Peoria NEXT, IMEC team up in new partnership

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 4:26 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Bradley University’s Peoria NEXT Innovation Center and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center are teaming up in a partnership that is designed to provide outreach and services that support startup manufacturers.

Leaders from both organizations joined Mayor Rita Ali to announce the partnership Wednesday morning. The goal is to draw manufacturing startups to the River City to boost its manufacturing ecosystem.

The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center currently has 40 spaces with 24 to 26 tenants. At least 10 manufacturing businesses have come out of the center so far.

Mayor Ali says IMEC will sponsor a three-month rent-free space for entrepreneurs.

“The city has set aside $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to support qualified businesses in the field of advanced manufacturing, bio-tech, med-tech and ag-tech,” she said.

Mayor Ali says the first applications are being reviewed and grants will range between $10,000 and $25,000.