As a catalyst to help Illinois compete for up to 20,000 jobs in a new industry sector, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) announced Sept. 6 that the state is investing $26 million in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Lab (IBRL) at the University of Illinois. The IBRL will complement the production and transportation capacity of Decatur and the surrounding area’s corn and soybean production.
Rose, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, was a key negotiator in securing the appropriation to jump-start the construction of the IBRL in the budget plan signed into law June 30.
“The IBRL will make Illinois a ‘destination’ for investment in biochemistry research, development and production, and is a prime example of how Illinois can grow its way out of the state’s budget mess,” Rose said. “This is growing our economy organically, quite literally.”
“Nowhere else in the world has what the Decatur and Champaign area boasts in terms of research, development, production, and delivery of products,” he added.
“Specifically: Decatur is host to the production capacity of ADM and Tate & Lyle and their own top-flight research laboratories;The region is surrounded by corn and beans – the two crops necessary to fuel this conversion from petroleum-based chemicals to renewable, environmentally-friendly biochemical products; Decatur has the shipping capacity of the Midwest Inland Port - with 100 million customers within 10 hours’ truck traffic of Decatur, Illinois; and now, we have the State of Illinois’ strategic investment in the IBRL to bring the world-class brainpower of the University of Illinois to industry to serve as a catalyst to research and production allowing us to get in on ‘the ground floor’ of this new industry,” Rose concluded.
Sen. Rose says he will also work with industry leaders and local economic development leaders on how to best market this opportunity with Decatur and Champaign acting as the anchors of the effort and the goal of helping bring more jobs to the entire region and attracting startup businesses.
“No one can offer industry what Illinois will be able to offer right here in Central Illinois with the completion of the IBRL,” Rose said. “Nearly 20,000 jobs are estimated to be created by this new industry. I want as many of those jobs as possible to be in Central Illinois, and we are making a strategic investment to do just that.”