. That project will provide energy to the South Side campus’ four blocks.
Raj Echambadi, the president of the Illinois Institute of Technology, thanked Pritzker for the funds and said they’ll help make the tech institute “the epicenter for energy innovations.”
“Today’s grants are an exemplification, if you will, of what happens when a very supportive government helps higher ed to do what it does best by bringing people together, by doing cutting edge research that solves the grand challenges of our times, [and] at the same time, empowering diverse learners with the skills so that they can thrive in the future world,” Echambadi said.