Innovation Center grand opening
Standing as a symbol of the new economy of Flint, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the Innovation Center at Kettering University Aug. 31.
The Innovation Center at Kettering University is a 9,000-square-foot investment in Michigan’s rich technology future. Kettering showcased its new Innovation Center during grand opening ceremonies Tuesday, Aug. 31. The building stands on the corner of Bluff Street and Cottage Grove in Flint.
As Mayor Dayne Walling said during grand opening ceremonies, "This building is a symbol of the new economy of Flint and it stands near the University Avenue corridor where there is no greater growth in Flint. Kettering anchors one end and the University of Michigan - Flint anchors the other. Today is another example of what we can do when we work together," Walling said.
The Innovation Center is a $3.2 million project that will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in Genesee County. It is also the first building in Kettering’s envisioned Technology Park. The facility was designed by SHW Group (www.shwgroup.com),
Neil Sheridan, director of Kettering University TechWorks, said the timing is ideal for the addition of the Innovation Center to the region’s entrepreneurship strategy. “There is growing momentum for economic recovery in Michigan built on an Innovation Economy,” Sheridan said.
“This is a great place to manufacture complex, high-value products. Kettering with its partners in local government, businesses and associations will help drive this new model and our Innovation Center will be a key element in its success,” said Sheridan.
Dr. Stan Liberty, President of Kettering University said, “The Innovation Center at Kettering addresses an up-until-now missing piece in the local mosaic of policies, infrastructure, financing, educational programming, and mechanisms of support for forming and nurturing science and technology-based small businesses."
"This facility will provide such businesses with dedicated wet and/or dry laboratory capabilities while they are nurtured through the first few years of their development, and in close proximity to the region’s most significant science and engineering assets at Kettering,” Liberty added.
Neal Hegarty, program director at the C.S. Mott Foundation, offered his congratulations during the ceremony. "This building has been a long-time coming, but Kettering was able to innovate and gain new partners. We are very pleased with the end result and know it will propel Flint and Genesee County."
Congressman Dale Kildee also offered his congratulations, saying "Kettering is an educational asset and fiscal asset to this community. This is an important new step in the history of Kettering and Flint," he added.
SHW Group designed the 9,000-square-foot facility to be divided into public and private functional space, each supporting scientific and technologically-based 'start-up' companies that need dedicated laboratory space during their first three-to-four years of business.
Amenities in the public space include a business center, furnished executive and administrative offices, a conference room with high-tech audio/video systems, a café dining and seating area, and a reception area.
The private space will be home to six state-of-the-art wet and dry research laboratories. Each lab will be approximately 800 square feet and designed for easy reconfiguration.
Technology companies interested in the research and nearby manufacturing and logistical strengths should contact Neil Sheridan at 810-762-9728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Patricia Mroczek