Discovering and applying new and innovative economic development tools, models, policies, and programs
Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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The fourth pillar of CERI is 21st Century Communications Infrastructure - This initiative will work with key partners to develop and support activities that increase access in rural and low-income urban communities and build the capacity of communities to use these online platforms for civic engagement, commerce, and education.

Current Projects

Building Broadband Better with Community Empowerment Networks


Led by REI Innovation Fellow, Mitchell Shapiro and partnered with Merit Network and the Michigan Broadband Cooperative

Whether it is education, outreach, work, etc., the COVID-19 pandemic has moved much of our day-to-day activities to a virtual and online platform. Because of this, the need to address the longstanding digital divide in Michigan has become even more urgent. This project will help bridge this divide by developing a proposal to engage in an in-depth study on the feasibility and benefits of Automated Open Access networks in the broadband space. This project falls under the 21st Century Communications Infrastructure Pillar.