Data-Driven. Community Focused. 

The Illinois Defense Network (IDN) brings together stakeholders from industry, government, and academia to strengthen Illinois' defense industry.

With its active DoD installations and diverse industrial base, Illinois has strong links to the military and the companies and people that support it. Following the initial $5.5 million grant awarded to the University of Illinois in 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) an additional $2.4 million in 2018 to continue to help local communities adapt to DoD program changes, expansions, and cutbacks.

The Illinois DIA Program is a partnership between the University of Illinois System, the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at UIC, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council with support from additional local community partners across the state.

The new Illinois Defense Network (IDN) will directly connect the Illinois DIA program with defense-impacted communities and build a network of stakeholders from industry, government and academia to develop and implement programs that strengthen Illinois’ defense economy. 

This federal funding will support a data-driven study into how we can best utilize Illinois’ defense assets and support the surrounding communities. This information is critical to developing a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our defense installations and support local economic development.
— Dick Durbin, Illinois Senator and Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee