Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

Competition is in full swing. This is the first year it is (mostly) well designed to make a difference to Michigan. Kudos for the folks that resisted the pressure to make this identical to the MTTC/MLSC of prior years. You can still see echos of that pressure, but I expect this to be a very exciting year with interesting proposals that will have a net positive benefit for Michigan if some are funded.

We are in the mix with 2 HPC specific proposals. One targetted at cost effective high performance life science and related computing (really, it will handle any number of applications which share common algorithmic features, and we are not talking (just) integer based), another targetted at lowering the cost of high performance computing for end users of all sizes and of all fields.

We have been speaking to VC’s for the past 3 years about the first project, we are going to have to secure funds. My hope is that the recent market size and growth rate news may have intrigued them. This is a great market, and a good company with the right idea at the right time (now), can make a huge impact in short order. All we need is to speak with the right investor groups with the right backgrounds. For the second project, it is going to be challenging, as we will need to build some interesting new concepts to make it work properly. But I am convinced we can do it. The models work.

Looking forward to reporting success in the future.

UPDATE:

By the way, 791 letters of intent have been submitted. I am pretty sure they were not anticipating this. This is a good thing, and shows that if they manage this right, retain and continue this effort, and fund it in the way that CALPERS money effectively created Silicon Valley, that over a long enough sustained interval, they ought to have a similar affect. It needs to be managed carefully, handled delicately, and absolutely continued year after year in the same manner. The benefits to Michigan can be huge, but only if it continues and is sustainable.

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