29 Oktober 2013

CAR Awarded Federal Grant to Study Automotive Bio-Based Materials Cluster in Southeast Michigan

Project to build a network of companies and organizations in two major sectors of the Michigan economy

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, October 24, 2013– Michigan, home to the greatest concentration of automotive production and innovation in North America, is also a national leader in agriculture, ranking second in bio-diversity of agricultural products. The Center for Automotive Research will be the lead in a recently funded project focused on the intersection of these two sectors.

CAR, along with several partners, submitted the proposal which was one of ten selected projects receiving a grant under the Make it in America Challenge, a federal initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States. The $1,471,800 grant will be shared amongst CAR and its partners, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board (M/SC WDB) and National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), collectively known as the “Biotech Partnership.”

“Our project, Building Capacity and Capability in the Bio-Based Materials Manufacturing Sector, will build and expand on this distinctive combination of assets to support job creation and attraction of domestic and foreign direct investment in the agricultural manufacturing sector, as well as greater development of a supply chain for bio-material products to support 2 the U.S. automotive industry,” said Kim Hill, director of the Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies group and project lead at CAR.

The federal grant will enable further development of a bio-based product manufacturing cluster as well as build potential ties and enhance existing relationships with the automotive manufacturing sector. The Biotech Partnership proposes to provide specific and specialized technical assistance to firms within the sector, and provide skills training for unemployed, incumbent, and new entrants in bio-based materials development with automotive industry applications. The project is also expected to provide technical assistance to Michigan companies through access to high performance computing tools for modeling and simulating bio-based materials. Goals are to build employment and facilitate new investment in bio-based materials manufacturing – specifically targeting automotive supply chain small- and medium-sized manufacturers. Further, the project will emphasize training strategies for Michigan workers along recognized career pathways. The project encompasses a contiguous 22-county area in southeast Michigan.

As this project progresses, the CAR team will integrate the work of the project to build a network of companies and organizations in these two major sectors of the Michigan economy.

Contact
Kim Hill, Director, Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies Group (734) Phone: 929-0488
E-Mail: khill@cargroup.org

Deb Menk, Senion Project Manager, Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies Group
Phone: 734-929-0497
E-Mail: dmenk@cargroup.org

Source: Center for Automotive Research (CAR), press release, 2013-10-23.

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