REI E-Update

February, 2016

Word Cloud prominently featureing the words economic and development

Happy New Year REI Network!

Join us in 2016 for another great year of providing you with information on the latest and most innovative economic development tools, models, policies, programs, and practices.

In This Issue

Current Activity

Co-Learning Plans

New Year, New Ideas

Co-Learning Plan proposals were due in December. We received unique proposals from authors all over the state working in an assortment of professions. REI selected 7 of the most innovative and promising projects to support this year.

Congratulations to:

Even though the Co-Learning Plan solicitation has closed, don't stress! The Fall 2016 Co-Learning Plan solicitation is just around the corner.

Not looking for funding, but have a great idea to jump-start Michigan's economy? You can always submit an innovative economic development idea on our website.

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Student-Led Faculty-Guided

New Spring 2016 Projects Awarded
Congratulations to the 3 Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Projects selected for Spring 2016.
  • Genesee County Material Recovery Facility Feasibility Study - Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission in partnership with the MSU School of Planning, Design, and Construction
  • The Southend District: Vision Plan and Economic Development Strategy - City of Dearborn in partnership with the MSU School of Planning, Design, and Construction
  • BH (BLVD Harambee) Bike Shop - Church of the Messiah in partnership with Madonna University
The Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Project Application for Summer 2016 is now available! Want to do something fun and constructive this summer? Do you have a great idea to aid in advancing Michigan's economy? This is your chance to spring into action. REI will select and support 2-10 Student-Led, Faculty-Guided economic development projects to be conducted this Summer semester.

Student-Led, Faculty-Guided projects provide assistance to Michigan communities in completing local and regional economic development initiatives. Work is completed by students at colleges and universities throughout the state, under the supervision of experienced faculty.

Flint Co-Implementation Project


The Metro North Flint Aquaponics Project - Healthy Food Initiative began in 2013 and seeks to empower North Flint residents with the knowledge and ability to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods through entrepreneurship and healthy food production while securing a financial future.

With all that has happened in Flint recently, the Flint Co-Implementation Plan is still underway. Later this month, formal talks with N. Flint Reinvestment Group will take place to discuss the collaboration of the Aquahouse with a food co-op. For more information, check out our website or email Bob Brown, Project Director at .

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Photo of aquaponic tank with small fish
Photo of aquaponic plants growing in troughs under lights
Photo of meeting between the Flint Co-Implementation team members
Photo of the aquaponics working space with tanks and plant troughs in a large room

REI 2016 Innovate Michigan! Summit

Registration at 2015 Innovate Michigan_ Summit

Save the date! The 5th annual Innovate Michigan! Summit will be on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. This is a full day event at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. Come learn, share, and create innovative economic development tools, models, policies, and programs. To see what we did last year watch the Summit 2015 Recap!

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REI Impact: Successful REI-funded Projects throughout Michigan


Like too many Detroit houses irreparably damaged by disuse, vandalism, and fire, the house at 3347 Burnside had to come down. Rather than razing the home and leaving fallow land, a team, led the University of Michigan architecture professor Steven Mankouche and artist Abigail Murray, consisting of students, artists, architects, and urban farmers worked together to deconstruct the home and reuse the foundation to build the Afterhouse; a semi subterranean passive geothermal greenhouse.
Update: This Ann Arbor-based collaboration recently received a Kresge Innovation Project grant for its innovative vision. The grant of $135,000 will aid Afterhouse's transformation of abandoned, blighted homes into semi-subterranean greenhouses. Kresge awards are a part of a $5 million initiative to fund neighborhood efforts of Detroit-based nonprofits.
Mt. Elliot Report Cover

Forging a Future: Recommendations for Strengthening Detroit's Mt. Elliott Employment District

In 2012, the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework plan was put in place. Its purpose was to create seven primary and six secondary core investment and employment corridors in Detroit. The Mt. Elliott district was selected as a "global trade and industrial growth area". The district currently holds the highest number of jobs besides Downtown and Midtown.
In 2014, a team of urban planning graduate students from University of Michigan and two school faculty members; Dr. June Manning and Eric Dueweke developed a student-led, faculty-guided study which took an in depth look at the Mt. Elliott industrial district of Detroit, analyzing current conditions.
Update:The student report was forwarded to the city of Detroit, which, in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Association and Detroit Future City, used some of the findings to apply for federal funding. The US EDA subsequently awarded the city $600,000 for improvements to the Mt. Elliott Corridor. The DEGA sent out a request for proposals in early 2015 for a strategic action plan for improvements to the district.


Community Based Investing (MILE Law): Discover the power of investment based crowdfunding & hear how it came to be

The provisions of the MILE law (Michigan Invests Locally Exemption), legislation allows businesses to receive crowdfunding and investments from its community. To learn more about the MILE law, read the Co-Learning Plan - Community Based Investing: Crowdfunding and the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption.

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