Dear colleagues:

I am delighted to share the news that Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today he is releasing $500 million in state funding set aside for development of our Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and Illinois Innovation Network (IIN).

The significant state appropriation will support planning and construction of DPI’s permanent facility in downtown Chicago and IIN hubs at each of our three universities, on our satellite campuses in Peoria and Rockford, and at every public university across the state. We are working to break ground for DPI within 2020 and to begin construction on some IIN hubs soon.

Governor Pritzker anticipates that his release of funding will also accelerate private fundraising for DPI and IIN, which have gained momentum since the governor took office 13 months ago and became a champion for the pioneering initiatives. The U of I System has pledged to match state funding and has already raised $230 million in personal and corporate donations, along with another $224 million in non-state funding.

That sum grew today with the announcement of an historically generous gift from U of I Board of Trustees Chairman Don Edwards and his wife, Anne. The $10 million gift is the largest ever by a U of I trustee, and will be divided between DPI/IIN and programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where both Don and Anne earned their degrees.

News releases sent to media today provide more detail on the governor’s release of funding and the Edwards' gift.

I am deeply grateful to everyone across our University System who has a hand in making DPI and IIN a reality – from system and university leadership to our growing DPI and IIN teams to the nearly 1,000 faculty who signed on to help guide programming. Your work will write the next chapters in our long legacy of excellence, and fuel a new era of progress and prosperity for our state and nation.



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