CHICAGO, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- TechAmerica today praised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for creating the Illinois Innovation Council, which was established to foster and accelerate innovation and economic growth to create jobs in the state. Members of the Illinois Innovation Council include leading executives representing critical industry sectors in Illinois. Investor and entrepreneur Brad Keywell, Co-founder of Groupon and several other ventures, will serve as Chair for the Council, and T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman, CEO, VASCO Data Security International, Inc., and Chairman of TechAmerica Midwest, was also selected by the Governor to serve and represent the growing software sector in Illinois.
"TechAmerica has long been committed to driving targeted workforce, economic development, and proactive legislative initiatives to elevate Illinois' position as a leading technology employer and center of innovation," said T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman, CEO, VASCO Data Security International, Inc. and Chairman of TechAmerica Midwest. "I commend Governor Quinn for his leadership, and am honored to serve on the Illinois Innovation Council to help strengthen our economy and the technology industry in Illinois."
In 2005, TechAmerica and its members created its "Focus Illinois: A Platform for Innovation" agenda, a comprehensive guide and strategy for growing and supporting the Illinois technology industry. A key recommendation in the agenda has long-called for the creation of an Illinois Innovation Cabinet, or Council to provide support and direction for innovation-based policies and initiatives. Today Illinois has taken a major step forward in developing a structured plan and focused effort to attract and retain leading technology talent and companies.
"We thank Governor Quinn for his commitment to innovation and for working proactively with industry to advance the business of technology in our state," said TechAmerica Midwest Executive Director Ed Longanecker, who is also a founding member of the Illinois Technology Alliance (ILTA). "Illinois' technology industry is a crucial component to our economic well-being and ability to create and maintain high quality jobs in our state."
TechAmerica's partner, the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, will serve as the administrative home to the Illinois Innovation Council to provide support.
Industries represented on the Illinois Innovation Council include biotechnology, life sciences and healthcare, food and agriculture, software, investment banking, education technology, digital commerce, research and development, and academia.
TechAmerica is the leading voice for the U.S. technology industry – the driving force behind productivity growth and jobs creation in the United States and the foundation of the global innovation economy. Representing approximately 1,200 member companies of all sizes from the public and commercial sectors of the economy, it is the industry's largest advocacy organization and is dedicated to helping members' top and bottom lines. TechAmerica is also the technology industry's only grassroots-to-global advocacy network, with offices in state capitals around the United States, Washington, D.C., Europe (Brussels) and Asia (Beijing).It was formed by the merger of AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association), the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and the Government Electronics & Information Technology Association (GEIA).Learn more about TechAmerica at www.techamerica.org.