State Allocates Funds for Advanced Computing Hub, Incubator Programs

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for state-supported entrepreneurial programs.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved $250,000 to support a new advanced computing hub at Wayne State University as part of the statewide Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program. MTRAC seeks to accelerate the transfer of technology developed at Michigan universities to the private sector for commercial development. Wayne State also manages a biomedical MTRAC program that the state says has attracted $5.7 million in follow-on funding for 13 projects.

In addition, the MSF approved new funding for startup incubator programs across the state: Ann Arbor SPARK ($150,000); the Enterprise Group of Jackson ($150,000); Automation Alley ($100,000); TechTown Detroit ($100,000); and the city of Grand Rapids SmartZone ($100,000). Also getting a financial boost is the First Customer Program, administered by the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute, whose financial support has been renewed for another year. The program helps startups, as well as small businesses diversifying into new industries, to identify potential customers.

Earlier this month, U-M’s life sciences MTRAC hub received $2.5 million in state funding for 12 innovations. Among the finalists were teams from Beaumont Health, Michigan State University, Spectrum Health, Wayne State, and U-M. The projects receiving funding ranged from automated billing software to a system that provides instantaneous microscopic images during colonoscopies.

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