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April 26, 2000

Governor Ryan Launches First VentureTECH Technology Center

EVANSTON - Governor George H. Ryan today opened the first Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation (ITEC) at Northwestern University, a key part of his landmark, $1.9 billion VentureTECH initiative to prepare Illinois residents for the high-tech New Economy.

In the Spring session, the General Assembly approved Ryan's five-year VentureTECH initiative, which is designed to invest in high tech research and development and attract more technology businesses to Illinois. The fiscal year 2001 state budget doubled the funding to $2 million for ITEC, which will help high-tech research leaders find a way to take their technological advancements to the marketplace.

The ITEC at the Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park will receive $750,000 over the next three years to help provide researchers with technical assistance, access to seed money for their projects, and management training. Other ITEC centers will be established around Illinois in coming months.

"Since I became Governor, I have made it a point to meet with leaders in the high tech field, with business leaders and researchers, in order to understand how to best prepare the people of Illinois for the New Economy," Ryan said. "A few things are clear: The New Economy is high tech and it is global. It requires a skilled workforce and business, government and academic leaders who are able to quickly respond to the changing dynamics of this economy."

ITEC is a joint effort between Department of Commerce and Community Affairs and the Illinois Coalition to promote technology growth by coordinating development efforts through regional organizations. ITEC is designed to enhance networking and idea-sharing within the Illinois technology community, prepare and support credible entrepreneurs in starting new enterprises, increase access to intellectual capital and transfer of technology, increase the amount of seed capital available and establish regional technology centers.

The new Northwestern/Evanston ITEC center will provide resources to enable researchers to accelerate the move of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, known as technology transfer, in a research environment that combines the resources of DCCA, the city of Evanston, Northwestern University and private industry.

"The old adage, 'knowledge is power,' has never been truer, " Governor Ryan said. "The ITEC centers and the VentureTECH program will provide knowledge and investment to build a bright future for this state. The students, entrepreneurs and researchers we encourage here will make the world a better place to live."


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