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eMacomb - Progress Through Partnerships, Fall 2015

Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative receives Department of Defense grant

A $5.97 million Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment grant was recently awarded to support the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC).

Co-chaired by Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Deputy Director Vicky Rad and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Michigan Defense Center (MDC) Vice President Sean Carlson, the AMDC is an expansive collaborative between multiple partnering organizations including Macomb County Planning & Economic Development, MDC, the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), Michigan National Guard and New Economy Initiative. The collaborative spans 13 counties in southeast Michigan and falls under a larger initiative known as Advance Michigan.

The Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board will serve as fiduciary of the grant; WIN and MDC will provide project management. The MEDC provided a cash match along with in-kind funding from the MDC to obtain these funds. Macomb County Planning & Economic Development and WIN also provided matching funds. Project costs total at $6.75 million.

Funds from the grant will support 15 major projects that promote research, industrial and talent development essential to the defense industry. For Macomb County and the region, the funding will benefit cross-sector industries that support defense and other industries in the enhancement of robotics, automated systems and connected vehicle technologies, as well as cybersecurity-related projects. In particular, the grant will assist the Michigan Automated Systems Collaborative, whose mission is to market and grow the robotic and automated system industries in Michigan.

Another project aiming to support autonomous transportation and connected mobility development is the conception of test environments in a real-world setting. This project will engage community stakeholders to identify urban challenges that could leverage defense-relevant technologies for solutions. Suppliers will have the opportunity to develop potential project concepts and those selected for deployment will receive technical assistance and support from area incubators, investors and others looking to develop jobs in the region.

AMDC will also oversee a defense industry economic impact analysis augmenting the MDC’s Protect and Grow Strategy currently underway. In part, this 24-month grant will support economic recovery, develop an innovative approach toward growing cross-sector talent and ensure sustainability and investment in Michigan’s defense-critical industry. Integral to Macomb County’s economy, it will help provide tools and resources to strengthen the defense industrial base and the talent it produces for the region.

“Macomb County is home to a dynamic and advanced defense industry. Over two thirds of all defense contracts in the state have a presence in Macomb County,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “With support from this grant, Macomb County will continue to strengthen its ties to the defense industry by investing in infrastructure, supporting businesses and advancing our workforce.”

Macomb County lists TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Selfridge Air National Guard Base among its defense industry assets. The cyber and robotic industries continue to grow in the county as well, as seen in the creation of the Michigan Automotive and Defense Cyber Assurance Team whose mission is to foster a healthy cybersecurity ecosystem that will drive technology innovation, encourage economic development and create a talented workforce in the region.

ADDITIONAL INFO/RELATED LINKS:

09/24/15 - Department of Defense Awards Grant to the Advance Michigan Defense Coalition – WDET

09/24/15 - Macomb County firms to benefit from DoD grant – Macomb Daily