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Michigan Economic Development Corporation Announces Funding for the Michigan Microsystems Alliance

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Jennifer Kopp
(517) 335-4590

$2.5 Million From the Michigan Growth Capital Fund Dedicated to New Venture

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today that the Michigan Microsystems Alliance has been designated as the first Michigan Growth Capital Fund recipient with an award of $2.5 million.

This alliance, headed by a board that includes representatives from the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University, MEDC, Ardesta and Integrated Sensing Systems, has been formed to further grow Michigan’s microsystems industry presence.

“Michigan is positioning itself as a leader in the emerging field of microsystems,” said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This concerted effort between Michigan’s leading MEMS business and university leaders will move that direction forward.”

The award to the alliance will be a challenge grant to encourage additional private and public funding.Part of the funding also may be used to create a microsystems product development center to accelerate the commercial production of microsystem products.

A study now being conducted by microsystems expert Roger Grace will develop an industry growth strategy for the alliance to follow.The study’s recommendations will be presented to the alliance by December 2001.These recommendations will be the key to ensuring that Michigan stays ahead of other regions in microsystems development.

"Microsystems technology will have tremendously important applications in many different areas of everyday life, including healthcare and the environment," said Stephen W. Director, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan."Commercial applications of Michigan engineers' work in microsystems will provide more convenience for consumers, present new opportunities to entrepreneurs, and create good jobs for the local economy.I am pleased to see MEDC assist in the commercialization of one of the college's research strengths."

The $5 million Michigan Growth Capital Fund was created to encourage further private and public investments in Michigan’s technology business sector. Eligible uses of the new fund include:

·Investments in organizations and programs that create and promote the development of new industry sectors in Michigan;

·Inducements to attract additional venture capital funds to finance technology development;

·Support organizations, initiatives or events that promote entrepreneurship; and

·Support technology transfer and commercialization programs with universities and the private sector.

"It is very appropriate that the first Michigan Growth Capital Fund award should go to microsystems, the state's leading emerging technology," said Rick Snyder, CEO, Ardesta and member of the Michigan Microsystems Alliance board of directors said.

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.