LANSING– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has received 112 proposals in the competition for up to $30 million to be awarded this year from Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund.
“The 21st Century Jobs Fund is the cornerstone of our comprehensive and aggressive strategy to accelerate economic diversification and grow high-tech companies,” Granholm said. “We look forward to partnering with ground-breaking companies to grow scientific and technological innovation into new, high-paying jobs.”
This year, 21st Century Jobs Fund awards will go to for-profit companies in the later stages of development ready to create jobs now in the competitive-edge sectors of alternative energy, life sciences, advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, and homeland security and defense. A total of 51 proposals are in life sciences, 28 in advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, 19 in homeland security/defense and 14 in alternative energy. Total funding requested by the proposals amounts to more than $475.7 million. A list of applicants is available at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
The Ann Arbor-based National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) will conduct an independent peer review process and make recommendations for funding. Winners will be selected by the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization (SEIC) board and announced in October. Awards will be in the form of loans or convertible loans at the discretion of the SEIC board.
“Michigan’s economic transformation is well underway, and we are determined to keep the momentum going,” Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “Focusing our resources on sustainable technology businesses poised to create new, high-tech jobswill have an immediate impact on our economy.”
The 21st Century Jobs Fund is a $2 billion, ten-year initiative proposed by Governor Granholm, approved by the Michigan Legislature, and administered by the MEDC. The first round of funding in 2007resulted in the award of $126.3 million to 78 organizations now engaged in high-tech research, commercializing new products, and creating new jobs.
“We are pleased with the number of proposals we have received and look forward to working with NCMS to fund the most promising commercialization opportunities to help grow Michigan’s high-tech economy,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, chairman of the SEIC board and principal of Bridge Street Partners LLC in Grand Rapids.
As peer review service provider, NCMS will oversee the evaluation of proposals based on commercialization merit, scientific and technical merit, management team strengths and ability to leverage additional funding, as well as near-term job growth, among other factors. The not-for-profit industrial organization founded in 1986 consists of more than 150 corporate members representing the industrial, research, academic and manufacturing sectors. It brings to the task nearly 22 years of experience managing collaborative R&D programsaimed at accelerating technology deployment.
The SEIC board is responsible for administering grants and loans to support competitive-edge technology investments under the 21st Century Jobs Fund, specifically the targeted sectors of life sciences, alternative energy, advanced automotive materials and manufacturing, and homeland security and defense. For more information on the 21st Century Jobs Fund and the MEDC, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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