Skokie-based NanoInk, Inc. closed its doors earlier this month, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The company was located at the Illinois Science and Technology Park (ISTP). Its biggest backer, Ann Lurie, who is the widow of Sam Zell’s former business partner, Robert Lurie, poured about $150 million over a decade before finally deciding to pull the plug.
Roughly 80 NanoInk employees were “abruptly” told that the company would be closing its doors in three days on Feb. 12, Crain’s reported.
In June 2012, the Village of Skokie matched a $250,000 grant aimed at providing nanotechnology courses at Oakton Community College (OCC), among other schools. The village was able to match the grant through downtown Skokie's TIF district.
One of the companies providing equipment to schools was NanoInk.
One of NanoInk’s assets is Nanoprofessor, a laboratory system and education curriculum for universities and schools. The company sold its equipment for about $250,000, according to Crain's.
“It was sad news,” John Carzoli, a physics professor at OCC, told Crain’s. “We’ll use the istruments they provided until we run out of supplies or it breaks down. This seemed to be a perfect tool to train people.”
Trustee on ISTP -
Skokie trustee Randy Roberts describes the ISTP as a very strong “nucleus” for the village’s economic development.
“We're trying to do our share as a partner,” Roberts said in a recent interview. “We want to show we're a good place to do business. I think it would be an attractive place to start your company. I see [the ISTP] being an economic engine for Skokie and the downtown area.
“The people that work [at the ISTP] are making a good salary and I'm hoping many of those people say, ‘Hey, why don't I buy my house here,'” he added. “It's certainly an economic driver. We're never going to see the big box and chain stores in downtown Skokie, but we’ve already started creating a very rich and vibrant, ethnic downtown.”