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State of Illinois, U of I System Launch 'Smart State' Partnership
SPRINGFIELD, IL (SWI-News.com), February 5, 2017 - The State of Illinois and University of Illinois System announced a new partnership today which advances Illinois as the nation's premier 'Smart State', integrating next-generation technology to improve quality of life, grow the state's economy and retain and attract residents.
"Illinois is nationally recognized as the first U.S. state to have a vision and roadmap for becoming a smarter state," said Hardik Bhatt, Secretary Designate and state CIO of the Department of Innovation and Technology. "The goal is to use technology, Internet of Things, mobile, analytics and cybersecurity to improve operational efficiency and find new and more cost-effective ways to serve our customers."
Illinois launched Smart State initiatives, under the leadership of Governor Bruce Rauner, with the release of a white paper titled, "Introducing the Smart State: Illinois Leads the Way" in early 2016. This was followed by two smart state workshops in April and December, that connected leaders from both the public and private sector, to explore how becoming a smart state will improve government efficiency and access to services, and create a climate that promotes the growth of business and industry.
U of I President Tim Killeen commented, "This partnership will capitalize on the U of I System's world-class faculty and its state-of-the-art research facilities to serve our citizens, lift our state's economy and make Illinois a place where the world turns for the pioneering innovation that fosters success in the 21st century."
The first phase of the new agreement between the state and the U of I System will partner the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where world-renowned staff and leading-edge computing systems will help tackle large-scale data analytics and cybersecurity issues to accelerate innovation and safeguard citizens.
IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
SPRINGFIELD, IL (SWI-News.com), February 5, 2017 - In recognition of the earthquake risk in southern Illinois from the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.
"While we don't experience major earthquakes with the same frequency as the western U.S., some of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the continental U.S. happened along the New Madrid seismic zone about 200 years ago," said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. "We can't predict when the next major earthquake will occur, but we can help people learn how to stay safe and reduce damage to their homes."
In conjunction with Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois, IEMA is adding a new 30-second TV spot to the Ready Illinois broadcast preparedness campaign, which is aired in cooperation with the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Partnership (PEP) program. The new spot directs people to the Ready Illinois website for information on how to prepare their homes for an earthquake. It will air on IBA member TV stations serving residents of southern Illinois, where the greatest risk of earthquakes in Illinois exists. The spot is also available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Joseph noted that the actual movement of the ground in an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.
Learning how to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" can help people prevent injury during an earthquake. The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, such as anchoring bookshelves, overhead light fixtures, wall hanging and large appliances, learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity and placing heavy objects on lower shelves.
More information about earthquake preparedness is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Illinois Film Industry Generates $499 Million in 2016
SPRINGFIELD, IL (SWI-News.com), January 22, 2017 - The Illinois FILM Office has reported that Illinois' film industry generated $499 million in estimated Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the same period last year. This adds to the 18 percent increase that was seen in 2015. The office worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects that generated 13,377 non-extra job hires over the course of 2016.
In addition, Chicago, Illinois was just named the #5 best place to live and work as a moviemaker in North America by MovieMaker Magazine. This is the third year in a row that Chicago has made the top-ten list.
"The film industry here in Illinois continues to grow stronger," Illinois FILM Office Director Christine Dudley said. "Our focus on attracting innovative and diverse projects has led to an unprecedented half a billion dollars in qualified Illinois production spending. My hope is that we continue to build upon these last two years of success to show everyone that there is no better place to film than Illinois."
A strong talent pool of cast and crew members, diverse shooting locations and a competitive incentive program attracted a wide variety of projects to film in Illinois in 2016. Primetime hits "Empire" (FOX), "Chicago Fire" "Chicago PD" and "Chicago Med" (NBC) returned to the lineup. NBC also green lit the pilot for the fourth installment in the Chicago franchise, "Chicago Justice." The series was picked up for a full season which began production filming in September 2016. Online media services also increased their presence in Illinois with the production of original content episodic series: Easy (Netflix), Sensa 8 (Netflix) and Patriot (Amazon).
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