Innovation in Manufacturing & Chicagoland’s Advantages

Advanced manufacturing dupage

World Business Chicago recently published a new research report, Innovation in Manufacturing & Chicagoland’s Advantages. This comprehensive report delves into the transformative impact of innovation on the Chicago region’s thriving $99 billion manufacturing industry, which as of 2022, stands as the nation’s second largest.

As the manufacturing sector faces growing competition in an increasingly globalized economy, the industry has embraced innovative technologies and processes to maintain its leadership position. With over 410,000 employees working in the Chicago region’s manufacturing sector, the adoption of tools such as automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized operational efficiency and productivity across the 12,000+ manufacturing firms in the area.

One key highlight of the report is the collaboration between manufacturers, suppliers, and academic institutions to foster innovation within the sector. This cooperative approach has led to the formation of robust innovation ecosystems that empower the industry with a distinct competitive advantage.

Key Findings from the Report include:

  • Diverse Innovators: The report reveals that for every high-tech manufacturer engaged in innovation, there are three fabricated metal manufacturers actively innovating. This indicates a widespread commitment to advancing manufacturing processes and technologies across the sector.
  • Knowledge Exchange: Most manufacturers in the Chicagoland region rely on their customers or suppliers to provide specialized knowledge that cannot be acquired or developed in-house. This collaborative approach encourages knowledge sharing and promotes open innovation initiatives.
  • Regional Advantage: Chicagoland offers manufacturers a unique edge, as they can access a robust ecosystem of suppliers and customers within the region. Astonishingly, manufacturers in Chicago source nearly 50% of their inputs in-region, further solidifying the area’s status as a manufacturing hub.
  • Diverse Government Support: Nearly half of the manufacturers using government support for innovation reported using programs other than tax incentives or credits. This highlights the diversity of initiative available to foster innovation in the region.
  • Illinois as an Innovation Hub: The report underscores Illinois’ prominence as a hub for innovation, ranking #5 in the U.S. for its contributions to the advancement of technology and manufacturing.

“The World Business Chicago’s Research Center is excited to present this report that delves into what manufacturers need in order to successfully innovate and the critical role of innovation in driving the success of the manufacturing industry in the Chicagoland region,” said Robin Ficke, SVP, Research, World Business Chicago. “The findings underscore the impact of our dynamic and collaborative manufacturing ecosystem, positioning the region as a key player in shaping the future of the manufacturing landscape.”

The Innovation in Manufacturing & Chicagoland’s Advantages report showcases the regional commitment, by and through the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, to staying at the forefront of technological advancements to drive sustainable growth for the region’s manufacturing industry.

To access the full report and learn more about the innovative strides made by the Chicagoland manufacturing sector, please visit []