Illinois Manufacturing Laboratory planned

Published 02/06 2013 05:11PM

Updated 02/06 2013 06:20PM

URBANA -- Something Governor Quinn mentioned in Wednesday's State of the State speech is the new Illinois Manufacturing Laboratory. It will be affiliated with UI, but won't be in Champaign County.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is one group which will work on the project, but it will all be based in Chicago. That's raising a lot of eyebrows at the Capitol. Some lawmakers said they're concerned about what that could mean for jobs and the future of manufacturing in Central Illinois.

UI leaders said the choice was made so they could be close to other companies up north. A director with NCSA said he doesn't mind it won't be here.

The state plans to invest $5 million in the new project. Another $5 million will be raised by some of the group's partners.

Organizers said it will be an opportunity for great minds to come together and work on something which can benefit many others. UI leaders also said the project's been in the works for awhile, but no word yet on a specific timeline.

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