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Driving Illinois Innovation

Government and business leaders at conference to focus on building innovation in Illinois

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University, the National Academy of Sciences and other partners will host a two-day conference, “Building the Illinois Innovation Economy,” June 28 and 29 at the James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has been invited to deliver the opening keynote address. 

The meeting of leaders from business, government and academia will highlight the accomplishments and growth of the innovation ecosystem in Illinois, while also identifying needs, challenges and opportunities, particularly around leading-edge industries.

The conference is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested. To register, email David Dawson of the National Academies at

The event will bring Illinois business and political leaders together with high-level federal government officials to better understand what is needed to help drive innovation, business formation and growth in Illinois. 

The conference also will highlight the contributions of Illinois universities in generating research and attracting talent as an integral element of the state’s innovation ecosystem. Speakers will consider models for innovation and cluster development from a range of science and technology fields. 

A complete list of scheduled speakers is available at

The conference is organized by the National Academies in partnership with Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Cancer Institute.

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