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IFAB awarded $51m from the Tech Hubs Program

IFAB awarded $51m from the Tech Hubs Program

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The US state of Illinois is set to advance its presence in the biotech sector through a government investment strategy, enhancing its biomanufacturing and precision fermentation capabilities.

The initiative is led by Governor JB Pritzker and is in partnership with Innovate Illinois – a coalition that launched last month, aimed at securing federal investment in science, technology, and climate initiatives within the state.

Governer Pritzker and Innovate Illinois have announced $680 million to create the Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Tech Hub, supported by public and private funding.

Governer Pritzker said that the IFAB will propel regional growth in technology and solidify Illinois' position in biomanufacturing and precision fermentation.

Governor JB Pritzker said: "Home to world-class institutions, modernised infrastructure and first-rate research centres, Illinois is transforming technology, biomanufacturing and innovation at every turn. This designation positions Central Illinois to become a global leader in biomanufacturing and precision fermentation over the next decade – bringing economic development and good-paying jobs along with it.”

The iFAB initiative is led by the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in partnership with 30 other key stakeholders. It aims to leverage the state’s agricultural strengths to drive innovation and economic growth within the sustainable biomanufacturing sector.

Beth Conerty, associate director of IBRL and regional innovation officer for iFAB, commented: “Our programme is strategically positioned to lead the charge in transforming the bioeconomy. Through iFAB, Illinois is not just participating in biomanufacturing – we are helping shape the future of the industry.”

The project will support a range of applications in biomanufacturing, from novel ingredients to sustainable materials, addressing emerging market demand for sustainable products. iFAB's integrated "lab-to-line" approach will catalyse economic development by positioning Central Illinois as a premier destination for biomanufacturing companies – moving bio-innovation from R&D to full-scale manufacturing.

US Senator Dick Durbin added: “With the recent designation of iFAB as one of our state's two Tech Hub designees, alongside the remarkable strides made in quantum and advanced biomanufacturing, it's evident that Illinois is positioned at the forefront of driving economic growth and job creation through cutting-edge research and development. By leveraging federal investments and strategic partnerships, we are not only propelling Illinois into the future but also solidifying our nation's leadership in transformative technologies."

It is refreshing to see Illinois investing so heavily in its food-tech sector, despite states like Arizona, Florida and Alabama pushing to ban cell-based foods and limit cell-ag developments.


State of Illinois announces $680m investment in biotech sector through government investment strategy

Phoebe Fraser

6 March 2024

State of Illinois announces $680m investment in biotech sector through government investment strategy

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