Theresa Fraley

For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2009

For continued support of southeast Michigan’s economic transformation

Detroit, MI – Today, the New Economy Initiative (NEI) announced more than $3 million in grants to support four collaborative efforts that will support southeast Michigan’s economic shift to a knowledge-based economy.

“The metro-Detroit region has unique assets upon which to build a strong innovative economy — our international border crossing, major research universities, manufacturing capacity, a creative class and our historic innovative spirit. Such assets are the essential building blocks for creating and attracting new business opportunities and will lead to a well-trained, well-employed workforce in a vibrant, growing economy in the long term,” said David Egner, executive director of NEI.

More than $3 million was awarded to the following organizations:

  • A grant of $2.5 million over two years was awarded to the Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) to provide financing to creative businesses wishing to locate in the greater downtown area and to help them offset the costs associated with starting a business in the city via the Creative Corridor Incentive Fund (CCIF).

NEI’s investment in the CCIF will support the redevelopment of up to 125,000 square feet of creative business real estate in the corridor and create approximately 400 new jobs over a three to five year period.  The CCIF will be operated by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) on behalf of DEGA.

DEGC will work with several partners to implement the CCIF, including the Detroit Investment Fund (DIF).  DEGC and DIF currently work closely together to maximize their efforts such as sharing information about business prospects, financing needs, appropriate financing tools and incentives and leverage each other’s tools and services. This project is another great opportunity for collaboration among the organizations.

  • A grant of $202,500 was awarded to Michigan State University for support to assess southeast Michigan’s supply chain assets in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber and Wayne State University.  The results of this assessment will ultimately be utilized to help stimulate the development of the region as a global transportation and logistics hub.

The assessment will be led by MSU supply chain management faculty, along with faculty  from Wayne State University and senior leaders from the Detroit Regional Chamber.  It will be a six-month “Opportunity Assessment” effort to examine whether innovations to the global supply chain could promote lasting economic development and job growth for southeast Michigan.

  • A grant of $153,000 was awarded to the Detroit Regional Chamber to support the Michigan Security Network. This grant will allow the Michigan Security Network to pursue immediate opportunities and advance long-term strategies related to southeast Michigan’s unique role and asset base in homeland security.
  • A grant of $200,000 over two years was awarded to the Detroit Economic Growth Association (DEGA) to support facilitation of an Alternative and Renewable Energy Economic Development Initiative for Detroit with DTE Energy. In an effort to maintain the collaborative momentum spurred by its initial work in this area, DTE Energy, together with DEGA, aims to: identify and define target opportunities for attraction and retention, develop a message/case for business, deliver the message to targeted audiences, and facilitate business deals. In addition to these four steps, DTE Energy and DEGA intend to work closely with allied economic development groups in business attraction and retention efforts.

DTE Energy and DEGA will serve as co-leaders for the project.  DTE Energy will provide  leadership and  project direction in energy related initiatives.  DEGA will provide  expertise in techniques for business attraction, development and financing, project  management, industrial park development and Brownfield redevelopment.
The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan (NEI) is the one of the largest philanthropic initiatives focused on regional economic development in the country, helping to restore southeast Michigan to a position of leadership in the new global economy.  Ten national, regional and local foundations have committed $100 million to this unprecedented eight-year initiative, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit), the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (Southfield, Michigan), the Ford Foundation (New York), the Hudson-Webber Foundation (Detroit), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, Michigan), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Miami), The Kresge Foundation (Troy, Michigan), the McGregor Fund (Detroit), the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint, Michigan), and the Skillman Foundation (Detroit). The participating foundations are leading the implementation and governance of the Initiative. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which initiated the collaborative, is serving as its administrative home.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan.  The Foundation works to improve the region’s quality of life by connecting those who care with causes that matter.  The Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs.  Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $380 million through more than 33,500 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties.  For more information, please visit