startups to offer tools, programs, expert assistance and open access to an
independent, digital- and electronic-based environment for creative people.
WHY A ROBOTICS CENTER?
Macomb County is home to an infrastructure that features the convergence of technology, skilled trades, and manufacturing expertise, making the county a global epicenter for advanced manufacturing, automation, and robotics. This network is based on the intersection of more than 1,200 companies that employ almost 40,000 highly skilled workers across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields who specialize in designing, prototyping, producing, and managing the supply chain. This is because:
- Southeast Michigan’s technology and manufacturing executives are optimistic about growth in revenues, spending, and talent.
- Southeast Michigan offers a more competitive growth path for technology professionals than Silicon Valley, given the lower cost of living, networking opportunities, and leading academic institutions.
- Southeast Michigan is ripe for technology companies to conduct business due to the region’s ability to retain talent, achieve a greater return on investment, and lower the cost of capital.
A nonprofit organization—formed in partnership between Macomb County, Macomb Intermediate School District, Macomb Community College, and the City of Sterling Heights—has been established to create the Robotics Center for Collaboration and Innovation at the Velocity Center. This independent not-for-profit organization is governed by a board of directors and operated by staff and volunteer support. The community is well-positioned to advance robotics efforts for the following reasons:
- The fastest growing occupations in Sterling Heights are in the engineering sector and are growing anywhere from 38% to 70%.
- Sterling Heights ranks fourth in the U.S. for concentration of engineering jobs–
following such high-tech centers in Los Alamos, New Mexico; Lexington Park, Maryland; and Huntsville, Alabama.
- Sterling Heights is home to major facilities for all three U.S. automakers, General Dynamics, and substantial tier-one suppliers.
POTENTIAL PARTNERS AND PARTICIPANTS
- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, high-school teams
- Workforce development agencies
- Four-year higher education institutions and community colleges
- Science, technology, engineering, and math initiative groups (K–12)
- Regional economic development organizations and chambers of commerce
- Regional school districts
- Multiple think tank/research institutions
- Regional trade associations
- Active network of venture capitalists and philanthropists
- Green mobility cluster initiative
- Business accelerators