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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Featured Article, Winter 2012

Michigan Defense Center opens in Velocity

Michigan Defense Center relocates to Macomb County

More than 140 business and government leaders gathered in Sterling Heights on February 16 to celebrate the official opening of the Michigan Defense Center (MDC) at Velocity, a center for collaborative economic development in Macomb County.  

The MDC is an agency of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that connects defense industry buyers and prime contractors with Michigan-based companies.  It cultivates defense and homeland security opportunities for Michigan through advocacy and the development of strategic partnerships.  Its purpose is to assist businesses in accessing research and development resources at universities and federal laboratories.  It also works in conjunction with 12 regional Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to prepare Michigan businesses to be government contractors.

Analysis by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development reveals that, over the past decade, Michigan businesses have been awarded more than $41 billion in Department of Defense contracts.  Of that, 63 percent landed in Macomb County.  In fact, Macomb County businesses delivered on more than 10,000 DoD contracts between 2000 and 2010. 

“Macomb County is the heart of our defense industry so it makes sense that this is the new home of our state’s defense center,” said Michael A. Finney, MEDC President and CEO. “This is a sector that is ripe for economic gardening opportunities, and we will continue to work with our partners to grow Michigan businesses and new jobs.”

“I applaud the Governor and MEDC President Mike Finney for their decision to locate the Michigan Defense Center here at Velocity,” said Mark A. Hackel, Macomb County Executive.  “This resource helps to create powerful synergy in our efforts to sustain and grow our prowess as the defense capital of the Midwest.”

The MDC adds to the growing business acceleration services offered at Velocity.  Located in Sterling Heights, the center is home to Oakland University’s Macomb-OU INCubator as well as the OU Pawley Lean Institute and OU Center for Robotics and Unmanned Intelligent Systems (CRUIS).  City and county economic development staff also maintain offices at the facility.

About Velocity

Velocity is a collaborative center for business incubation and economic development targeting the defense, homeland security and advanced manufacturing industries.  Established as a partnership of Macomb County, Oakland University and the City of Sterling Heights, Velocity is home to the Macomb OU-INCubator and its tenants.  Other resources within the building include the Michigan Defense Center, OU Pawley Lean Institute, OU Center for Robotics and Unmanned Intelligent Systems (CRUIS), and economic development staff from the city and county.


Letter from Senator Carl Levin

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