Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Governor: Michigan is the Right Place for Companies to Grow
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today held private meetings with six defense industry leaders in an effort to attract more investments and jobs to Michigan. The meetings were conducted after the Governor spoke to attendees of the 2005 Michigan Defense and Innovation Conference in Ann Arbor.
"Michigan is rolling out the welcome mat to defense and homeland security companies that are looking to grow their business," Granholm told conferees. "Our unique combination of world-class research universities, R&D expertise and high-tech innovation makes Michigan a natural home for these companies, their investment and their products."
Granholm told the gathering of executives from major defense contractors and high-tech and start-up business, as well as university and non-profit research leaders, that Michigan's rich and deep talent pool in technological innovation and R&D makes the state the right place for defense and homeland security companies to grow.
Following her formal remarks, the Governor then held private meetings with representatives from General Dynamics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation).
During the two-day conference, hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), more than 200 attendees heard seminar leaders from the Air Force, Army and Navy on how to secure R&D contracts from the Department of Defense and its prime contractors.
Homeland security/defense is one of the competitive-edge target industries that will benefit from the 21st Century Jobs for Michigan Fund, which Granholm proposed last winter. Under that program, now awaiting final approval by the State House of Representatives, the homeland security/defense sector will be eligible for part of the $2 billion in state and private dollars to create jobs that can't be outsourced to India, China or Mexico. In addition to homeland security/defense, the Jobs for Michigan Fund will target alternative energy and advanced manufacturing industries to create a total of 72,000 high-paying jobs that can't be outsourced.
"The goal of this conference is to open doors for Michigan companies and researchers and to put their R&D expertise to work for the Department of Defense," said MEDC President and CEO James Epolito. "The defense industry has deep roots in Michigan, and we have the critical infrastructure in place to allow new technology companies to grow here."
Among research topics discussed at the conference were: energy and propulsion technologies; information technology and cybersecurity; nanotechnology and electronic materials; and, sensing & controls, unmanned systems, robotics and biotechnology.
Targeted incentives offered by the MEDC have encouraged expansions and created new jobs in Michigan in recent years by homeland security/defense companies including Smiths Aerospace, Patriot Antenna, Veridian and General Dynamics Land Systems.
The MEDC is a partnership of the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth through strategies and services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life in our state.