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Granholm Announces Mount Pleasant Firm Wins First Matching Grant from Tech Tri-Corridor Fund

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Paul Krepps, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

State's $15,000 Support Helps DCM Win Federal Funding Award

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that Mount Pleasant-based DCM Associates, a company developing online training courses for the handling of hazardous materials, has become the first startup company to qualify for a matching grant from the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor's Emerging Business Fund. The matching fund helps entrepreneurs strengthen their applications for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants in the life sciences, homeland security and advanced automotive technology sectors.

"DCM is just the kind of start-up company we need to nurture here in our Technology Tri-Corridor," Granholm said. "The Emerging Business Fund represents a strong commitment from the state to help new, high-tech businesses take root in Michigan and create new jobs."

The Technology Tri-Corridor fosters growth in Michigan's life sciences, advanced automotive technologies and homeland security industries through funding and resource collaboration, focusing on emerging technology sectors. The Tri-Corridor is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and built on the successful model of the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor. Between 2000 and 2004, the Life Sciences Corridor Fund and Technology Tri-Corridor Fund have allocated a total of more than $200 million through 118 awards.

"For a start-up tech company in mid-Michigan, the MEDC's support has been priceless, not only in this SBIR application support but also for supporting other groups that have been instrumental in our success," said DCM president Deborah Marmarelli. "These Tri-Corridor matching funds will help us prove our product's feasibility and get a better start in product marketing."

The Emerging Business Fund, detailed in the Governor's 2004 State of the State address as part of her seven-point plan to grow Michigan's economy, will make a total of $1 million in 2004 Technology Tri-Corridor funding available for matching grants. Grants of up to $15,000 are available from the Emerging Business Fund for research and development leading to products with commercial potential. The fund is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  

"Qualifying for SBIR awards is highly competitive and expensive. These state awards will significantly increase a company's chances of receiving federal funding," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Helping Michigan's smart and innovative enterprises develop leading-edge technology is a catalyst for creating new jobs in the state."

DCM received an SBIR grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences for its plan to create web-based training for the transportation of hazardous materials. Each year, 10 federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for SBIR awards. The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and Department of Defense are among the likely sources of SBIR funding for the three Tri-Corridor sectors Michigan is targeting.

The matching fund complements other MEDC initiatives to encourage the growth of small businesses in emerging fields. Among them is the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest, supported by the MEDC. DCM Associates was a first-place GLEQ winner last fall in the ongoing statewide business plan competition.

For more information about the SBIR Emerging Business Fund or to submit an application electronically, please visit the TTC Web site at www.medc.michigan.org/ttc.

DCM Associates was formed in 2002, has four part time employees and anticipates having 20 employees in 2006. The company has an office in Mount Pleasant and is opening another office in Central Michigan University's Center for Applied Research & Technology.

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.