LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator gets MEDC mobility prototyping grant

SOUTHFIELDLawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), Tuesday announced the launch of the Mobility Prototype Grant Program, a pioneering initiative aimed at accelerating innovation in mobility and electrification technology in Michigan.

The grant program will provide funding and support to promising companies in the mobility and electrification sectors, facilitating product development partnerships with Michigan-based firms. Centrepolis, one of the few physical-product-focused business accelerators in the nation, will award up to $50,000 to at least eight companies, focused on technical assistance services including product development, prototyping, product testing, and manufacturing readiness.

The Mobility Prototype Grant Program is designed to address several critical needs within Michigans innovation ecosystem, including bridging the financing gap for hardware-based companies by providing essential support to startups and established firms in the mobility and electrification market. 

The Mobility Prototype Grant Program will focus on technology areas critical to the future of transportation, including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, off-road vehicles, marine, rail, two-and three-wheel vehicles, military vehicles, electric and autonomous vehicles, and aerospace, including vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and drones. To be eligible for the program, companies must be at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4 through 9 and be based in Michigan or demonstrate intent to develop and/or manufacture within the state.

The program is also encouraging applications from disadvantaged businesses, firms in distressed or rural communities, as well as companies relocating to Michigan or establishing new operations within the state.

“Michigan offers first class resources for development of physical products,” said Don Radomski, Centrepolis Accelerator CEO. This program allows mobility and electrification tech companies in Michigan as well as others throughout the globe to take advantage of our world class product development and prototyping services. The projects funded by this program will bring new products to market and ensure that Michigan continues to lead in both innovation and manufacturing of these mobility technologies,”

And Justine Johnson, chief mobility officer for the state of Michigan, said: “OFME has identified prototyping and manufacturing support as a key opportunity in economic development services for the mobility industry. By addressing this need, the state can support the attraction and retention of emerging mobility companies in Michigan, drive new business to Michigan manufacturers, and better align with priorities related to bolstering local supply chains.

Applications for the Mobility Prototype Grant Program must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2024. The application review process will commence immediately following the deadline, with contract awards slated for Aug. 31, 2024. A webinar is scheduled for Monday, April 29 from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time for those interested in applying and learning more about the program. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/mobilityfunding/mobility-prototype-grant/ 

The Centrepolis Accelerator, housed in Lawrence Technological University’s Enterprise Center in Southfield, is 6,300 square feet of business assistance for physical product developers and manufacturing companies, a unique niche among accelerators in Michigan. Clients include climatech, manufacturing startups, and existing companies looking to move up to the next level in product innovation. Services include product design, engineering, and prototyping, as well as business planning services, office space, co-working space, workshops, mentors and events.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive 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, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs @ LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best 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.

About the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org.

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