For the fourth year, the Illinois Manufacturer's Association has wrapped up voting in its
"Makers Madness" bracket-style tournament and the winner of the "Coolest Thing Made in Illinois" has been awarded for 2023.

What is the Makers Madness Contest

For four years now, the Illinois Manufacturer's Association has been celebrating innovations in manufacturing technologies and engineering by holding a bracket-style contest fueled by online voting. The nominations were accepted in early February and voting began on February 21st. An awards ceremony was held on March 29th at the Illinois Governor's Mansion located in Springfield, Illinois.

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Manufacturing in Illinois

Manufacturing is big business in the state of Illinois. In fact, the industry has a $580 billion to $611 billion impact on the state's economy. There are many things that exist in our day-to-day lives that are manufactured in Illinois. According to the IMA,

Illinois manufacturers produce everything from life-saving vaccines and medical treatments to boundary-breaking electric vehicles, and components used for space exploration. Our manufacturers keep store shelves stocked with nutritious food and delectable snacks, as well as create sporting equipment used everywhere from neighborhood fields to professional leagues. They make core structural products from steel, rebar and motors to chemicals and flavorings, and even create high-tech gadgets used for national defense and energy to power our homes and businesses.

attachment-Rosenberg Space Habitat
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The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois 2023 Winner

The winner of the title "The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois" goes to Ingersoll Machine Tools for its Rosenberg Moon Habitat after beating out nearly 250 other submissions. The Rosenberg Moon Habitat is a structure created utilizing 3-D printing that is intended to house a 2-person crew of astronauts. Because it is so large, it cannot be printed here on earth so it must be printed onsite on the moon. At a press conference, Illinois Governor Pritzker said,

Our great state has always been a land of innovation and today because of you, Illinois is home to 18,000 manufacturers that employ over 600,000 residents...

Previous Winners of the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois Award

In 2022, the Rivian R1T won the prestigious manufacturing award. It is the first truck of its kind to feature four electric motors - each powering one of its wheels. The truck has eight different driving modes and an impressive 400-mile driving range. According to MakersMadnessIl.com,

The R1T combines off-road capabilities with the driving style of a sports car, with acceleration from 0-60 mph in as quick as three seconds and a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds.

To learn more about the R1t, manufactured in Normal, Illinois, visit Rivian.com.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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