Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that 24 additional proposals have been selected by the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization (SEIC) Board to share $35 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative to create jobs in Michigan's emerging technologies. This second round of funding brings the number of proposals sharing in a total of $135 million to 85, which is part of the governors comprehensive Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow economic plan to grow Michigan's economy.
The awards will create the jobs we need to keep our children and grandchildren here in Michigan, Granholm said. No state is doing more to diversify its economy than we are.
The Governor announced the first 21st Century Jobs Fund awardees on September 6. The available funding, however, would only support 61 of the 85 highly-recommended proposals, leading the Governor to call on the Michigan Strategic Fund board to allocate more funds for the additional 24 top-tier projects.
The 21st Century Jobs Fund is a $2 billion, ten-year initiative proposed by Granholm, approved by the Michigan Legislature, and administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to accelerate the diversification of Michigan's economy. The commercialization component of the initiative devotes approximately $800 million for competitive-edge technologies in the targeted sectors of life sciences, alternative energy, advanced automotive materials and manufacturing, and homeland security/defense.
The 24 additional awards shown by competitive-edge technology sector:
|Advance auto, manufacturing, materials||11 awards totaling $20,216,509|
|Alternative energy||3 awards totaling $3,747,150|
|Homeland security, defense||3 awards totaling $2,994,488|
|Life Sciences||7 awards totaling $8,903,725|
The complete list of awardees is available online at www.michigan.org/21stcentury
Today's announcement culminates a process begun a little more than nine months ago with Granholms announcement of a request for proposals for 21st Century Jobs Fund commercialization funding.
Our goal was to select companies that are best positioned to help diversify Michigan’s economy, said Dr. David Canter, chair of the SEIC and head of Pfizer research operations in Ann Arbor. The companies we chose to invest in have undergone intense interviews and scrutiny and represent the best-of-the-best proposals we received.
The original field of 505 proposals was narrowed to 179 finalists by an independent peer-review process conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The 179 finalists recently underwent intense, individual interviews by AAAS experts who then made final recommendations to the SEIC board.
The AAAS is the world's largest science and engineering association and publisher of Science magazine. Awardees include researchers at Michigan public universities and private research institutes and entrepreneurs working to commercialize technology-based products.
The 21st Century Jobs Fund competition incorporates a new emphasis on entrepreneurship that can take research deliverables to the marketplace, MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. Today's funding awards will lead directly to the creation of new Michigan businesses and good-paying jobs for Michigan workers in years to come.
Each of the awards will be administered by the MEDC with contracts that establish conditions and mileposts for receipt of funds. Contracts, individually tailored to each proposal, will be finalized by the MEDC's general counsel in consultation with the Michigan attorney general. The MEDC employs portfolio managers, similar to those of venture capital operations, who will oversee the progress of the projects. Award funding will be paid out incrementally as project milestones established in the proposal and contract are achieved.
The contract and funding process will be overseen by the chief compliance officer, a position required by the 21st Century Jobs Fund legislation.
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. For more information about the MEDC and the Jobs Fund, visit the Website at www.michigan.org.
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