©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan Shares SmartZone Success at National Conference

Friday, November 01, 2002

Jennifer Owens
(517) 335-4590

State Presenting at the National Research Parks Conference

Officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Kalamazoo SmartZone will present at the Association of University Research Parks annual conference in New Orleans today.Michigan was chosen to be one of six presenters on the subject of successful research park partnerships at the national conference.The presentation will give an overview of the Michigan SmartZone program and focus in particular on the Kalamazoo SmartZone and the successful partnerships that have driven its development.

“The SmartZones have proven very effective at bringing business and academia together to spur effective commercialization,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“I am proud that the Kalamazoo SmartZone partnership with Western Michigan University has been nationally recognized as an example of successful collaboration.”

The Kalamazoo SmartZone is made up of a partnership between the MEDC, the city of Kalamazoo, Southwest Michigan First and Western Michigan University.The Kalamazoo SmartZone focuses on advanced engineering, IT and life sciences industries.

The Business Technology and Research Park is at the heart of the Kalamazoo SmartZone.The 137-acre park, which has been established for business development, is part of Western Michigan University’s 265-acre Parkview campus.The zone also houses the Southwestern Michigan Innovation Center an incubator and accelerator facility that supports start-up companies involved in pharmaceutical product development.

"The partnership involving the university, the city, the private sector and the state has proven wonderfully successful," said Bob Miller, Western Michigan University’s associate vice president for community outreach."Already, we've won commitments from 11 partner firms, who have been attracted to the SmartZone by the prospect of collaboration with a major research university and the opportunity to take advantage of business incubator/accelerator services."

Since the inception of the SmartZones in April 2001, 24 companies have located within Michigan SmartZones and six new business incubator facilities are either under construction or operational. To date, SmartZones have spurred more than $120 million in private investment in the state.

A detailed listing of the 11 SmartZones is available through the MEDC Web site at www.michigan.org.

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.