PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker remains committed to making the Peoria Innovation Hub a reality, a spokeswoman said Friday.
The statement comes after a story Thursday about an item in the governor’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, requiring the University of Illinois to raise $500 million in private contributions for its Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) before the state will match funding.
The Discovery Partners Institute was first announced under former Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“As the founder of an award winning incubator, the governor is committed to fostering economic development in downstate communities, including the Peoria Innovation Hub,” said Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. Pritzker is the founder of Chicago’s 1871 business incubator.
The Peoria Innovation Hub is a project of the DPI’s offshoot Illinois Innovation Network. The research center for autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture is an initiative of the University of Illinois System, OSF HealthCare, Illinois Central College and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.
At the December 2018 announcement of the Peoria Innovation Hub, the projected timeline for the center’s opening in downtown Peoria was mid-to-late 2020.
The governor’s office said DPI has committed to raising the private money to get the state’s matching funds, and the governor is working with them to meet that goal.