“For Illinois to remain viable in the global economy, we must look at where we stand not only in comparison to Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, but also in comparison to smaller, lesser-known tech hubs like Huntsville, Ala. and Wichita, Kan.,” said Lindsay Mosher, executive director of ITP. “Unfortunately, we fall short, and the longer we wait to address our state’s challenges, the further and further we will fall behind.”
· Starting as early as high school, Illinois students are behind in the areas of math and science and a declining number of Illinois college students are pursuing degrees in STEM;
· Illinois lost 6,400 high-tech jobs between 2009 and 2010, ranking in the bottom five nationally;
· While overall, 45 percent of entrepreneurs typically set up shop in the state where they graduated from college, only 28 percent of Illinois entrepreneurs follow this trend;
· Illinois’ investment in academic research and development trails every other Midwestern state, and patent growth in Illinois has been gradual, increasing by only 10 percent between 1963 and 2010;
· When it comes to emerging technologies such as mobile, Illinois does not make the list of top states for these types of investments;
· Illinois ranks 24th in the United States according to TechNet’s State Broadband Index, and the state’s telecommunications companies are still subject to outmoded laws that create an unequal playing field.
Technology is the backbone of nearly every business and as the economy continues to recover, the tech sector is outpacing industries across the board. Illinois must recognize the state is behind in technology and therefore behind in every other aspect of the innovation race.
“Illinois needs to take urgent action to address issues impacting the tech sector, otherwise the state runs the risk of further economic deterioration, the loss of more people and all of the benefits of a technology-driven economy and the jobs it creates,” said Dr. Robert Yadon, Director of the Digital Policy Institute and one of the lead authors of the whitepaper.
ITP will be working to address these issues through the promotion of public policies aimed at fostering growth and innovation in the state. For more information, contact Lindsay Mosher at Lindsay@iltechpartner.org or 312-768-4760. To review the entire whitepaper, visit http://www.iltechpartner.org/
About the Illinois Technology Partnership (ITP)
The Illinois Technology Partnership (ITP) is a project of Mobile Consumers for Choice and Competition, a non-profit organization of individual consumers interested in technology, broadband, and telecommunication issues. ITP brings together industry experts, thought leaders, and Illinois consumers to foster an environment that will encourage emerging technologies, jobs, and investment, and spur economic growth on the state and local level.