Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Projects Under Review Target Job Creation in Three High-Tech Sectors
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has received 131 full proposals for innovative projects seeking to benefit from $24 million in funding available from the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor this year. The ultimate goal of the funding is to spur research, commercialization and job creation in the life sciences, advanced automotive manufacturing and homeland security industry sectors.
"One of the keys to creating new jobs in Michigan is to empower the entrepreneurs who are turning great research into commercial products," Granholm said. "The proposals we have received for this year's Technology Tri-Corridor funding represent many of the best ideas out there; now it is time to select the best of the best for funding that will help bring those ideas to fruition."
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused, seven-point plan for economic growth. The Technology Tri-Corridor is one element of the plan, targeting job creation in the three high-growth, high-opportunity industry sectors.
Proposals requesting a total of more than $176 million were received from universities, nonprofit and private research facilities, companies and individuals. Fifty-two proposals are in basic or applied research, while another 36 are for services related to commercialization, such as venture fund investment, brokering services, market research and strategic planning. The remaining 43 projects deal with technology ready for commercialization. All proposals are in the three sectors targeted by the Tri-Corridor.
The proposals include a wide range of projects, including a fuel cell commercialization incubator, an unmanned aerial vehicle for homeland security and a new treatment for acute renal failure.
"The Technology Tri-Corridor initiative seeks out and supports those with the best ideas and the drive to make them happen, with the ultimate goal of growing and diversifying Michigan's economy," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Based on the quality of proposals we received, there will be some very exciting developments coming out of this year's pool of award recipients."
The Technology Tri-Corridor is built on the successful model of the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor. Between 2000 and 2003, the Life Sciences Corridor Fund allocated $175 million through 96 awards.
Final awards, expected to be announced in June, will be based on a competitive, independent peer review-based process conducted by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. AAAS will independently evaluate the proposals, interview candidates and make funding recommendations to the Tri-Corridor Steering Committee for final selections.
AAAS, publisher of Science magazine, is the world's largest association of scientists and engineers with 135,000 members.
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.