Discovery Partners Institute

Cornell Tech
Lindsay France / Cornell University

Most press conferences don’t provide breakfast pastries. But in mid-May, when the University of Illinois announced that every public four-year college in the state had signed on to its Innovation Network, the event was staged with some extra sizzle. Along with muffins, coffee and juice, there was a line-up of college presidents and chancellors, plus Springfield mayor Jim Langfelder, flanked by a big banner showing 15 stars strewn across the state of Illinois.

UIS Campus Relations

Among a slew of bills filed this week as the General Assembly opened its new session was a proposal to give $50 million to Southern Illinois University. The money would be used to build a public policy center in downtown Springfield.

University of Illinois officials before the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee
Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

During the past week, you probably caught a brief news story or two about the Illinois Innovation Network, or maybe Discovery Partners Institute. It’s worth your attention: In the current state budget, these two projects are slated to receive half a billion dollars.

University of Illinois Springfield

It was announced on Tuesday that Innovate Springfield, a business incubator and social innovator that started four years ago, is now partnered with the University of Illinois Springfield.