University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman has said theUniversity will pledge up to $1 million over five years, beginningwith a three-year pledge of $600,000. If the effort shows progress,the university would continue funding at the same rate for at leasttwo years after that.

Spark's goal is to double the number of technology companies andtriple the number of technology jobs in the region by 2010. "Wedecided to establish this region's national identity as a hot spotfor innovation and entrepreneurial energy and the development oftechnology talent," Coleman says. "I'm delighted at the progress wehave made since we launched this project in November, originally as'Ann Arbor TechCentral.' Now, with our new name, Ann Arbor Spark,an impressive set of collaborative partners and an excitingmission, we have accelerated our path to innovation andsuccess."

Spark will be headquartered at 330 E. Liberty, the ground floorof which is being renamed Spark Central. Technology organizationssuch as the Ann Arbor IT Zone, MichBio and U-M TechStart will jointhe Spark staff in this office and networking space, which alsohouses several entrepreneurial programs.

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