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(20 ILCS 605/605-1060)
Illinois Innovation Voucher Program.
(a) The Department is authorized to establish the Illinois Innovation Voucher Program to be administered in accordance with this Section for the purpose of fostering research and development in key industry clusters leading to the creation of new products and services that can be marketed by Illinois businesses. The Department may award innovation vouchers to eligible businesses to offset a portion of expenses incurred through a collaborative research engagement with an Illinois institution of higher education.
(b) The Department may award matching funds in the form of innovation vouchers up to 75% of the cost of the research engagement not to exceed $75,000. A business may receive only one innovation voucher under this Section per year.
(c) The Department when administering the Program under this Section:
(1) must encourage participation among small and
(2) must encourage participation in the Program in
diverse geographic and economic areas, including urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State; and
(3) must encourage participation in the Program from
businesses that operate in key industries, as defined by the Department. These industries include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) agribusiness and agtech; (ii) energy; (iii) information technology; (iv) life sciences and healthcare; (v) manufacturing; and (vi) transportation and logistics.
(d) In order to be eligible for an innovation voucher under this Section, a business must satisfy all of the following conditions:
(1) the business must be an Illinois-based business.
For the purposes of this Section, "Illinois-based business" means a business that has its principal place of business in this State or that employs at least 100 full-time employees, as defined under Section 5-5 of the Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Act, in this State;
(2) the business must remain in this State for the
duration of research engagement; and
(3) the partnering institution of higher education
must be an Illinois-based institution of higher education and non-profit. For the purposes of this Section, "Illinois-based institution of higher education" means an institution of higher education that has its main physical campus in this State.
(e) The Department may adopt any rules necessary to administer the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 102-421, eff. 8-20-21.)