September 08, 2023

Following Recent Congressional Delegation Trip to Southeast Asia, Duckworth Highlights Her Efforts to Promote Illinois Innovation Abroad


[CHAMPAIGN, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to discuss her recent Congressional Delegation trip to Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines and share more details on her efforts to strengthen economic ties in the region and advocate for Illinois on the international stage, including helping bring critical investments from overseas partners into our state. Duckworth participated in a fireside chat at the University’s Research Park on Illinois innovation and global impact with The Grainger College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir and Assistant Professor Shaloo Rakheja, moderated by Professor John Reid, highlighting our state’s leadership in developing and deploying emerging technologies. Photos from today’s event are available here.

“As a hub of agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and technology, Illinois is the ideal location for greater investment from international business, and I’m committed to helping bring home the kinds of investments that create good-paying jobs and strengthen our state’s economy,” Duckworth said. “As a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am dedicated to promoting Illinois on a global level—which includes much of the groundbreaking research and innovation happening right here at U of I. Illinois is ready to help bring our world into the future—and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure the whole world knows it.”

“Day in and day out Grainger Engineers show up to innovate and do the hard work required to solve problems and advance discovery in everything from microelectronics and quantum to sustainability and micronuclear technology to medicine and biotech,” said Rashid Bashir, Dean of The Grainger College of Engineering. “And, we are committed to preparing the inclusive talent and workforce, right here in Illinois, that will drive digital transformation through advances in microelectronics, semiconductors and sustainable computing.”

“If you’ve ever watched a YouTube video, had an MRI, or used an LED, you’ve experienced Illinois ingenuity,” said Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “And we’re just getting started—from quantum innovation to advanced microelectronics, from the farm of the future to the wheelchair of the future, our scientists and engineers are hard at work, imagining what’s next.”

Duckworth is a proven leader on strengthening our relations with Indo-Pacific nations and security in the region while successfully securing significant international investments in Illinois. Earlier this year, she traveled to Japan to meet with government, trade and economic leaders as well as corporate and business officials to highlight how Illinois is uniquely positioned for greater investment and increased exports with international partners. Following her last trip, Japan announced a regulatory change that will lead to an increase in imports from U.S. biofuel producers, supporting our farmers and growing Illinois’s economy. 

Last year, she also traveled to South Korea and Taiwan where she met with business, government and trade leaders, which helped lead to a joint venture between Illinois’s ADM and South Korea’s LG Chem, as well as a commitment from Taiwan to purchase an estimated $2.6 billion of our Illinois’s corn and soybeans. Duckworth also successfully included a modified version of her Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act in last year’s NDAA to help Taiwan strengthen its military defenses. In 2018, Duckworth visited South Korea and Japan. In 2019, Duckworth led a bipartisan delegation to Japan and Singapore.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of America’s leading research universities, driving positive change locally, globally, and nationally. For more than 150 years, university research and innovation have fueled new ideas, new companies, and even entirely new industries.  More than 56,000 students from all 50 states and 100+ countries are enrolled at the university.