CHICAGO – As part of his commitment to putting people back to work and fueling economic growth, Governor Quinn today announced the construction of the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The $104 million project will be supported by a $64 million investment from state capital funds and is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs, in addition to 81 permanent campus jobs once the project is completed. The ACTB will serve as a new hub for high-tech investment and cement UIC’s position as one of the nation’s leading research universities.
“The best investment a state can make is in education,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s announcement means more jobs, more innovation and a stronger University of Illinois-Chicago that will support our students as they prepare to enter the 21st century workforce.”
The ACTB will house select UIC faculty from chemistry, biology and physics and support cutting-edge research focused on connections between chemistry, physics and biology, such as tumor growth, HIV/AIDS, immunology, dental services, orthopedics, laser dynamics, nanoscience and environmental science. Construction on the building is scheduled to begin after the end of the current school year and take approximately 30 months to complete.
“This state-of-the-art facility will bring together top researchers who will pool their expertise to develop pioneering solutions to society’s most critical problems. By working together, they will forge cutting-edge approaches that might never have surfaced working alone. On behalf of the university, I’m deeply grateful to Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly for their generous financial support of this critical investment in Illinois’ future,” University of Illinois President Robert Easter said.
The new chemical technology building will be designed to increase collaboration between scientists and encourage greater sharing of technology and advanced research, which will increase productivity and research quality. The facility will contain state-of-the-art laboratories for chemical scientists and other researchers. The environmentally-friendly building will also be submitted for a minimum LEED Silver certification.
Research activity in the building will include drug discovery and development, neuroscience, nanoscience, bioscience and materials science, and is expected to generate new innovative commercialized technology, patent filings and start-up companies with substantial economic benefits to the city and state through job creation in biopharmaceuticals and other areas. The building also will enable UIC faculty to generate more competitive external research funding and intellectual projects.
Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $31 billion program is creating and supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs and is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history.
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun