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Why Innovation?

Innovation has always played a major role in the growth and productivity of U.S. firms, accounting for almost 50 percent of all U.S. GDP growth. To sustain and improve our capacity for growth and our ability to compete, we need to innovate more, innovate better and innovate faster in the four dimensions of value: speed, quality, price and convenience.

Fortunately, Illinois has a long tradition of producing world-class innovations, from the invention of the zipper to the creation of the world's first exchange-traded weather derivatives by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Our challenge is to make innovation part of everything we do. It can happen in any sector and take hold in start-ups as well as mature firms. Take the Royal Group out of Cicero for example. Concerned with competitive pressures of large-scale producers, this 87-year-old local corrugated box and point of purchase display manufacturer reinvented the firm’s business model by becoming a manufacturer that also provides full-service warehousing and fulfillment center solutions for clients. Imagine if we created an environment where every business was so inspired and innovative.

For Illinois to be competitive, we have to catapult ourselves over the fray and make sure our firms and all of our enterprises are as innovative, entrepreneurial, creative and globally connected as possible. Because, in the end, we will compete not on the regulatory or tax policies we enact, which can easily be matched by other jurisdictions, but on our ability to create new and different solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. The real competition we face will be over ideas — who creates them and who has the capacity to turn those ideas into value.

We maintain that those states that strategically and proactively identify, cultivate, and actively link together and leverage all of the innovation and entrepreneurial assets at their disposal will be the leaders in the 21st century economy. Those who do not will not have a bright future. At best, they will remain where they are as others in the world adapt to the changing dynamic environment and invest the time and resources to build a competitive, growth economy that raises the standard of living for everyone.


Last Updated on 2011-01-31 12:25:48.466

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