Investment in Diversifying Michigan's Economy Underway

Contact: Mike Shore 517-335-4590

December 21, 2005

Statewide Meetings to Highlight New Business Development Funds Available Through 21st Century Jobs Initiative

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today announced a series of meetings around the state to help businesses understand the new 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative and the funding/application process.   The fund is part of the Governor's Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow plan to grow Michigan's economy.  It will encourage job growth by helping to invest in new businesses and new technology development with a high-potential for job growth in the future.  The meetings are designed to provide more information about access to the new funds to potential business startups, researchers and product developers. 

"The 21st Century Jobs Fund will enable us to take a giant leap towards diversifying our economy and create thousands of high-tech, high-paying jobs," Granholm said. "These sessions will help link Michigan researchers and entrepreneurs with a critical funding source to help transform today's cutting-edge research into tomorrow's businesses, jobs and products."

Each information session will focus on presenting the program's request for proposals, proposal due dates, peer review process, eligibility requirements, funding categories, evaluation criteria and other meaningful information for potential applicants.

The informational sessions will be held at the following locations:

  • Jan. 11 - Traverse City (9:00-11:00 a.m.) at Northwestern Michigan College

  • Jan. 12 - Troy (9:30-11:30 a.m.) at Automation Alley

  • Jan. 13 - Mt. Pleasant (10:00 a.m. -Noon) at the Comfort Inn
                  Battle Creek (10:00 a.m. -Noon) at the WMU College of Aviation

  • Jan. 17 - Grand Rapids (9:00-11:00 a.m.) at the GVSU Auditorium
                  Kalamazoo (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College

  • Jan. 18 - Flint (9:00-11:00 a.m.) at Kettering University
                  Saginaw (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Saginaw Valley State University

  • Jan. 19 - Detroit (9:00-11:00 a.m.) at TechTown in the NextEnergy Center

  • Jan. 20 - East Lansing (10:00 a.m. -Noon) at Michigan State University, Kellogg Center
                  Ann Arbor (10:00 a.m.-Noon) at the IT Zone

  • Jan. 24 - Houghton (10:00 a.m.-Noon) at Michigan Technical University

More information and exact meeting locations can be found on the MEDC Web site,

Signed into law by Governor Granholm last month, the 21st Century Jobs Fund will allocate nearly $400 million of the state's tobacco settlement revenue in 2006-07 to support commercialization, capital investment and commercial lending efforts in the areas of life sciences, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing and homeland security and defense. 

The newly appointed Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board (SEIC) will be responsible for administering grants and loans made to support competitive-edge technology investments in the targeted sectors. Based on the successful model of the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor and Technology Tri-Corridor Initiatives, the SEIC will make awards based on an independent, peer-review process. Only proposals that meet the program's strict criteria and are judged meritorious by the independent reviewers will receive funding.    

"The MEDC is ready to execute the state's newest economic development initiative, and this tour will go far in getting information to key stakeholders," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said. "The 21st Century Jobs Fund is going to help transform our economy and make Michigan a hotbed of high-tech innovation."

The MEDC will assist in administering the 21st Century Jobs Fund research and commercialization program. Request for proposals are expected to be issued next month, with the first round of awardees expected to be announced in June.

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 on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at