Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Research Park gets state grant

A technology center in the Northwestern/Evanston Research Park will receive $750,000 in state funding to help bring high-tech companies and jobs to the area, Gov. George Ryan announced Wednesday.

The Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation, 1801 Maple Ave., also will receive $150,000 and office space from Northwestern and $25,000 from Evanston.

ITEC is the first site chosen by Ryan for his VentureTECH plan, a five-year, $1.9 billion strategy for statewide improvement in education, research and development, health sciences and biotechnology, and information technology programs. The plan is overseen by the Illinois Coalition and funded through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.

“ITEC will give us a better understanding of the exciting things going on in the economy,” Ryan said Wednesday at a news conference in the ITEC building. “The key to being part of this economy is being ready now.”

Jeffrey Coney, NU’s director of strategic initiatives, will oversee ITEC and said the company will speed up the transfer of technology from research centers such as NU to commercial businesses in the community. It also will help bring in new businesses.

Ald. Stephen Engelman (7th) said ITEC is the much-needed bridge between NU labs and local businesses.

“It’s one thing for professors to sit in labs and make discoveries,” Engelman said, “but its just as important to be able to transfer these ideas to reality. It’s what Research Park was designed to do.”

Research Park is a perfect location for ITEC because it can act as an incubator space for new companies, Coney said. Start-up companies can use the location as a “clearinghouse for ideas” until they are ready to move into the global business market, he said.

Ryan said he hopes to choose additional ITEC locations, which could include Champaign, Peoria, and DuPage County.

Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton thanked both government representatives and NU officials for making ITEC possible for the city.

“Evanston is very fortunate to have government representatives who are truly supportive of the city,” Morton said. “I also want to thank Northwestern for anteing up and matching the funds for this project.”

Engelman said NU’s contribution to ITEC is just one of the many ways the university helps the city.

“Northwestern was the entity that had to step up to the plate,” he said. “The city needed the money, and I applaud Northwestern for what it did.”

In the same week that NU contributed to ITEC, the university gave $500,000 to the Evanston/Skokie District 65 Lighthouse Partnership, a research and curriculum-development program between the district and NU’s School of Education and Social Policy.

While some Evanston residents have said NU does not pay its fair share to the city, NU’s Vice President for University Relations Al Cubbage said the university continually does its part and downplayed fair share’s role in the ITEC collaboration.

“We are always working on things that will be good for both the university and the city,” Cubbage said. “We didn’t make these contributions as a result of fair share.”

Ald. Edmund Moran (6th) agreed and said it is a coincidence that the partnerships and the fair share referendum occurred at the same time.

“They don’t have anything to do with each other,” Moran said. “Both ITEC and District 65 plans started way before the whole fair share thing.”

Moran added that people should pay more attention to what NU gives the city.

“People just don’t understand what the university does,” he said. “Just because Northwestern doesn’t go out and brag about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Research Park gets state grant