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Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. Serving as the state's business roundtable, Business Leaders for Michigan is composed of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities. Read more...

Featured Content

Tuesday
Jan212014

Michigan's University Research Corridor Makes Strong Showing among Eight Leading U.S. Research Clusters

 

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 21, 2014) – Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC) ranks high among eight university innovation clusters in a new measure that examines R&D spending, research commercialization and talent production, according to a new Economic Impact Report released today.

The URC – consisting of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University – ranked second in the Innovation Power Ranking when compared to seven other major university research clusters in six states, including well-known hubs such as North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, California’s Innovation Hubs and Massachusetts’ Route 128 Corridor.

The report, prepared by East Lansing, Mich.-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG), showed that the URC universities conferred 32,483 graduate and undergraduate degrees in 2012, more than any of the university innovation clusters the URC has benchmarked itself against since 2007. The URC also granted the highest number of medical degrees and second-highest number of high-demand degrees overall, saw its research and development spending rise to nearly $2.1 billion and continued to commercialize its research through patents and start-up companies.

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Thursday
Jan162014

Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Governor Snyder's Commitment to the State's Turnaround

DETROIT, Mich., January 16, 2014 — “Business Leaders for Michigan is pleased that Governor Snyder continues to focus on many of the priorities needed to continue Michigan’s turnaround,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. “Our policy priorities for 2014 are continued sound fiscal management, fixing our roads, making college more affordable and accelerating job growth.

“We applaud the Governor’s effort to make Michigan even more welcoming to immigrants. Attracting immigrants with advanced academic degrees or entrepreneurial aspirations will help the state attract investment and create jobs.  Another critical step forward is reducing Michigan’s unemployment rate by giving more children the opportunity to get a community college or university degree.  To do that, we need to increase access and make college more affordable. We’re hopeful the Governor will recommend enough in his budget to stem the tide of rising tuition and look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature to make Michigan a “top ten” state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.”

 

Monday
Dec232013

Reflecting on 2013

Dear Colleagues, 

It's the time of year when we reflect on what's been accomplished and what's left to do on our respective agendas. At Business Leaders for Michigan, we're excited about the progress MI is making to grow the economy. While we still have work ahead to reach our goal of becoming a Top Ten state, a number of Michigan Turnaround Plan objectives have been met. 

During the past year, the state's policy leaders have made strategic decisions necessary to strengthen the state's fiscal foundation. For the third consecutive year, the budget passed and signed into law was based on a two-year plan. In a move toward more efficient and effective public service, the Regional Prosperity Initiative was enacted to encourage regions to collaborate and promote economic growth. To give our children a better chance at success, our policy makers included funding to provide more under-served children access to early childhood education programs, continued implementation of the Common Core State Standards which will prepare our students for careers and college, and provided additional performance funding for our state universities. Earlier actions have made MI more competitive, including reducing state debt, reducing taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, and reducing obsolete or unnecessary regulations. 

Our most recent Benchmarking Report tells the story of a state that is recovering faster than most other states. MI's tax climate has flipped from one of the nation's worst to one of the best, and we remain a national leader in R & D and talent production.  MI produces 30% more patents, our universities generate about 30% more research and development, and the value of our exports is 50% more than Top Ten states. Our capacity to innovate positions us well to provide more of what the world needs - a key characteristic of Top Ten states. 

We will continue to develop  strategies that boost our state's leadership in areas such as mobility, engineering, natural resources, and the life sciences. Registration is now open for our Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan on March 10, 2014 where we will showcase progress being made to leverage the state's unique strengths and ultimately create more jobs.

Happy Holidays from Business Leaders for Michigan!

 

Doug's esig  

Doug Rothwell,President & CEO

Thursday
Dec192013

Aggressively Working to Retain MI's Role as an Auto Leader

Today’s world is moving faster than ever before. Ideas, information, money, people…we’ve seen tremendous acceleration in just the last few decades, and there’s a lot more on the horizon.

Here in Michigan, this isn’t just an abstract concept.  As the birthplace of the world’s automotive industry, our state helped make personal mobility possible for millions of people. One thing’s for sure: the future of mobility is unlike anything our grandfathers imagined a century ago. Today’s cars are light, computerized, and operating on alternative fuel sources. New ideas and technologies are being tested and deployed every day, to broaden the notion of what it means to transport people and goods worldwide. Michigan is now engaged in a race to retain its leadership role in the automotive industry as the industry continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector. We must position ourselves to win.

BLM recently released a plan to help Michigan capitalize on emerging trends and lead the future of mobility. It was developed in partnership with McKinsey & Company, the Center for Automotive Research and other industry leaders throughout 2013 and reflects the latest data and most promising new trends.

Our plan is about more than moving people—it’s about moving the state of Michigan toward greater economic prosperity, job creation, and growth. It is important to remember that the automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy. If we seize the opportunities that are on the horizon today, we can create more than 100,000 new jobs and ensure Michigan remains a player in the global mobility economy that is unfolding before our very eyes.  If we fail to act, then we risk standing on the sidelines while Germany, Japan, and Silicon Valley reap the benefits of changing mobility technologies.

Michigan has the tools to lead the future of global mobility. Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as home to engineers, and high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is the only region in the world with the ability to compete fully in all aspects of mobility development.

However, Michigan is behind the pack when it comes to talent development and venture capital funding, and this puts our industry leadership in jeopardy.  For example, 1,200 powertrain graduates are being produced in Bavaria each year, more than double the number being developed in Michigan. Our venture capital investments in sector total $140 million, just a fraction of the $6 billion being invested elsewhere.

We must address these challenges—and quickly—if we are to seize the opportunity for continued global prominence in the mobility sector. 

Here’s how Michigan can move forward:

  •  Establish state-level leadership to advocate for growth in the automotive and mobility industries. Inter-agency partnerships, coupled with private-sector mobility leadership groups and executive leadership, will help ensure full implementation of the strategic plan for mobility.
  • Create a marketing & branding initiative to support Michigan’s strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries.
  • Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities for attendees.
  • Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry by designing and offering education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles.  Michigan must also support strong programs with adequate financial and/or tax incentives.
  • Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers.  Moreover, we should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments in light of a global competitive context.
  • Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds.

Each of these actions is important, and Michigan needs to quickly move forward with work we know is needed, and advance our strongest ideas and strategies forward very aggressively.  If we wait, we risk the future of our state as our global competitors take the lead.

The appointment of Nigel Francis as automotive advisor to Governor Rick Snyder is a positive step in the right direction. Francis will be an important part of a committee dedicated to implementing the strategies outlined above. The committee, which already includes top industry leaders and analysts, will begin its work soon after the Governor announces his vision for the mobility industry early next year.

While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that Michigan is the leader of the emerging mobility industry. No place has a greater concentration of the auto industry, but Michigan must have a sharper focus and build greater public-private collaboration to ensure continued leadership as the industry evolves.

 

Wednesday
Dec112013

Michigan Poised to be Global Center of Mobility

Business Leaders for Michigan unveils strategy to grow auto industry potential, add 100,000 new jobs

Download the report. 

DETROIT, Mich., December 11, 2013— Michigan has the potential to grow up to 100,000 new jobs in the state’s important automotive sector by becoming a center of excellence in advanced powertrain, lightweight and smart/connected transportation technologies. That’s according to a strategy advanced today by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten State for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

The BLM plan was developed with a coalition of top industry experts, the Center for Automotive Research and McKinsey & Company. The plan positions Michigan for long-term growth in the auto sector as it continues to transition to an increasingly advanced technology-based sector.  It is one of six strategies BLM is developing as part of its Michigan Turnaround Plan.

“The automotive industry is fast becoming a mobility industry,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and chair of BLM’s mobility initiative.  “While Michigan already is the automotive leader, we need to take actions now to ensure that we are the leader of the emerging mobility industry.”

Mobility refers to products associated with transporting people and goods, as well as sophisticated connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions and safety.  Mobility also refers to multi-modal and intermodal solutions that integrate personal vehicles with public transit and reduce congestion and emissions. Michigan’s advantage in the mobility arena is rooted in the state’s leadership on R&D, production and supply companies that operate here. The automotive industry has the highest jobs multipliers of any sector of the Michigan economy.

Jay Baron, President & CEO of the Center for Automotive Research said, “Michigan is well positioned to compete in powertrain and light-weighting technologies, but faces strong challenges from other competitive hubs in the emerging area of smart and connected transportation.  No place has a greater concentration of the auto industry, but Michigan must have a sharper focus and build greater public-private collaboration to ensure continued leadership as the industry evolves.”

“Michigan must build on its strengths,  while seeing and acting on emerging needs and shaping industry, technology, regulation and consumer trends,” said Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice for McKinsey & Company and BLM board member.  “Michigan has strong capital availability and an unsurpassed concentration of Original Equipment Manufacturers/suppliers and their respective know-how.  As the industry is transforming, Michigan must be aggressive in growing the talent pipeline, base of innovation and industry collaboration across the industry value chain.”

The BLM mobility strategy outlines six categories of action:

  • Leadership: Support the creation of a state-level position/function to facilitate government’s role in growing the automotive and mobility industries. Other key leadership elements include an inter-agency partnership and the establishment of a private-sector mobility leadership group focused on implementing BLM’s recommendations
  • Marketing & branding: Launch a marketing and branding campaign to support Michigan's strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries
  • Strategic convening: Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events in Michigan, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities for attendees
  • Talent development: Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry and design/offer education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles; support strong programs with adequate financial/tax incentives
  • Collaboration network:  Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers; the state should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments in light of a global competitive context
  • Capital attraction: Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds

“This strategy provides an exciting, fact-based roadmap to grow one of our state’s most important industries,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO.   “Currently, Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as home to engineers, and high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is well-positioned to soar as a leader of automotive innovation.”

The full report can be found at: http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/research-data/.  BLM will report annually on progress being made to implement this and the other five strategies identified to make Michigan a Top Ten state.

###

NOTE:  Media interested in speaking with the industry experts that prepared the report can attend a special briefing onThursday, December 12 at 1:00 P.M. at the Center for Automotive Research at 3005 Boardwalk, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Speakers: Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan, Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner, Leader Automotive & Assembly Practice, McKinsey & Company and Dr. Sean McAlinden, Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Economist, Center for Automotive Research

Please RSVP to Amy Novak at: 313-259-5400.

Download the press release. 

 


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