Ricardo, Sakti3 Expansions Propel Michigan's Alternative Energy Leadership

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

High-tech companies to invest $3.1 million, create 278 new jobs

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that two high-tech companies—Ricardo Inc., and Sakti3—are locating and expanding their alternative energy operations in Michigan. Combined, the companies will invest more than $3.1 million to grow in Van Buren Township and Ann Arbor and create 278 new Michigan jobs. Assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped win the projects over competing sites in other states.

“Attracting and growing alternative energy companies is a key part of our comprehensive plan to create jobs and diversify Michigan’s economy,” Granholm said. “These companies are a great example of how our focus on alternative energy is creating new jobs and propelling our state to the forefront of this industry.”

The two projects announced today:

Ricardo Inc., the Eco-Innovation Technology Company and a leading independent provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world's automotive, transport and new energy industries with a skill base representing the state-of-the-art in low emissions and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, will invest more than $2 million to establish a Battery Systems Development Center for hybrid and electric vehicle battery pack development and testing at its facility in Van Buren Township. The project is expected to create 32 new jobs directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will create additional 16 spin-off jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a state tax credit valued at $991,000 over 10 years to win the company’s investment over a competing site in Illinois. To support the project, Van Buren Township will consider an eight year abatement worth approximately $74,200 when combined with savings under the new Michigan Business Tax.

Sakti3: The high-tech startup company plans to invest $1.1 million to commercialize a manufacturing process in Ann Arbor for the development of high-power batteries that will withstand the rigors of automotive use, primarily in electric vehicles. The technology for this process stemmed from research performed at the University of Michigan by the company’s CEO, Professor Ann Marie Sastry. The project is expected to create 230 new jobs, including 112 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a state tax credit valued at $2.3 million over 10 years to win the company’s investment over a competing site in California. To support the project, Ann Arbor SPARK paid the assistance during the MEGA application process.   

“These projects underscore the governor’s aggressive plan to transform and grow our economy,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “As the automotive R&D capital of world, we are committed to being the state that designs and produces the next generation of engines and vehicles that will end our dependence on foreign oil.”

The expansions are three of 12 economic development projects the governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create and retain a total of 6,066 Michigan jobs.

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 226,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.