DETROIT-Ground has been broken for the NextEnergy Center at the Wayne State University Technology Park, a Michigan SmartZone in the city. The facility is supposed to accelerate the development of the alternative energy industry, according to Gov. John Engler.

“Combined with the NextEnergy Zone and other components of the NextEnergy Initiative, the new center will significantly expand Michigan’s leadership in alternative energy research and manufacturing,” Engler says.

The center will be built on a site bounded by Woodward Avenue, Lodge Freeway, I-94 and the Grand Trunk Railroad tracks. The new 40,000-sf facility will include laboratory space, business incubator space, collaborative meeting space and other features to support the alternative energy industry.

Major components of the initiative include developing programs in power electronics, alternative energy, fuel cells, industry support services and future accelerator programs.

“We hope to become the national hub for fuel cell technology and research, taking the automotive industry to the next level,” says Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The initiative includes statewide tax incentives for companies involved in new alternatives energy research, development and manufacturing expanding or locating anywhere in Michigan.

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