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Businesses in Macomb County, Mich., See New Grants for Tech

Some businesses in the county have already been assessed for reimbursement grants covering up to 50% of eligible technologies such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and automation.

robots pack boxes in factory
(TNS) — Small manufacturers in Macomb County working to be competitive in the future are getting some help.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that those looking to adopt new technologies can apply for grants up to $25,000 as part of the $3 million Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grants being awarded by the MEDC.

"It's really going to help industries," said Vicky Rowinski, director of Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, which received $382,353 from the MEDC. "We will be able to assist at least 13 businesses that apply for the grant."

Several businesses have already been assessed for the reimbursement grants covering up to 50% of eligible technologies such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and automation and the grants are in the works.

"In order to remain competitive, Michigan will help prepare manufacturers to adopt new and innovative technologies for the future through programs like the Industry 4.0 initiative," said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and the president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), which was created by the MEDC to promote economic development and create jobs. "By supporting local partners and communities through these regional grants, we are strengthening our state's leadership in advanced manufacturing and the entrepreneurship and jobs this innovative sector supports for years to come."

In April, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $3 million in awards for six nonprofit organizations to administer the implementation grants statewide. These organizations will also be tasked with promoting existing statewide resources to support Michigan small manufacturers with Industry 4.0 awareness and preparedness. The funding is part of an MEDC-led effort to ensure that 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers — or 6,200 businesses — are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025.

Other organizations awarded the MEDC grants included:
  • Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association, $294,118
  • Manufacturing Growth Alliance ( Oakland and Wayne counties), $1.3 million
  • Networks Northwest, $117,647
  • Southwest Michigan First, $294,118
  • The Right Place, $588,235

The grant money being given statewide is expected to support nearly 100 businesses.

"These grants are designed to help smaller businesses that might not have the capital to purchase new equipment," Rowinsky said. "This will improve their technology so there's greater efficiency on the shop floor."

The program also builds on the partnership MEDC launched in 2020 with Automation Alley and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to help small and mid-sized manufacturers prepare for the future of manufacturing and the importance of Industry 4.0 technologies, which is defined as the convergence of digital and physical technologies, including artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, the Cloud and cybersecurity.

In the first year of the state's Industry 4.0 initiative, the program exceeded initial goals by reaching more than 1,400 businesses through programming, events, training, and technology assessments.

Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are allocated.

©2022 The Macomb Daily, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.