Argonne’s Aurora supercomputer breaks exascale barrier

Argonne Aurora Supercomputer

The lab’s new system achieves over a quintillion calculations per second.

Aurora’s speed and artificial intelligence capabilities will transform scientific research and enable breakthroughs in some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate and materials science to energy storage and fusion energy.


The Aurora supercomputer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has officially surpassed the exascale threshold, measuring over a quintillion calculations per second on the new Top500 list. The results were announced today at the ISC High Performance 2024 conference in Hamburg, Germany.

In its latest submission to the semi-annual list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, Aurora registered 1.012 exaflops using 87% of the system’s 10,624 nodes. After making its Top500 debut in November 2023, the Argonne system retained its spot as the second fastest supercomputer and joined DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Frontier as the world’s second exascale machine. Aurora also earned the top spot in a measure of artificial intelligence (AI) performance, achieving 10.6 exaflops on the HPL-MxP benchmark.

We’re thrilled to see Aurora join the exascale club,” said Michael Papka, director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne. ​I’m extremely proud of the Aurora team’s ongoing efforts to get the system up and running for the research community. We can’t wait to see what the full system will be capable of.”

As one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Aurora gives scientists a powerful new tool for carrying out research involving simulation, AI and data analysis. The state-of-the-art system will not only enable breakthroughs in science and engineering but also spur new advances in technology and bolster the nation’s innovation infrastructure.

Aurora is fundamentally transforming how we do science for our country,” Argonne Laboratory Director Paul Kearns said. ​It will accelerate scientific discovery by combining high performance computing and AI to fight climate change, develop life-saving medical treatments, create new materials, understand the universe and so much more.”

Aurora excels at tackling both traditional scientific computing problems and AI-powered research,” added Rick Stevens, Argonne’s associate lab director for Computing, Environment and Life Sciences. ​As AI continues to reshape the scientific landscape, Aurora gives us a platform to develop new tools and approaches that will significantly accelerate the pace of research.”

Built by Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Aurora’s first-of-its-kind architecture includes new technologies being deployed at an unprecedented scale. The supercomputer’s 63,744 graphics processing units (GPUs) make it the world’s largest GPU-powered system yet. It also has more endpoints in its interconnect technology than any other system to date.

The Aurora installation team, which includes staff from Argonne, Intel and HPE, continues to work through system validation, verification and scale-up activities. Their work has included addressing various hardware and software issues that emerge as the massive system nears full-scale operations.

Teams participating in the ALCF’s Aurora Early Science Program and DOE’s Exascale Computing Project have been preparing to run their research projects on Aurora for the past several years. The teams have demonstrated strong early performance gains while scaling and optimizing codes for the system. The initial Aurora projects include efforts to advance research in cosmology, fusion energy science, drug discovery and the design of new materials for clean energy technologies.

Hitting exascale is a huge milestone but enabling groundbreaking science is the ultimate goal,” said Susan Coghlan, ALCF project director for Aurora. ​The new performance numbers, along with some promising runs from our early science teams, give us a glimpse of what will be possible with Aurora.”


The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, the ALCF is one of two DOE Leadership Computing Facilities in the nation dedicated to open science.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology by conducting leading-edge basic and applied research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit their website.

Learn more about opportunities to partner with Argonne National Laboratory.

Greater Together: How GCEP is Changing the Chicagoland Story

In January 2023, something unprecedented happened in Chicagoland. For the first time, seven Northeastern Illinois counties and the City of Chicago formed a partnership. Now, the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP) is working to drive inclusive development, promote the region’s collective assets, and foster collaboration like never before.

In this episode, host Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage, sits down with three local leaders to discuss how GCEP is impacting the region and changing the Chicagoland story.

Special Guests:

Dive Deeper:

  • To learn more about GCEP, “one of the largest advancements in our collective economic history,” start here.
  • According to Site Selection Magazine, “The sense of regionalism exemplified by the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership will only reinforce the area’s attractiveness.” Learn why the publication named Chicagoland the Top Metro for Corporate Investment for the 11th year running.
  • In this episode, we discuss how GCEP is making an impact across Chicagoland. To learn more about the organization’s inaugural year, read the 2023 GCEP Year in Review.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.

Illinois Ranks #2 in Nation for Corporate Expansions and Relocations for Second Year

Corporate investment

Site Selection Magazine – an international industry-leading business publication – released its annual corporate expansion and relocation rankings, naming Illinois #2 in the nation for corporate projects and Chicago the Top Metro for the 11th year in a row. The state ranks #2 in the nation for corporate expansions and relocations for the second year in a row, with 552 business expansion or relocation projects in 2023 (up from 487 in 2022). Illinois also placed #2 in projects per capita, up from #4 the previous year.

“Illinois continues to attract leading companies to our state, with hundreds of openings and expansions every year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With our unique incentives, our growing market, and our diverse and talented workforce, there’s no doubt that the economy in Illinois is thriving. This impressive recognition from Site Selection Magazine for the second year in a row makes it clear: Illinois is back and open for business.”

The magazine also recognized the Chicago metropolitan area as the Top Metro for business expansion and relocations among large metros for the 11th straight year. With growth in key sectors including life sciences, data centers, and technology, companies benefit from Chicago’s deep talent pool, diverse economy and robust infrastructure.

Companies that located or expanded throughout Illinois in 2023 include:

  • Gotion – $2 billion electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Manteno, creating 2,600 jobs
  • Kraft Heinz – $400 million distribution center in DeKalb, creating 150 jobs
  • Gulfstream – $285 million investment in Cahokia, creating 200 jobs and retaining 500
  • Incobrasa – $250 million expansion in Gilman, creating 40 jobs and retaining 200
  • Prysmian Group – $64 million facility expansion, creating 80 jobs
  • Manner Polymers – $54 million facility in Mount Vernon, creating 60 jobs

“With unrivaled incentives and top assets, Illinois’ momentum is undeniable as hundreds of companies expand or relocate to the Land of Lincoln,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Year after year, Illinois continues to grow its reputation as a global economic powerhouse, create jobs and nurture our thriving business ecosystem.”

“We continue to see companies from a diverse range of industries locate or expand in Illinois because of our state’s unmatched infrastructure, central location and talented workforce,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “Site Selection’s rankings are a testament to the positive momentum we are seeing throughout Illinois.”

Illinois has seen an upward trajectory, earning nine credit upgrades since June 2021, and making focused investments in economic growth initiatives. The state’s modern infrastructure provides easy access to the world via air, road, rail and port and its top-notch higher education system produces the skilled workforce companies need to thrive.

“Site Selection congratulates state and local economic development professionals across Illinois for the state’s second-place finish in both the total projects and projects per capita facilities races,” said Mark Arend, editor-in-chief of Site Selection. “This demonstrates to our readers that Illinois is delivering the right location criteria to companies siting new projects and expanding existing ones.”

Corporate real estate analysts regard Site Selection’s yearly analyses as “the industry scoreboard.” To qualify, projects must meet one or more of these criteria: investment of $1 million or more, creation of 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 square feet or more of new space.


To learn more about doing business in DuPage County, contact us or search for available properties

Argonne is Supercharging Manufacturers with Science

Chris Heckle Argonne

DuPage Business Beat Podcast | Ep. 7

Most Chicagoland residents have heard of Argonne National Laboratory, the DuPage County-based U.S. Department of Energy facility. But what many don’t realize is that Argonne is teaming up with manufacturers to develop groundbreaking projects at-scale, from EV batteries to carbon capture tech.

For today’s episode, host Greg Bedalov sits down with Chris Heckle, Director of the Materials Manufacturing Innovation Center, to discuss the transformative work happening at Argonne—and the collaboration behind it.

Dive Deeper:

  • Home to two National Laboratories (Argonne and Fermilab) as well as one of the nation’s top science and engineering talent pools, DuPage County has a science-first ecosystem. Learn more.
  • Argonne researchers recently won three R&D 100 Awards, AKA “the Oscars of Innovation.” Their award-winning work included an AI program designed to accelerate cancer research and a physics simulation for nuclear energy. Read the full story.
  • If your business is interested in partnering with the Material Manufacturing Innovation Center at Argonne, reach out to Chris Heckle on LinkedIn.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.


DuPage Business Beat Podcast

Today’s biggest business issues, told from a Chicagoland perspective. A podcast about emerging industries, shifting borders, economic ecosystems, and you. Featuring experts and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage Business Beat is produced by Choose DuPage.

Chicagoland Named Top Metro for Corporate Investment, 11 Years in a Row

corporate investment

The sense of regionalism exemplified by the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership will only reinforce the area’s attractiveness to tech, logistics, innovation, and vibrant young talent in an economy as diverse as its population.” — Site Selection Magazine

CHICAGOMarch 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Mayor Brandon Johnson, alongside representatives from World Business Chicago and key figures from the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, gathered at S&C Electric in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood to announce that, for the eleventh consecutive year, Chicago has secured the prestigious title of the top metro area in the United States for corporate investment, according to Site Selection magazine. This ranking underscores Chicago’s sustained appeal as a prime destination for business growth and development.

“Access to diverse talent, global connectivity and the City’s strong infrastructure are among the reasons why Chicago has been ranked a top metropolitan area for selection and corporate relocation for 11 years,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “On behalf of all the residents of the City of Chicago, I extend our gratitude to S&C Electric and the 162 other companies who made pro-Chicago decisions in 2023 – investing in our people, our neighborhoods, and our city—driving job creation and opportunities for all.”

In 2023, the Chicago metro area continued its streak by outpacing all other regions in the nation, with an influx of new corporate locations and expansions. World Business Chicago reported a total of 163 “pro-Chicagoland decisions” throughout the year. These decisions comprised 117 expansions and 46 relocations or new market entries, with notable investments targeting the South and West sides of the city, alongside significant developments across the Chicagoland region. Collectively, these initiatives resulted in the creation of over 23,000 job opportunities, further fueling the city’s economic vitality.

“We are profoundly honored to once again be acknowledged as the foremost metro for corporate investment in the United States,” said Charles E. Smith, Vice Chair, World Business Chicago. “This accomplishment reflects the unwavering dedication of our team, board of directors, the Mayor of Chicago, and our esteemed partners across the greater Chicagoland region. It underscores our shared commitment to nurturing an ecosystem where businesses flourish and communities thrive.”

Among the notable contributors to Chicago’s economic landscape in 2023 was S&C, which announced its expansion with a 275,000-square-foot facility in Palatine, reinforcing its commitment to the region’s growth. This expansion, situated approximately 25 miles from S&C’s headquarters in Rogers Park, is expected to generate 200 new jobs, contributing to the company’s significant local workforce of over 2000 team members in the Chicago area.

Chicago has been home to S&C for over 110 years, and the talent pool here is an essential part of our growth and success, allowing us to better serve customers with solutions that advance a resilient and reliable electrical grid,” said Anders Sjoelin, S&C’s president and CEO. “Additionally, we’re pleased to add jobs, create meaningful careers, and value for our local team members, and support our communities.

Mayor Brandon JohnsonLake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, and others emphasized the significance of today’s announcement, highlighting the collective efforts of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP), which was established in January 2023. The GCEP, comprising the City of Chicago and seven surrounding counties (Cook CountyDuPage CountyKane CountyKendall CountyLake CountyMcHenry County, and Will County), has spearheaded initiatives, and business delegations, aimed at fostering inclusive economic growth and promoting equity across diverse communities. Leveraging the region’s assets, including robust transportation infrastructure, diverse talent pools, and thriving sectors, the GCEP remains committed to driving sustainable development and maximizing opportunities for all.

Chicago is a dynamic city for energy storage innovation, robust R&D culture, and dedicated workforce,” celebrates Desmond Wheatly, CEO of Beam. “Embracing these strengths, Beam is strategically expanding its manufacturing presence in the Chicagoland region, delivering premium-grade batteries tailored for diverse applications such as eMobility, recreation, and robotics. With Chicago’s foundation of innovation and hard work, we’re poised to drive transformative advancements in energy technology.”

The continued recognition of Chicago as the top metro for corporate investment underscores the city’s resilience, innovation, and unwavering appeal to businesses seeking a dynamic environment for growth. As the third-largest metro area and a top 20 global economy, the Chicago region boasts tremendous talent and is home to some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. Leveraging these assets, Chicago remains at the forefront of economic prosperity, offering unparalleled opportunities for businesses to thrive and succeed in a vibrant and diverse marketplace.

GREATER CHICAGOLAND REGION LEADERS REFLECT UPON TODAY’S NEWS:

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County President: “Companies like S&C Electric, Beam, Solo Cup, and so many others chose Chicagoland for a reason – they know here you will find a rich and diverse tapestry of strong industry sectors ranging from food manufacturing to film and television production. Site Selection’s eleventh consecutive win affirms the Chicago region’s continued promise of opportunity for the business community allowing for them to continuously grow, expand and thrive.”

Greg Bedalov, CEO and President, Choose DuPage, and Chairman of Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership: “The unprecedented recognition of the Chicago Metro region as the top site in the nation for corporate relocation and site selection for an 11th consecutive year is proof positive that the city and the metro area are absolute first-in-class locations for business growth. Achieving this lofty goal once a decade is worth shouting about. Achieving it for consecutive years that span more than a decade is nearly inconceivable. Working collaboratively with all the partners in the Metro area is producing measurable economic results for Chicagoland. The Chicago metro area is not only open for business, but also is clearly the place for business. Congratulations to all those involved in making this happen and thank you to Site Selection magazine for this recognition.”

Kane County Board Chairman Corinne Pierog: “The recognition from Site Selection magazine highlights the region’s allure for new businesses and investments. It also illustrates our dedication to being a responsive community that supports a diverse range of sectors, including agriculture, corporate and small business.”

Kendall County Board Chairman, Matt Kellogg: “We are proud but not at all surprised to see the Chicago area receive recognition for its continued business growth. We see real evidence of that growth in Kendall County, as businesses choose to expand or relocate in the region. We are not only business friendly but a great place for employees to relocate and join our community. The Chicago region connects to the entire globe, whether its people, information, or logistics, which makes it an excellent place to live and do business.”

Sandy HartLake County Board Chair: “Lake County joins the entire Chicagoland region in proactively working together to advance sustainability and inclusive growth through strategic investments in infrastructure, talent, vibrant communities, and a diverse economy. Our central location, in the middle of the country and within arms-reach of a vast, global transportation network, makes the area a premiere location for business and people. We are proud that Chicagoland’s strength is once again being recognized by the industry-leading publication Site Selection Magazine. Being ranked the top U.S. metro for corporate relocation for the 11th year in a row comes as no surprise given all that the region has to offer to growing businesses.”

Mike Buehler, Chairman, McHenry County Board: “The Chicago Metro region’s unparalleled success in corporate relocation and site selection for over a decade is a testament to the collaborative spirit and unwavering dedication of our community. This continuous recognition by Site Selection magazine affirms that our city and metro area stand as beacons for business growth and innovation. Just as the Chicago region connects seamlessly to the global stage, so too does our commitment to fostering a diverse and vibrant ecosystem for businesses to thrive. Congratulations to all those who contribute to this remarkable achievement and thank you to Site Selection magazine for acknowledging our ongoing journey as a first-in-class destination for business.” 

Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Will County Executive: “The Chicagoland Region remains a strong economic force and globally competitive. Chicagoland communities are attracting corporations and high-paying jobs at a rapid pace thanks to our many regional assets, including diverse talent, affordability, high quality of life, and connectivity. I look forward to these assets driving continued growth into the future.”

Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership: Year in Review, 2023

A Note From the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership’s Executive Leadership

Dear Partners and Friends,

One year ago, we embarked on a remarkable journey with the launch of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP). Our mission was clear – to unite and showcase the global competitiveness of the Chicagoland region, leveraging our diverse talent, advanced infrastructure, renowned institutions, and top-ranked industries. Today, we proudly share with you the GCEP’s 2023 report, a testament to our collective efforts and an invitation for you to join us as we further define the future of the region.

In just twelve months, the GCEP has emerged as a dynamic force. Our success lies in the active collaboration among county partners across the region. From international engagements like the Collision Conference in Toronto and the Chicago Sister Cities International 50-year anniversary business delegation trip to Japan, to local initiatives such as Chicago DeepTech Week and the Chicago Venture Summit series—we have cultivated a thriving ecosystem that extends far beyond our municipal or county borders. At the time of the launch, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle remarked, “We all do better when we all do better.” This continues to represent the spirit of this collaboration. With equity and inclusivity as the cornerstone of economic development, we are contributing meaningfully to the economy throughout Chicagoland in many ways, including:

  • The GCEP is growing the regional economy. In the last year, 8,576 jobs were created or retained because of GCEP, which generated $715.9 million in direct and indirect worker earnings.
  • Sharing strategic initiatives, programming, and public funding opportunities which has led to increased trust across partners in the region, and a more collaborative approach to drive growth.
  • Providing data driven analysis and research that will continue to define future opportunities for economic growth across the city and seven county region.

In March 2023, Site Selection Magazine named Chicagoland the Top U.S. Metro for Corporate Relocations and Expansions, consecutively for ten years, and named four GCEP counties among “America’s Best Counties.” Last year, the WBC Research Center published the first-ever Regional Asset Map—a comprehensive guide that provides vital economic data. WBC’s support of GCEP includes producing monthly economic dashboards, quarterly updates, opinion pieces, and other vital assets. Furthermore, WBC’s leadership continues to enthusiastically deliver presentations, participate in panel discussions, and advocate for the strengths of Chicagoland as a prime business destination to businesses throughout the world.

We invite you to become a champion of the greater Chicagoland region. Consider this report as not just an overview, but a call to action. Here is a digestible glimpse into the strides we’ve made, the milestones we’ve achieved, and the vision that will continue to propel us forward. As a champion, you have the power to amplify and talk about the competitive advantages of Chicagoland. Join us as we solidify Chicagoland’s reputation as a global hub for innovation and the epicenter where the future of business is incubating.

Click here to download the report.

Greg Bedalov
Chairman, Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership
President & CEO, Choose DuPage

Kyle Schultz
Chief Growth Officer, World Business Chicago

People-nomics, Part 2: Housing, Aging & Inflation

DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT | PODCAST EP. 6

In this follow-up to “People-nomics: Part 1”, we continue our exploration of all things labor. Host Greg Bedalov and a pair of economic experts break down a wide range of workforce-related issues, including the rising cost of housing, the aging population, and the endgame of recent inflation.

Missed Part 1? Listen here.

Guests:

  • Matt Finn, CFA, Chief Economist of 1834, a division of Old National Bank
  • Glenn Mazade, SVP, Commercial Business Banking of Old National Bank

Host: Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage

Dive Deeper:

  • Want to learn more about Chicagoland’s workforce? Start with the Chicagoland Economic Partnership Asset Report, a free resource that offers insights into the region’s key assets.
  • In 2023, DuPage County and Greater Chicagoland dominated Newsweek’s Greatest Workplaces list. See who made the list – and learn how these employers are reducing turnover rates while boosting employee productivity.
  • Located in the thriving Chicagoland region, DuPage County has access to a world-class talent pool. Visit the Choose DuPage workforce page to learn how our seamless pipeline helps develop next-gen talent and connects businesses with the workers they need.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.


DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT PODCAST

Today’s biggest business issues, told from a Chicagoland perspective. A podcast about emerging industries, shifting borders, economic ecosystems, and you. Featuring experts and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage Business Beat is produced by Choose DuPage.

People-nomics, Part 1: Automation, Immigration & The Supply Chain

DUPAGE BUSINESS BEAT | PODCAST EP. 5

Today’s businesses are struggling for one thing: talent. So how did we get here? What factors are influencing the labor market? And how can businesses adapt?

The answer: It’s complicated.

In today’s episode, host Greg Bedalov sits down with an economist and a banking expert to discuss all things “People-nomics” – the economics of labor.

In the first half of their two-part conversation, Greg & co. discuss how automation and immigration are impacting the labor crisis, and what a shifting global supply chain could mean for our region.

Be sure to listen to “People-nomics, Part 2”, where we’ll dive into the rising cost of housing—and discuss what the heck is happening with interest rates.

Guests:

  • Matt Finn, CFA, Chief Economist of 1834, a division of Old National Bank
  • Glenn Mazade, SVP, Commercial Business Banking of Old National Bank

Host: Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage

Dive Deeper:

  • Want to learn more about Chicagoland’s workforce? Start with the Chicagoland Economic Partnership Asset Report, a free resource that offers in-depth data and insights on the region’s key assets.
  • Want better workers? Build better workplaces. Check out our Smartest Workplaces in DuPage: 2023 list to see how businesses in the Chicagoland suburbs are redefining workplace experiences.
  • Located in the thriving Chicagoland region, DuPage County has access to a world-class talent pool. Visit the Choose DuPage workforce page to learn how our seamless pipeline helps develop next-gen talent and connects businesses with the workers they need.

A special thanks to the College of DuPage for supporting today’s episode. To keep up with what’s happening in DuPage County and the Chicagoland region, follow Choose DuPage on social media or visit ChooseDuPage.com/Ready.


DuPage Business Beat Podcast

Today’s biggest business issues, told from a Chicagoland perspective. A podcast about emerging industries, shifting borders, economic ecosystems, and you. Featuring experts and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Greg Bedalov, President & CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage Business Beat is produced by Choose DuPage.

New Report: Chicagoland’s Green Economy is Growing

Climate change presents enormous challenges for communities across the globe. At the same time, confronting these challenges has opened the door to exciting new possibilities.

As governments and businesses build more sustainable systems and reduce carbon emissions, a new type of economy has emerged, one focused on innovation with purpose.

We call these ‘green economies.’ According to World Business Chicago, a green economy is one in which “sustainability, environmental responsibility, and social well-being” are central tenants. Profit and competition are still at their core, but the ultimate goal is to benefit the community and the world at large.

In these economies, innovation is approached through the lens of social and environmental responsibility. Supported by policy initiatives and public education, green economies adopt sustainable practices while developing clean energy and climate-related technologies that drive decarbonization.

Today, Chicagoland is uniquely positioned to lead climate change and clean-energy efforts. Our diverse industries, talent pipeline, strategic location, and vibrant startup culture make the region a catalyst for cross-industry collaboration and innovation at scale. Now, the Chicagoland green economy is growing faster than most other U.S. metro areas.

Want to learn more? A new report by World Business Chicago goes in-depth on this emerging economy, examining key factors driving the growth, as well as challenges and opportunities ahead.

According to the report:

  • Chicagoland’s diverse green economy is growing rapidly. Since 2016, the region has experienced 180% growth in green economy output and 80% growth in green transitioning output. And the growth is expected to continue. Today, Chicago-area companies hold about 788 patents related to clean energy and climate change technology, with another 150 pending.
  • Our green economy is creating jobs, and we have the workforce to fill them. In 2022, Chicagoland’s green transitioning economy employed more than 500,000 people. The region is currently ranked fifth out of the top ten U.S. metro areas for employment in the green economy.
  • Local startups are driving the innovation. Roughly 25% of all clean and climate tech investments in Chicagoland were investments in climate tech startups, the highest proportion when compared to the Midwest, U.S., and world. These startups are key to developing innovative solutions that incumbent corporations can use to decarbonize at scale.
  • Our talent pipeline gives us an edge. Chicagoland’s numerous universities and research institutions are producing a diverse pool of graduates with the interdisciplinary skills needed to produce new technology solutions.

To learn more about Chicagoland’s emerging green economy, download the full World Business Chicago report.

PREMIER Breaks Ground on Expansion to Midwest Manufacturing Facility for Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Expansion Manufacturing

PREMIER Design + Build Group has just broken ground on a building expansion project for Sumitomo Drive Technologies in Glendale Heights, Ill. The work is designed to meet the evolving needs of the client, whose Midwest-manufactured products are in high demand from customers across a range of industries.

The company’s Glendale Heights location is used for light manufacturing of gearmotors, also known as “speed reducers.” Gearmotors are designed to regulate the speed at which motors run to match the speed needed for a customer’s application. The gearmotors produced by Sumitomo Drive Technologies are used in many industries including auto assembly, grain handling, water treatment, wood milling, and parcel handling. Sumitomo Drive Technologies is part of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.

The manufacturer’s need to scale up its production capabilities is an interesting outgrowth of its long-term strategy. Prior to 2020, Sumitomo Drive Technologies made a commitment to investing in manufacturing within the United States. In the face of the challenges of the past several years, many of the company’s competitors were forced to shut down or severely reduce operations at overseas production facilities. Sumitomo Drive Technologies, however, was able to continue production in the Midwest, and demand for its products grew significantly.

Sumitomo Drive Technologies selected PREMIER to manage design + build services for the expansion of its existing facility, which is located at 175 W. Lake Drive within the Glendale Lakes Business Park. When complete, the building will have approximately 82,000 square feet with a 28’ clear height. In addition to more than doubling the existing footprint, PREMIER’s team will create a state-of-the art, fully modular crane building allowing seamless integration between assembly and distribution. The work includes installing new docks and doors, adding on-site parking, and updating landscaping. The building improvements will allow the firm to increase inventory space and offer a broader product line from its Midwest location. It will also improve lead times, operational efficiencies, and safety.

“We’re honored to have been chosen as the design-builder for this Sumitomo Drive Technologies assignment,” explained PREMIER’s Michael Long, Senior Vice President in the firm’s Midwest division. “They approached us with an interesting challenge, and we used our expertise to develop a solution designed to help them accomplish every one of the objectives they have established.” Working with Mr. Long on the assignment is Project Manager Stefan Olson. PREMIER’s project partners include Cornerstone Architects Ltd. for architectural design and SpaceCo for civil engineering.

“Michael Long and the PREMIER team have already proven themselves to be such an incredible asset,” according to Eduardo Plata, Corporate Project Manager for Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America. “We’re so thankful to have found a project partner that is so knowledgeable and will guide us through this process and always look out for our best interests.”

“Reimagining and reshaping facilities to meet our clients’ evolving needs is the kind of challenge the team at PREMIER loves to take on,” said Long. “This is a client that was uniquely positioned to grow their business, and we’re excited to help them create a new home in which to continue that success.”

The project kicked off late last week with a groundbreaking, which included local officials and several Sumitomo Drive Technologies executives who traveled to Illinois from Japan to participate in the celebration. As part of the kickoff, Sumitomo Drive Technologies and PREMIER presented the nearby Glen Ellyn Food Pantry with a $5,000 donation to help fund its work across DuPage County.


About PREMIER Design + Build Group

PREMIER Design + Build Group is a leading design-build construction firm headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill. With a strong track record spanning several decades, PREMIER specializes in providing comprehensive solutions for industrial, commercial, healthcare, residential, retail, and mixed-use construction projects. The company’s unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and customer service has earned it a reputation as a trusted partner in the industry.

About Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Sumitomo Drive Technologies is a brand of Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America, one of the most respected names in the power transmission industry. As an industrial manufacturer of premium quality gearboxes, motors, and controls, we operate two prominent facilities – our Headquarters in Chesapeake, VA, and the Large Industrial Gear Unit Manufacturing and Assembly Facility in Verona. Our commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and comprehensive solutions makes us an industry leader in power transmission.