National Center for Manufacturing Sciences Selected to Lead 2008 21st Century Jobs Fund Competition Peer Review Process

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Granholm and MEDC and CEO James C. Epolito today announced that NCMS has been selected by the SEIC Board to administer the independent peer review process for the 2008 21st Century Jobs Fund Business Plan Competition

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO JamesC. Epolito today announced that Ann Arbor-based National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has been selected by the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization (SEIC) Board to administer the independent peer review process for the 2008 21st Century Jobs Fund Business Plan Competition. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board today entered into a contract with NCMS. The agreement is subject to final authorization by the State Administrative Board.  

“The 21st Century Jobs Fund is enabling us to diversify our economy and grow high-tech companies,” Granholm said. “Partnering with NCMS will help us to mine the significant resources we have in technology and talent and turn them into good-paying jobs for our citizens.”     

The 21st Century Jobs Fund is a $2 billion, ten-year initiative proposed by Governor Granholm, approved by the Michigan Legislature, and administered by the MEDC to accelerate the diversification of Michigan’s economy. The first round of funding resulted in the SEIC Board awarding $126.3 million to 78 organizations. Those organizations, in turn, are doing high-tech research, commercializing new products, and creating new jobs.

As peer review service provider, NCMS will oversee the evaluation of proposals based on commercialization merit, scientific and technical merit, management team strengths and the ability to leverage additional funding. Other duties will include managing applications, assigning reviewers to specific proposals, scoring proposals through the MEDC’s electronic award management system, and making recommendations for funding. 

“An excellent reputation within and outside Michigan and solid track record were key factors in our decision to select NCMS,” said Epolito, who also serves as president and chairman of the MSF board. “We look forward to working with such a highly esteemed group of experts to execute a successful business plan competition and grow new companies and jobs in Michigan.” 

Founded in 1986, NCMS is a not-for-profit industrial organization with over 150 corporate members drawn from a wide variety of industrial, research, academic and manufacturing sectors.

With nearly 22 years of experience managing collaborative R&D programs aimed at accelerating technology deployment, NCMS has a vast network of industry and academic partners that work together to enhance the global competitiveness of technology innovation.

“NCMS is excited to lead Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund Business Plan Competition Peer Review Process,” said Rick Jarman, NCMS President & CEO. “We will use our experience commercializing innovative technology to identify the business plans that have the best potential to create long term job growth for Michigan.”

Proposals in this round focus on companies in the later stages of development that are ready to create jobs. Proposals will be accepted only from for-profit companies thatdemonstrate a viable and sustainable business opportunity in the competitive-edge sectors of life sciences, alternative energy, advanced automotive materials and manufacturing, and homeland security and defense.

“We are focused on targeting and funding the most promising commercialization opportunities to help grow Michigan’s high-tech economy,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, chairman of the SEIC board and principal of Bridge Street Partners LLC in Grand Rapids. “NCMS has the experience and know-how that will greatly complement our efforts. I am pleased to welcome them to the team.”

The 2008 21st Century Jobs Fund Competition will close on June 30. Proposals must be submitted electronically and are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on that day. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is available online at along with specifics on the application process. An application fee of $500 is required for each proposal and is due at the time of submission. 

Awards, which will be in the form of loans or convertible loans at the discretion of the SEIC board, will be announced in October.

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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.