The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today that 18 projects will share about $45 million in funding to advance the research and commercialization of cutting-edge life sciences products.
“The quality of these award recipients is exceptional, representing the best of the best of the proposals submitted,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “These are the projects that will spearhead the continuing expansion of the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor in the foreseeable future.”
A highlight of this year's awards was about $14.7 million in additional funding for the Core Technology Alliance (CTA), a consortium of five Michigan universities and research facility laboratories that provide cutting-edge technology services to the state's life sciences community. This year's award represents the continuation of an approximately $67 million, five-year commitment from the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Fund.
One of this year’s largest awards was more than $3.5 million for the Michigan Diabetes Research Consortium.The consortium includes top researchers from the private sector who are now working at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University to develop treatments for diabetes.
Other winning proposals will use Michigan Life Sciences Corridor funds to target the diagnosis of kidney disease, accelerate the development of biopharmaceutical products, research cancer and bone disease and improve the muscle power and mobility of elderly men and women.
Significant awards were also given to several organizations that provide seed funding to life sciences startup companies.More than 22 new life sciences related companies were created in Michigan in 2001, with the injection of early seed funding playing an important role in many of these startups.
“The Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Fund is truly an ongoing success story,” Rothwell said. “The funds provided today will nurture a powerful, progressive industry in our state that is creating jobs while also addressing important health issues which affect all Michigan families.”
The review process was overseen by the Michigan Life Sciences Steering Committee and conducted by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publishers of Science magazine. A request issued last fall resulted in 297 pre-proposals submitted. Of these pre-proposals, 111 were invited to submit full proposals. After a thorough and rigorous evaluation process, the AAAS made its final recommendations and the award recipients were chosen by the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Steering Committee.
The state of Michigan has committed $1 billion over 20 years from its tobacco settlement money to energize the life sciences industry.Michigan's life sciences industry currently includes more than 300 companies with more than 16,500 workers and $1.6 billion in annual sales.According to a study commissioned by the MEDC, Michigan ranks tenth in the nation in life sciences related employment. The MEDC’s goal is to be among the top five in the nation by 2010.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
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