Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Fraunhofer USA currently has eight centers focused on sustainable energy, manufacturing innovation, biotechnology, medical devices, software engineering, lasers and coatings. The three Michigan centers include the headquarters in Plymouth, the Center for Laser Technology and the Center for Coatings & Laser Applications.
The Partnership Forum brought Snyder together with a select audience from Germany and Michigan to discuss its innovative cluster concept. Under the concept, leading universities and industries partner to accelerate product and process commercialization in advanced electrification storage technologies.
All three Michigan Fraunhofer centers are partnered with Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Fraunhofer's most recent partnership with U-M was started in 2009 and was funded through a seed program for Alternative Energy Technologies for Transportation. The success of the AETT partnership led to formation of the Clean Transportation Innovation Cluster which both U-M and Fraunhofer hope to expand to include industry partners.
Snyder participated in the forum with German and American executives in the advanced energy storage industry, Fraunhofer staff from Michigan and Germany, and representatives from Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
The Fraunhofer Institutes are the model for a new $1 billion private-public partnership program now being considered by the federal government. The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation would be a joint effort between the U.S. departments of Defense and Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Its goal would be to "revitalize U.S. manufacturing. . . through a network of institutes where researchers, companies and entrepreneurs can come together to develop new manufacturing technologies with broad applications," according to the budget submission.
Snyder arrived in Turin, Italy on Sunday with a delegation of state and local officials and economic developers for an eight-day investment mission to strengthen relationships and attract job-creating investments. They will spend the rest of the week in Germany meeting with government officials and business executives before returning on Saturday.
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