|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
October 19, 2001
Contact: Jennifer Kopp
SmartZone Coordinating Council Underway
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Brings Local SmartZone Representatives Together for Planning and Problem-Solving
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has brought local SmartZone representatives together for the first official meeting of the SmartZone Coordinating Council.The new group has been created to unify and coordinate the efforts of Michigan’s 11 SmartZones.
“The Coordinating Council recognizes that Michigan’s SmartZones share a common goal to spearhead the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs in the state,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“By sharing best practices and working together on a coordinated message, SmartZone leaders will be able to maximize their individual programs while enhancing the overall SmartZone initiative.”
The SmartZone Coordinating Council was created by the MEDC to provide a convenient forum for Michigan’s 11 SmartZones to:
- coordinate joint marketing efforts;
- share best practices;
- identify important issues;
- identify problems and obstacles to success; and
- create strategies for overcoming those obstacles.
“As 11 individual communities promoting our own SmartZone initiative, we will be highly competitive with each other.Yet we each have our own special niche,” said George Dunn, president of Middle Michigan Development Corporation and key contact for the Mount Pleasant SmartZone.“This council allows us to utilize our collective best efforts and present a unified state of Michigan SmartZone message.”
At yesterday’s meeting, participants discussed the role of the council and identified a common marketing brand that could be used by all Michigan SmartZones.The council will meet monthly in different areas of the state.
Michigan’s SmartZones program was created by the state legislature in 2000 and is administered by the MEDC.The MEDC designates zones to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs.The program focuses on recognized clusters of new and emerging businesses centered on commercializing ideas, patents and other opportunities.
SmartZones are allowed to capture the growth in property taxes within the zone’s boundaries, which is then used to further develop the zone.Examples of captured revenue uses include; construction of infrastructure, purchase of property and creating publicly owned high-tech business incubator facilities.
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. For more information about the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and SmartZones, visit their website at www.michigan.org.