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Detroit Auto Show Begins: What to Look For and More!

A Shunpiker's Journal
September 14, 2022 8:00 AM

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While nine days of new vehicle displays and exhibits at Huntington Place, Hart Plaza and throughout downtown Detroit begins Saturday, activity starts today.

The city that put the world on wheels is putting the future of mobility on display beginning tomorrow with the first-ever indoor/outdoor Detroit Auto Show. The world will be watching as automotive industry leaders, public officials, car lovers, and celebrities converge in Detroit to celebrate the intersection of technology and mobility.


Notable 2022 Auto Show events include:

  • A panel showcasing the MI Future Mobility Plan, which is enhancing Michigan’s position as a global mobility leader through a unified, cross-departmental approach
    Thursday, Sept. 15, from 12-12:30 p.m. at the Atrium Stage located on Level 100 of Huntington Place
  • A panel highlighting Michigan’s University Research Corridor and its innovation and talent solutions to meet global mobility challenges
    Thursday, Sept. 15, from 12:30-1 p.m. at the Atrium Stage located on Level 100 of Huntington Place
  • A panel discussion about deploying and validating next-generation mobility technologies through Michigan’s innovative and unique network of testing assets, including the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL) and the Ford Launchpad for Innovation Technologies and Entrepreneurship (FLITE)
    Thursday, Sept. 15, from 1-1:30 p.m. at the Atrium Stage, located on Level 100 of Huntington Place
  • The MI STEM Meet-UP Talent event, will showcase the MI STEM Forward Internship Program and connect upcoming talent with innovative companies throughout Michigan
    Thursday, Sept. 15, from 12-2 p.m. located in Room 310A of Huntington Place

The AutoMobili-D Mobility Match Meetings & Hospitality Room, which will connect the start-up community with corporate buyers and purchasing agents
Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the AutoMobili-D exhibit located on the main show floor


Michigan Semiconductor Sector Strengthened with New SK Siltron CSS Facility, Hemlock Semiconductor Infrastructure Upgrades

With a rich history in manufacturing and innovation, Michigan is poised to be a guiding hand as the world’s needs for semiconductor technology continue to evolve in the 21st century. As the global epicenter of the automotive industry and home to one-fifth of U.S. auto production, Michigan is equipped to support the increasing global demand for semiconductor technology.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined business, state, and local officials recently to celebrate the ribbon cutting of semiconductor wafer manufacturer SK Siltron CSS’s new manufacturing facility in Bay City. The company’s $300 million investment strengthens SK Siltron’s commitment to Michigan and further boosts the state’s leadership role in the national semiconductor supply chain. The company selected Michigan over competing states because of its skilled workforce and proximity to automakers. The project was supported by a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant and is expected to create a total of 150 jobs.

The investment in the new facility in Monitor Township is expected to create up to 150 jobs in the area and plans to maintain this momentum by preparing shovel-ready sites for other businesses eyeing the area.

Hemlock Semiconductor, located in Thomas Township, is also making advancements as Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced support of a township infrastructure project that will enable a total capital investment of up to $375 million and the creation of 170 jobs. While strengthening Michigan’s leadership position in the semiconductor supply chain, this support allows Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC) to modernize and expand operations in Michigan, and meet the increasing global demand for hyper-pure polysilicon in the semiconductor and solar industries.

Collaborative Mobility Initiative Receives $52.2 Million Federal Grant to Boost Mobility Innovation

The Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation (DRP) is set to receive a $52.2 million federal grant from a Department of Commerce program to boost and advance mobility innovation in the auto industry. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to the DRP and co-recipient, the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, aims to accelerate economic growth and focus on the transition to next-generation electric, autonomous, and fully connected vehicles.

“Michigan put the world on wheels, and we are building on our legendary auto manufacturing heritage by working together to bring investment and jobs to every region of our state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This collaboration between the state and several local stakeholders led by the Detroit Regional Partnership will help us keep growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and investing in every region of our state.”

The grant will support six projects submitted under the Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) initiative, designed to accelerate economic growth by building on the region’s mobility assets:

  • The DRP for grant administration and to boost site readiness to attract "major" mobility projects.
  • The state's Office of Future Mobility and Electrification to increase equitable access to the state’s testing and proving sites.
  • The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance and MichiganWorks to aid companies in meeting "high-tech" workforce needs, offsetting losses to retirement and boosting career advancement for "historically excluded" communities.
  • TechTown to accelerate the growth of mobility startups.
  • The University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute to help small and medium manufacturers transition to the electric vehicle market.
University of Michigan Lands $11 Million Research Grant to Study Safer Next-Gen EV Batteries

The University of Michigan has been awarded an $11 million federal grant that will fund research for ceramic batteries in electric vehicles that have the potential to double range and eliminate fire risk. The U.S. Department of Energy grant will establish an Energy Frontier Research Center at the university’s Ann Arbor campus, where a team of six professors will lead the research in partnership with 10 other faculty members at universities across the country. The research will focus on developing solutions for more efficient solid-state batteries, as opposed to lithium-ion batteries used by OEMs today.

“The recent discovery of ceramic ion conductors that simultaneously exhibit unprecedented performance and stability has the potential to change the electrochemical energy storage technology landscape,” said Jeff Sakamoto, professor of mechanical engineering at University of Michigan and director of the new center.

MUSIC (Mechano-chemical Understanding of Solid Ion Conductors) will be the latest addition to University of Michigan’s expanding portfolio of research projects tied to the future of mobility. In July, the State of Michigan approved a budget that included $130 million for a new EV center led by Michigan Engineering. The University of Michigan is already home to the Walter E. Lay Auto Lab, Mcity autonomous vehicle testing facility, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and is a founding partner of the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.

Michigan Announces Mobility Wallet Challenge to Improve Transit Solutions

MDOT and OFME recently launched the Michigan Mobility Wallet Challenge to explore the creation of a Mobility Wallet Pilot Program, which aims to increase the interoperability of transit services and offer Michigan residents greater access to personal mobility. Specifically, the program’s goal will be to simplify transit payment processes by allowing riders or third-party stakeholders to load funds, or connect bank accounts, to a single platform that streamlines ride fare payment.

Mobility Wallet Pilot Program proposals must be submitted by Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. ET to be considered.

Michigan Mobility Funding Platform: Rolling Applications Open

OFME and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have partnered to launch the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform (MMFP) aimed at providing vital grant funding to mobility and electrification companies of all sizes looking to deploy their technology in Michigan. Grants are focused on catalyzing and scaling mobility solutions across three key areas of focus:

  • Sustainable Futures: Improve environmental sustainability by encouraging EV adoption and the buildout of EV charging infrastructure
  • Equitable Futures: Alleviate mobility barriers and increase access to affordable and reliable transportation options
  • Multimodal Transportation: Modernize existing transportation systems and keep Michigan at the forefront across all connected and autonomous transportation modes

For Michigan-based entities working to address a mobility/electrification challenge or solution providers looking to find a Michigan-based partner, additional Interest Forms are available to support those seeking and providing solutions through the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform.

More information about eligibility for testing environments and real-world deployments, as well as past grant recipients, is available here.

The current rolling application period ends December 31, 2022.

Resources and Opportunities
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In The News

Global challenges drive Michigan's mobility focus | Crain’s Detroit Business

The first half of 2022 has continued to be like no other year, but Michigan’s urgency to drive the economy forward continues, said the state’s chief mobility officer, Trevor Pawl.

With global supply chain disruptions, demands for more corporate responsibility, and once-in-a-generation inflation on virtually everything — most notably on the price of cars and gasoline — Pawl notes that the urgency to find new mobility solutions and more sustainable ways of doing business has never been greater.

As the leader in automotive production, Michigan has continued to build on its strong foundation of manufacturing excellence in preparation for a new age of technology-driven innovation. “And as demand for better mobility options grows, our focus on finding solutions has only become sharper,” according to Pawl.

Ahead of Detroit Auto Show, Michigan Establishes Itself as the Home of Mobility’s Past and Future | MiBiz

Michigan is more than just a venue for the Detroit Auto Show – it is a place where the next generation of transportation and mobility is being designed, created, and revealed. The automotive industry built its foundation and laid its roots here in Michigan; now, led by innovations in electric vehicles and assisted driving, we are witnessing a transportation mobility revolution.

While both require highly sought-after batteries and semiconductors, Michigan has solutions. The state continues to adapt to the increasingly demanding needs of the automotive and mobility industry through strategic partnerships, out-of-state business attraction, as well as a robust business ecosystem and talent pipeline.

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A Shunpiker's Journal, hosted by Steve Purdy, covers the stories of its host and others who shun the turnpikes and freeways of America to better enjoy the businesses and life that revolve around the automobile.

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