Friday, July 19, 2002
SmartZone Coordinating Council Members Share Recent Success
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Wayne State University hosted a SmartZone Coordinating Council meeting on July 17, 2002.Representatives from many of the state’s 11 SmartZones were on hand to give an update of the progress in their respective Zones.
“Michigan’s SmartZones are clearly picking up steam and have the potential to surpass our original expectations,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The successful partnerships formed between communities, businesses and educational institutions are invaluable, offering communities fertile ground to nurture high-tech industry and create jobs.”
Many successes were reported at the meeting including the news that the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone in downtown Detroit has laid the plans to break ground on their research and technology park by the end of the summer. The Muskegon SmartZone Incubator known as the “Launch Pad” has already “graduated” two companies that have moved out of the incubator facility to go it on their own. The Muskegon SmartZone has also announced that Siemens Corporation will partner with Grand Valley State University to develop a facility that will include an alternative energy research center and an incubator for alternative energy ventures. The Kalamazoo SmartZone has broken ground on the Innovation Center, which promises to be a state-of-the-art incubator facility promoting high-high tech development.
Since the inception of the SmartZones in April 2001, 18 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 $80 million in private investment in the state.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation designated 11 SmartZones, which are specific geographical areas throughout the state where property taxes may be captured within the boundaries of the zone for use within the zone. Each of the zones has a specific high-tech focus to encourage the clustering of related high-tech ventures.
The SmartZones have several goals including: increasing the awareness of Michigan’s advantages in high-technology, creating nurturing environments for high-tech business and fostering a working partnership among business leaders, educational institutions and local government.
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.