Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he wants Discovery Partners Institute, the University of Illinois technology hub planned for the edge of the South Loop, to be like Kendall Square, the famed tech hothouse next to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Boston suburb of Cambridge—but bigger.
That’s beyond a stretch goal. Kendall Square, a once-gritty former industrial zone, has spawned the likes of biopharma pioneers Biogen and Genzyme and internet-software maker Akamai Technologies. Thirteen of the 20 largest biopharma companies have set up shop there, alongside tech giants including Amazon, Google and Facebook.