SOUTHFIELD—An $813,330 U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant will boost Michigan’s circular economy through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s NextCycle Michigan initiative.
EGLE launched NextCycle Michigan in 2021 to connect entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, and communities to technical support, financial resources, and capacity building for recycling, recovery, and reuse initiatives. Resource Recycling Systems, an Ann Arbor-based recycling and resource conservation consultant, manages and facilitates the partnership, innovation and engagement initiative, in collaboration with the Michigan Recycling Coalition and the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University.
The EDA announced the grant to NextCycle program partner Centrepolis for a $1.63 million project to advance tech entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. Working with EGLE, RRS, and MRC, Centrepolis plans to produce and expand assistance to disadvantaged businesses and communities including:
- Technical assistance to remove structural market barriers, and use technology and service solutions to focus on capacity building for recycling, recovery and reuse initiatives in distressed communities and upstream and downstream markets. Upstream refers to businesses, projects and programs that prevent waste (upstream of production) while downstream refers to projects that improve, innovate or expand material and organic recycling, recovery and end uses (downstream from production of the product or packaging.
- Entrepreneur support, including coaching, investor connections, and programing, coordinated through Michigan SmartZones.
- Technology commercialization assistance, including access to university laboratories, testing, and product road mapping.
- Circular economy events to convene industry and recycling value chain stakeholders within underserved communities to harness economic opportunities, investment, and job creation statewide.
The project is expected to significantly grow Michigan’s circular economy by generating high-skilled, high-paying jobs and economic growth; removing market barriers; spurring innovative technology and service deployment; and supporting a partnership, innovation and engagement focus on Michigan’s distressed communities. Circular economy refers to eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. The focus on reuse and recycling aligns with the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan goal of tripling Michigan’s 2005 recycling rate to 45% by 2030.
EDA awards grants competitively based upon funding availability and applicants’ merit and eligibility. More information is available at eda.gov or by calling the EDA at 202-482-2900.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
The Centrepolis Accelerator at LTU works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to innovate and commercialize technology solutions in the cleantech, climatech, and circular economies. Since launching in October 2020, Centrepolis has supported 188 projects and attracted $668 million in circular economy funding to Michigan. Learn more at www.centrepolisaccelerator.com.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. The Wall Street Journal ranks LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, theory and practice education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.