September 6, 2002

NextEnergy announces permanent location

Center to be housed within the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today that the NextEnergy Center will be located in the Woodward Technology Corridor, a Michigan SmartZone, in the City of Detroit.

The NextEnergy Center will serve as the nucleus for the NextEnergy Initiative, facilitating collaborative research, incubating alternative energy technology companies, and providing industry collaboration for this new technology.

"By locating within Wayne State University's Research and Technology Park, the NextEnergy Center will take advantage of a world-class university, be within the geographical center of the North American auto industry and leverage the substantial funding the MEDC has invested in this SmartZone," said Doug Rothwell, president & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The NextEnergy Center was originally to be located in York Township, Washtenaw County. However, due to the costs associated with providing infrastructure to the York Township site, the need to open the center quickly to meet market demand and the favorable conditions of the SmartZone in Detroit, the decision was made to change the center's location.

"The city of Detroit had expressed the strongest interest in NextEnergy of any location in Michigan since it was first announced in the spring," Rothwell said. "When it became apparent that local challenges would not allow us to open the NextEnergy Center in a timely fashion in York Township, Wayne State University and the City of Detroit offered an even stronger partnership opportunity."

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick expressed his enthusiasm about the center locating in the city of Detroit. "We are very excited that the NextEnergy Center will be located in Detroit, the home of the automobile industry and now the home of the alternative energy industry which will create the newest breakthroughs in powering our future," said Kilpatrick. "This is just another example of the tremendous amount of new investment taking place in the city of Detroit." said Kilpatrick.

The Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone is one of 11 SmartZones located across Michigan. The SmartZone will house incubator space as well as business accelerator services designed to assist technology companies in bringing great ideas to market sooner, with greater likelihood of success.

"The university has had rich tradition of bringing together academia and business, said Wayne State President Irvin D. Reid. "The decision to locate the NextEnergy Center in the university's Research and Technology Park will create a synergy, which will accelerate the commercialization of new ideas and businesses. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information about the MEDC, visit our web site at


Jennifer Kopp-Owens
Phone: (517) 335-4590

Related articles