Thursday, January 29, 2004
MEDC Funding Supports Alternative Energy Research and Education
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will provide $500,000 toward the development of Kettering University's Center for Fuel Cell Systems and Powertrain Integration in Flint.
"I promised last summer-in the midst of a very challenging budget year-that the state would come through with funding for the Center as part of a plan to jump-start Flint's economic future," Granholm said. "I am pleased to announce that this promise has been kept.
"Fuel cell technology is the future of the automotive industry and vital to our state's future. I commend Kettering University for seizing these opportunities and taking the initiative to train the next-generation workforce that will be needed to support the industry."
The Center is a key component of Flint's economic development strategy. The long-term goal of the facility is to incubate and develop companies that will focus on new and emerging fuel cell technologies, eventually spinning them off into the university's Technology and Research Park. The park is located in a state-designated Renaissance Zone, allowing companies located there the ability to operate free of nearly all state and local taxes.
"Michigan is at the forefront of alternative energy research, education and development, and Kettering University's innovative leadership is one reason why," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "The university is carving a niche for itself by focusing on the development of a Michigan-based hydrogen fuel workforce and economy."
Kettering University will use the state funding to pay for key alternative energy equipment that will support fuel cell research and education.
Kettering was also recently awarded a NextEnergy education grant of $100,000 toward development of a curriculum in Alternative Energy Technology. NextEnergy is a nonprofit corporation created by the State of Michigan to spur alternative energy research, development, manufacturing and education.
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.