Lawrence Tech wins federal, Chamber grants to improve support for entrepreneurs

Lawrence Technological University has won a $70,000 grant from the
Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the federal Department of
Commerce to study and seek to improve entrepreneurship, innovation, and
product development in southeast Michigan.

The grant will
support a $146,000 feasibility study to be led by faculty and
administrators at Lawrence Tech. The Detroit Regional Chamber provided
a $10,000 cash match towards the grant, and the remaining budget funds
are from Lawrence Tech and service providers.

The study will
determine the feasibility of creating a regional Center for Innovation
and Entrepreneurship that would be a catalyst for innovation and
entrepreneurial development in a region that has experienced high
levels of unemployment, underemployment and out-migration.

The
study will make recommendations to EDA within a year on steps to
improve the region’s entrepreneurial infrastructure. It will focus on
creating opportunities for displaced automotive workers and
engineering, science and business professionals.

The study will
identify gaps in existing innovation and entrepreneurial programs in
southeast Michigan and assess the potential support for a center that
would provide solutions. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, facilitated
discussions, online research, periodical reviews, seminars and forums
will be used for gathering information.

The grant was applauded
by U. S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., who represents the congressional
district where Lawrence Tech is located.

“An important component
to ongoing efforts to jumpstart Michigan’s economy is connecting
Michigan’s skilled workers with new opportunities and supporting
efforts to diversify our economy and build on our strengths,” Levin
said. “I am very proud to see Lawrence Tech stepping up to the plate
again and meeting a need in the community — in this case, examining how
the engineering, scientific and technological talent of our region can
create the jobs of the future.”

The project director is Mark
Brucki, executive director of economic development and government
relations at Lawrence Tech. The research director is Robert Inskeep,
executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Management at Lawrence
Tech, and the research manager is Matthew Cole, director of the
psychology program at Lawrence Tech.

“The EDA grant allows us to
identify unique opportunities to provide an environment and resources
for product creation, innovation and job creation that are not being
offered elsewhere in the state, the Great Lakes region or the nation,”
Brucki said. “We are fortunate to have an alliance with the Detroit
Regional Chamber to help generate actionable outcomes from this EDA
grant.”

Lawrence Technological University, ltu.edu, offers
nearly 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in
Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and
Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university
pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and
online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and
programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse
City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in
Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.