Funding for fuel cell initiative

Jun 10, 2004

Kettering University has made the first cut to receive state funding for development of a fuel cell incubator on campus. The incubator could spur economic development in both Flint and Genesee County.

Kettering University is on the short list for a possible share of $24 million in funding from the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor this year. Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has narrowed the field of competitors to 53 from 131 in the running for a share of the funds designed to spur research, commercialization and job creation in the life sciences, advanced automotive manufacturing and homeland security industry sectors.

"Michigan has an incredible legacy as the cradle of research and innovation," Granholm said. "Technology Tri-Corridor funding helps fuel our innate entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging the commercialization of the great ideas hatched here. The quality and volume of the proposals is indicative of the wealth of talent that Michigan has to offer."

Proposals were submitted by universities, nonprofit and private research facilities, companies and individuals. More than half of the 53 finalists are working in homeland security or developing technology with anti-terrorism applications.

"Kettering's proposal will support programming of the Fuel Cell Commercialization Incubator (FCCI)," said Dr. Joel Berry, department head for Mechanical Engineering at Kettering. "Start up funds for incubator companies would provide marketing, research business services and legal support," Berry said. "The development of the incubator is the key strategy for Kettering and the Fuel Cell Center to spur economic development in Flint and Genesee County," he added.

In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused, seven-point plan for economic growth. The Technology Tri-Corridor is one element of the plan, targeting job creation in the three high-growth, high-opportunity industry sectors.

Professionals from the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the world's largest association of scientists and engineers, reviewed the original 131 proposals, narrowing the field to 53. The finalists are now participating in formal interviews, which will serve as the basis for funding recommendations to the Tri-Corridor Steering Committee. The awards are expected to be announced in late June.

Further information on the Technology Tri-Corridor is available on the MEDC's Web site at

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 MEDC and the Technology Tri-Corridor, visit our Web site at

Written by Dawn Hibbard
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