Thursday, December 8, 2005
JADI, TACOM and OU partner for local businesses
JADI Inc., a Troy-based high-tech small business that was formed to respond to the research and development needs of the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) and the Department of Defense, will team up with the Oakland University SmartZone Business Incubator that is supported by the City of Rochester Hills and a part of Oakland County’s Automation Alley SmartZone.
SmartZones are a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) program designed to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs by aiding in the creation of recognized clusters of new and emerging companies, those primarily focused on commercializing ideas, patents, and other opportunities surrounding public university research and development efforts.
SmartZones bring together business, research, training and support services in one location, allowing for easy collaboration. The MEDC, a partnership between the state and local communities that promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life, also has given a grant to JADI for this project.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has been quoted as saying that "Our world-class university researchers are critical to planting the seeds of the latest technologies here and growing Michigan's economy. Successful commercialization of cutting-edge research will turn the ideas of tomorrow into the jobs we need today."
JADI researchers and Oakland University faculty will work in tandem to commercialize intellectual property, which will provide research opportunities for Oakland University students and economic development within the cities of Troy and Rochester Hills.
“We see this project as an ideal example of the synergy that can occur between education, business, research and development, entrepreneurship and community partnerships,” said Gary Russi, president of Oakland University. “We know this is the beginning of a productive relationship between TACOM, JADI and Oakland University that will enable us to address the research and development needs of the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Michigan.”
Because of the support and efforts of U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, the Senate Armed Services Committee has included funding in the National Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal year 2006 for JADI and Oakland University to develop a portable chemical/biological detection system for autonomous vehicles and individual soldiers that will have important military applications in the future.
“We are excited to collaborate with Oakland University on this project and look forward to partnering with them in many future endeavors,” said Jerry Atkinson, vice president of JADI. “We are very grateful for the confidence and support that we have received from Senator Levin, Senator Stabenow, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, TACOM, the MEDC and Automation Alley.”
Sen. Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, was instrumental in securing funds for this project.
“I have worked in the Senate to provide opportunities for Michigan businesses, universities and technology innovators to grow and succeed in Michigan,” Levin said. “I am pleased to assist JADI and Oakland University in their efforts to provide security equipment for our soldiers and high tech jobs for our citizens. As our service men and women are put in harm’s way, we must ensure that they have the best equipment and the most advanced technology available.”
Automation Alley, Southeast Michigan’s regional technology cluster, and a dynamic organization of leaders from all backgrounds and business sectors that attract the creators and consumers of diverse technologies from a variety of industries around the world, also has supported JADI with a project grant.
“We are pleased to partner with and lend financial support to JADI and TACOM,” said Tom Anderson, director of the Technology Center at Automation Alley. “We envision this project having potential applications in the commercial sector down the road.”