Dear Advocate,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is starting off well.  Illinois Connection received a request from U of I Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy asking Illinois Connection’s advocates to voice their support for a $70 million federal grant proposal to support UI LABS, an independent, non-profit research lab where universities and industry can collaborate to solve grand challenges and foster economic growth.

Attached is a massmail that was sent from Chairman Kennedy to all University staff.  It provides a good overview of the UI LABS initiative, which has already been launched.  U of I was the leader in this effort, but many other universities and industry members are part of the coalition.

A key to the success of UI LABS is funding.  The U of I, along with UI LABS coalition partners, have applied for a $70 million federal Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute grant.  UI LABS is a finalist for this grant.  Our Illinois delegation in Congress has been incredibly supportive of this effort.  Chairman Kennedy asks that Illinois Connection advocates contact their federal legislators to ask that they continue to flag this grant as a priority for the Administration.

Please take a moment today to contact your members of Congress and U.S. Senators – thank them for the work they have already done in support of the UI LABS-led digital manufacturing grant and ask them for their continued support.  More information can be found below and by clicking on the link below.


On behalf of the Alumni Association, thank you for your efforts – past, present and future -- to communicate the University’s value to legislators and your fellow citizens.  The support and advocacy of Illinois Connection’s alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends is invaluable to the University’s future success.

Sincere regards and thanks,

Amy Eichhorst
Vice President, Alumni Advocacy & Outreach
University of Illinois Alumni Association

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