and the national laboratories. “We look at this as an opportunity for Michigan companies to plug into federal opportunities they may have not had before,” Mr. Shreffler said. That could retain jobs in the state and advance common research and commercialization to “help drive this dual-use holy grail we have been talking about,” he said.
The state already has entered into a number of cooperative agreements. Michigan, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and TARDEC have pooled resources for a $27 million development project over three years to commercialize advanced-storage and light-weight material research in DOE labs and adapt it for military use, for example. By demonstrating the approach is successful, “we hope this could be an opportunity for more solid and expanded funding going forward,” he said. “It is our charge to really make this a relevant opportunity for all stakeholders involved at the state and federal level to develop dual-use technologies.”
While “you will not find our team posing in front of a banner saying ‘Mission Accomplished,’” the MEDC has attained some of its early goals, Mr. Shreffler said. It has indentified opportunities, developed a strategy and “unique attraction tools,” successfully competed for Recovery Act funds, and begun attracting the advanced battery supply chain, he noted. Now the MEDC is focusing on building out the supply chain, assisting on regulatory and policy issues, and using the alliance to build collaboration among government, universities, and industry, he said. The MEDC also aims to keep exposing companies to complementary markets and pursuing new federal funding opportunities.