©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Lt. Governor Posthumus Announces SmartZones 11 Michigan Areas Receive High-Tech Designation

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Susan Shafer
(517) 335-6397

11 Michigan Areas Receive High-Tech Designation

11 Michigan Areas Receive High-Tech Designation

Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced the 11 SmartZone designations at a news conference in Livonia.

The newly designated SmartZones, which aim to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs by creating recognized clusters of technological businesses and research institutions throughout the state, include: the Battle Creek Aviation SmartZone, the Grand Rapids SmartZone, the Kalamazoo SmartZone, the Lansing Regional SmartZone, the Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone, the Mount Pleasant SmartZone, the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone, the Oakland Automation Alley SmartZone, the Pinnacle SmartZone, the Washtenaw SmartZone and the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone.

The SmartZones will bring business, research activities, and training and support services together in one location allowing for easy collaboration.

“Any initiative we can take to stimulate business expansion and create more jobs for Michigan workers is a major step forward, not only for business development, but for Michigan families as well,” Posthumus said. “These SmartZones encourage partnerships among the business, technology, education and research communities of our state, which will only heighten Michigan's role as an pioneering and technological leader.”

“Michigan has a history of raising the bar when it comes to innovative economic development.Our Renaissance Zones, Michigan Technical Education Centers and Brownfield Redevelopment program are the first initiatives of their kind and have been copied by other states,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“We believe SmartZones will continue that innovative and imitated reputation, as well as aid our state in gaining greater national and international recognition as a center for technological advancement.”

Following are descriptions of the awarded SmartZone designations:

  • Battle Creek Aviation SmartZone:The city of Battle Creek, Western Michigan University, Kellogg Community College and Battle Creek Unlimited will develop this zone.The local contact is James Hettinger, Battle Creek Unlimited, 616-962-7526.
  • Grand Rapids SmartZone: The city of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, the Right Place Program and the Van Andel Institute will develop this zone.The local contact is Susan Shannon, city of Grand Rapids, 616-456-3196.
  • Kalamazoo SmartZone: The city of Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University and Southwest Michigan First submitted this zone.The local contact is Barbara Gordon, city of Kalamazoo, 616-337-8362.
  • Lansing Regional SmartZone: The cities of Lansing and East Lansing, in partnership with Ingham County, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, MBI International, Michigan State University, the Michigan State University Foundation and the University Corporate Research Park will support this zone.The local contact is John Pearson, Ingham County Economic Development Corporation, 517-676-7210.
  • Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone:The cities of Houghton and Hancock, in partnership with Michigan Technological University offered this zone.The local contact is Peter Radecki, Michigan Technological University, 906-487-2228.
  • Mount Pleasant SmartZone: This zone was proposed by the city of Mount Pleasant in partnership with Central Michigan University, The Dow Chemical Corporation, IBM Corporation and Meijer Corporation.The local contact is George Dunn, Mid-Michigan Development Corporation, 517-772-2858.
  • Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone: The city of Muskegon, the County of Muskegon and Grand Valley State University, and Muskegon Area First championed this zone.The local contact is Todd Battle, Muskegon Area First, 231-722-3751.
  • Oakland Automation Alley SmartZone:This zone is a collaboration of the city of Southfield, Lawrence Technological University, and Oakland University, with support from Oakland County and Automation Alley.The local contact is Bob Dustman, city of Southfield, 248-858-1048.
  • Pinnacle SmartZone: The city of Romulus, Huron Township and Wayne County submitted this zone.The local contact is Dewitt Henry, Wayne County, 313-224-0410.
  • Washtenaw SmartZone:The zone was submitted by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority on behalf of the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and the Ann Arbor IT Zone, in partnership with the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, ERIM and the Washtenaw Development Council.The local contact is Susan Lackey, Washtenaw Development Council, 734-761-9317.
  • Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone: The city of Detroit and Wayne State University submitted the zone, in cooperation with General Motors Corporation and Henry Ford Health System.The local contacts are Faye Nelson, Wayne State University, 313-577-4228 and Gloria Robinson, city of Detroit, 313-224-6373.


The SmartZone program was created through amendments to the Local Development Financing Act. For more information on the SmartZone program, visit the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's website at www.michigan.org.