While Gov. Pat Quinn was breaking ground on a new digital manufacturing lab in Chicago, his Republican opponent accused him of stealing credit for the idea. The alleged victim of that idea theft is Bruce Rauner himself, who claims the idea for a Chicago-based manufacturing hub to develop more efficient production methods was his brainchild, though he says he can’t take all the credit. “I’ll say there were many people who worked on the project,” Rauner said. “The idea, the initiative, the first proposal was mine.”
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Rauner says Quinn hasn’t shown that kind of initiative while he’s been in office. “That’s one I came up with as an outsider,” Rauner said. “As a leader and as a governor, I’ve got a lot of ideas to dramatically grow our economy.” Quinn campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson responded by saying “only billionaire Bruce Rauner…would resort to arrogantly taking credit for the governor’s work and partnership with other leaders to bring this advanced manufacturing hub to Illinois.”
The lab, known as the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, is being built with local, state, and federal funds, including a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Private companies such as Caterpillar and Boeing are also involved. The facility will be operated by UI Labs, and is set to open next spring.