OSF HealthCare, the University of Illinois System, Illinois Central College, and the GPEDC are working together develop a Peoria Innovation Hub. The hub will be dedicated to finding solutions to improve the wellness of underserved populations, and advance systems related to food, farming, and transportation – specifically autonomous mobility.
A potential space, Thomas Building at 201 SW Adams Street that was recently vacated by Illinois Central College, has been identified as a likely facility for this development. The space also lies in a federally designated Opportunity Zone, which offers startups additional leverage to attract capital investment.
“Innovation has always been the cornerstone of our region – in agriculture, manufacturing, and now health care,” said Christopher Setti, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council. “Innovation is also our future. The hub will be a great part of that future. It would inspire entrepreneurs with problems to solve, equip them with the tools they need to solve them, and support them in turning solutions into businesses.”
Peoria’s hub will be part of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a statewide initiative led by the U of I System to foster the breakthrough research discovery and entrepreneurship that drives progress, job creation and economic growth. Other hubs are being developed across the state, including research centers that have already been announced in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, Springfield, and DeKalb.
If funding is approved, the Peoria Innovation Hub could be physically set up and open by mid-to-late-2020.