A Publication of WTVP

There are many reasons to be optimistic in Peoria these days. We are looking to the future environmentally, and our economy is strong.

With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss an example of green awareness and business strength.

Peoria NEXT Energy Summit

In the spirit of environmental sustainability, the Peoria NEXT Energy Summit is on the horizon, and it will allow community and business leaders the opportunity to engage the area’s energy resources in a focused, open format. Hosted by Peoria NEXT and the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at Bradley University, the event will be held on October 28th at the Peoria Civic Center. It is an opportunity to show that Peoria NEXT is leading the charge on environmental sustainability and policy discussions.

The summit will focus on conservation of the resources that we do have; it will investigate new sources of renewable energy; and it will spotlight methods to improve bottom-line energy use. It is an opportunity to host nationally recognized speakers and foster discussion about alternative energy while offering pragmatic solutions to the energy debate. The morning session will offer information about current energy trends and resource potential for central Illinois, while the afternoon will consist of in-depth policy debate concerning energy policy. It is our intention that the summit will outline a practical, comprehensive energy strategy that we can advocate for the good of the community and nation. Importantly, it is a step in the right direction, and it is our intention to do our part to provide energy solutions through our forum. To participate, contact Brad McMillan at (309) 677-4408 or [email protected].

InformMed and the Tri-County Venture Capital Fund

InformMed, the anchor tenant at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, has secured a second round of capital funding to help the firm in its pursuit of full commercialization. Started by former nurse and healthcare consultant Katherine Francis, InformMed began with the intention of eliminating harmful—and potentially fatal—incorrect prescription dosages in hospitals. Through a handheld device called the pac2, InformMed allows nurses to calculate correct prescription doses and create a documented record of delivered medication.

Importantly, it warns nurses when an error has been made and when too much of a medication is about to be prescribed. Studies at Rutgers and the University of Illinois have shown that the use of the pac2 drastically reduces errors that could have potentially fatal consequences. An initial round of deployment at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center proved successful, and the hospital has ordered more units for its nurses.

As the company has continually met its R&D and sales milestones, it required a second round of capital funding, and the Tri-County Venture Capital Fund and the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund both delivered needed resources. The Tri-County Capital Fund is financed by individuals, local businesses and the state of Illinois, and it is a tremendous asset to our area. Geared toward start-up tech companies in central Illinois, the Tri-County Capital Fund is a follow-on fund that contributes additional capital to companies once they have gone through due diligence with an initial investor. This additional capital is incredibly helpful to start-up companies, but the follow-on process ensures that the investment is a sound one for the fund.

InformMed will stay at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center for the full three years of its lease, and it will add employees and expand its productive capabilities in the process, after which it will move into another facility in the Peoria area. With a product partially developed in Peoria and tested in one of our hospitals, it is encouraging to see the anchor company of the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center well on its way to full commercialization.

There are a great number of reasons to be optimistic in Peoria right now. Environmental sustainability is an increasingly important topic, and we are working to address the issue and develop a comprehensive energy strategy as we move forward. Tech companies are a source of intense growth, and we are actively supporting and encouraging their development in our region. While I have provided just two examples, an endless number of positive developments are all around us, whether it is in the area of green energy or business strength. iBi