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Federal grant supports NextCycle Michigan

$813,300 will increase entrepreneurship support and advance state recycling goals

An $813,330 U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant will boost Michigan’s circular economy through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) NextCycle Michigan initiative.

EGLE launched NextCycle Michigan in 2021 to connect entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, and communities to technical support, financial resources, and capacity building for recycling, recovery, and reuse initiatives. Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) manages and facilitates the partnership, innovation, and engagement initiative in collaboration with the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University and the Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC).

The EDA announced the grant to Centrepolis for a $1.63 million project to advance tech entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. Working with EGLE, RRS, and the MRC, Centrepolis plans to produce and expand assistance to disadvantaged businesses and communities including:

  • Technical assistance to remove structural market barriers and use technology and service solutions to focus on capacity building for recycling, recovery, and reuse initiatives in distressed communities and upstream and downstream markets. Upstream refers to businesses, projects and programs that prevent waste “upstream” from production, while downstream refers to projects that improve, innovate, or expand material and organic recycling, recovery, and end uses “downstream” from production of the product or packaging.
  • Entrepreneur support, including coaching, investor connections, and programming, coordinated through Michigan SmartZones.
  • Technology commercialization assistance, including access to university labs, testing, and product road mapping.
  • Circular economy events to convene industry and recycling value chain stakeholders within underserved communities to harness economic opportunities, investment, and job creation statewide.

The project is expected to significantly grow Michigan’s circular economy by generating high-skilled, high-paying jobs and economic growth; removing market barriers; spurring innovative technology and service deployment; and supporting a partnership, innovation, and engagement focus on Michigan's distressed communities. Circular economy refers to eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. The focus on reuse and recycling aligns with the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan goal of tripling Michigan’s 2005 recycling rate to 45% by 2030.

EDA awards grants competitively based upon funding availability and applicants’ merit and eligibility. More information is available at eda.gov or by calling the EDA at 202-482-2900.