The rate of hardtech innovation is accelerating. It’s occurring at the intersection of digital and hardware innovation. This fourth industrial revolution is disrupting every facet of our economy. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, energy and transportation are undergoing a rapid transition forced upon them.
Illinois is positioned to lead the world in the fourth industrial revolution, and for the sake of our economy, it must. Thanks to long-term investment in Illinois’ innovation capacity, the state has attracted and developed product and high-skilled talent, increasing the connectedness of the industry’s key stakeholders, and expanding market opportunities. This has enabled the regional economy to stave off steeper decline. But the pain in the manufacturing industry has been real and serious risk remains.