CHICAGO – The Illinois Innovation Index, a collaborative publication that reports on key metrics of the Illinois innovation economy, today released its Annual Report, which demonstrates the Chicago region and the state of Illinois have recorded improved economic growth, new business growth and jobs. The Index is developed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicagoland Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition and World Business Chicago, in partnership with the Illinois Innovation Council (IIC).
An event will be held tonight at 1871 in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart to celebrate the Index’s first year and the release of the first Annual Report. In attendance will be leaders of the four organizations that created the publication and members of the IIC, which was convened by Governor Quinn in February 2011.
The organizations developed the Index, which was published monthly from September 2011 through August 2012, to establish a narrative about innovation based on the most meaningful metrics; to measure change through up-to-date data and information; and to bring stakeholders together through a data-driven conversation about innovation. The Index, which will be released on a quarterly basis in 2013, employs technology and new digital media to generate benchmarks across a range of areas that include business climate, capital, talent and dynamism.
After its initial year, the Index showed, among other things:
“The state of innovation in the State of Illinois is great,” said Howard Tullman, president and CEO of the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy and a member of the IIC. “The best news is that, as the Index has demonstrated, we’ve actually got the goods right here in Chicago and Illinois; real growth, real innovation, tremendous expansion in new businesses, and real results all concretely documented for the first time.”
Tullman added, “The Index is one of the ways we can ‘keep score’ and make sure that we keep moving forward and demonstrating our progress to the broader public.”
In a joint introduction to the Annual Report, the heads of the four organizations that helped establish the study noted that nearly every state is focused today on promoting innovation as a driver of economic development.
“With such a far-reaching concept, however, progress can be a noble if somewhat amorphous goal,” the organization heads explained. “To be successful, leaders must have a strong vision, rally numerous stakeholders to their cause, and be able to demonstrate progress. Accomplishing all three is a difficult challenge.”
© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun