In September, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) a $2.06 million, five-year University Center grant. This grant will be used to continue the work that REI has conducted over the past five years, to create, identify, and implement innovative regional economic development tools and strategies to expand business opportunities, creating new jobs across Michigan.

A variety of departments, colleges, and units within MSU (College of Social Science; College of Communication Arts and Sciences; Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; Office of the Provost; School of Planning, Design and Construction; Office of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement; and MSU Extension) have made commitments to support REI's work, providing access to their expertise, resources, research centers, faculty, students, and more.

From 2011 to 2016, REI supported nearly 100 projects that generated $60 million in public and private funding. Additionally, REI successfully disseminated new knowledge through the creation and sharing of nearly 50 webinars and videos, as well as more than 65 in-person presentations at five Innovate Michigan! Summits. In the fall of 2015, REI was recognized as a finalist in the University Economic Development Association's Awards of Excellence program.

In order to further support innovation, REI has created a new "Innovation Fellows" program. Designed to expand Co-Implementation efforts, Innovation Fellows will be recruited by REI, its partners, EDDs, and past Co-Learning Plan authors. Innovation Fellows, assisted by REI, will lead, organize, translate, and support a community or region in taking the next steps to implement a previously completed Co-Learning Plan, and will increase the rate of implementation of innovative economic development strategies. REI looks forward to working with new Innovation Fellows, in addition to its continued work in community and economic development across Michigan.