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Funding awarded by:

Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment

Grant Period:

August 1, 2015-July 31, 2017

Grant amount:



To provide immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The coalition coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry

The AMDC will support resiliency and capacity in:

  • Autonomous transportation and connected mobility (particularly the electronics, sensors, and componentry sector)
  • Lightweight materials manufacturing sector
  • Information Technology with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products


Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative Executive Subcommittee
Macomb County
Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board
Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan
Michigan Defense Center
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Merit Network
  • A social network analysis of regional defense stakeholders, broadly defined across industry sectors, to identify where thought leadership, partnerships, innovative thinking, and collaboration are already occurring to reveal key leaders who are missing from “the table,” and others who might provide critical thinking or serve as points of intersection across key initiatives.
  • An economic impact analysis with special focus on how different federal contract assumptions affect area supply chain. This project is leveraging the MDC’s Protect & Grow project. Access here: (insert document link)
  • A skills gap analysis to examine major occupational competencies that support the region’s defense industry, both now and anticipated in the future, with a focus on cybersecurity and automation.
  • Asset mapping of regional infrastructure related to IT-security, connected/autonomous transportation systems and products, lightweight metals, and other critical defense-relevant sectors. An assessment of relevant education and training programs, incubators, R&D programs, special funding streams, unique testing equipment and facilities, etc. Gathered information will be included in a searchable, online database.
  • Action plans and staffing support for MASC, the Michigan Automated Systems Collaborative, a robotics and automation cluster in Southeast Michigan.
  • Development of a regional plan that explores how best to align assets and efforts related to vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity, but also how efforts could support and align with the broader opportunity of connected products. This will result in a thorough analysis of connectivity efforts and opportunities relevant to the strategic interests of the defense industry.
  • Analysis to identify defense related supply chains, including companies, their defense-related contracts, technical expertise, and where possible, geographic concentration both within and outside of Michigan. Secondly, the launch of 1-3 related demonstrations of autonomous and connected project technologies, with targeted firms receiving technical assistance and commercialization support for their concepts. Partners will leverage ARIBO-Applied Robotics for Installation and Base Operations.
  • Creation of the iBridge Network Pilot Microsite for Michigan Defense Innovation Ecosystem and technology transfer plan to help spur regional innovation and further encourage meaningful linkages between partners within the region, but also BEYOND the region. The project will result in the creation of a summary-level technology transfer and commercialization plan that leverages the region’s defense relevant industry strengths.
  • Enhancements to the state of Michigan’s Bid Targeting System to better connect suppliers to business opportunities.
  • The Defense Contractor Transition Center to assist displaced defense workers in finding other opportunities.
  • More focused staffing for Opportunity Detroit Tech, supporting the partnership’s ability to grow linkages to other IT employers in the region and engage them more broadly in talent solutions, like the Experience IT boot camp and the Regional Cyber Security Training Center.
  • The formation of a regional connected life collaborative and a strategy and implementation plan for a Connected Life Lab (internet of things) aimed at entrepreneurship and commercialization around connected products.
  • The development of Michigan Cyber Range facilities and Merit Secure Sandboxes for education, training exercises and software testing. This will allow use for private industry to harden and test products and allow current cyber professionals to sharpen their skills and learning opportunities for students. This will include architectural assessments, development of conceptual/schematic designs, permits, and modest technology purchases (e.g., computers and secure internet service) to help regional partners establish cyber laboratories/sandboxes on their facilities, and business planning to support the centers. Funding will not support direct construction or build-out costs.
  • The creation of a pilot virtual cybersecurity training center through a partnership between the Michigan National Guard, Michigan Defense Center, the Michigan Cyber Range, Wayne State University, and other Advance Michigan talent partners, including numerous community colleges and workforce development agencies. This is a virtual center that can be rapidly deployed as proof of concept for a larger brick-and-mortar center.
  • Project Management, including the development of grant-related infrastructure, including website, data purchases, and a forum for partner convening.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Tricia Walding, Senior Project Manager, at

Press Release

Michigan Coalition receives $5.97 million Department of Defense Grant

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