April 21, 2022

Duckworth Celebrates Opening of the Defense Innovation Unit’s Midwest Defense Innovation Hub in Chicago


[CHICAGO, IL] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Airland Subcommittee, attended the grand opening for the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Chicago office—the Midwest Defense Innovation Hub. The new Hub, which is the first in the region, will work across Illinois and throughout 11 other Midwestern states to assist the DoD in strengthening national security by connecting the DoD with regional leaders and innovators in the technology sector. Duckworth delivered remarks during this morning’s event and was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Neely and Defense Innovation Unit leadership. Photos from the event are available here.

“Thanks to the efforts of DIU, we’re bringing more non-traditional companies into the DoD pipeline, ensuring our military can innovate and adopt more commercial technology to strengthen our national security,” said Duckworth. “Making sure our troops have access to cutting edge technology isn’t just a nice thing to have – it’s a necessity for national competitiveness and military readiness. It saves money, it saves time and, most importantly, it can help save lives. I’m proud I’ve been a longtime supporter of DIU’s mission, I’m especially proud that today’s office opening is tapping into the talent we all know is thriving right here in Chicago.”

In the Senate Armed Services Committee, Duckworth has worked to support the advanced technology being developed by our world-leading research universities and small businesses in Illinois, our national laboratories like Argonne and Fermi and important entities that help connect the work of industry and the DoD—like the DIU and MxD, which is a digital manufacturing innovation and cybersecurity center, through the yearly National Defense Authorization Act.