LEAP Awarded EDA Grant to Fund $1.1M Plan to Accelerate Lansing Region MedTech Industry Growth

Grant Seeks to Strategically Align Regional Partners and Create Top MedTech Hub

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) efforts to transform and connect a vital and growing regional industry cluster into one of the nation’s top 20 medical technology ecosystems is taking a significant step forward with support from a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant. The project work funded through the grant is expected to create 560 jobs, retain 65 jobs and attract $425 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back better,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will capitalize on Michigan’s strong medical technology cluster in the Greater Lansing area and assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The EDA grant will help jumpstart a nearly $1.1 million plan to build up and connect a robust health care and medical technology value chain in the Lansing region, from startups to global companies working in pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, biotechnology, digital health and more. The $813,000 EDA grant will be matched with $257,000 local funds, including support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) using Community Development Block Grant funds and in-kind matching funds from LEAP.

“Our region has been growing medtech cluster jobs and investment far above the national average over the last decade. We have a phenomenal opportunity to maximize this growth trend, increase momentum in high-wage job growth and complement statewide strategies with a similar focus,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “We deeply appreciate the EDA’s support, along with matching funds from the MEDC; support from federal, state and local officials, including Governor Whitmer, Senators Peters and Stabenow and our Congresspersons Elissa Slotkin and Tim Walberg, and all of the regional partners this plan relies on.”

From 2009 to 2019, employment in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment & supplies manufacturing industry in the Lansing region grew by 99.8% to 1,269 jobs. This growth is 42% above the national average for a market of the Lansing region’s size and is expected to grow another 15.6% from 2019-2029.

Image of the Herbert-Herman Cancer Center to add context to the narrative.

Sparrow Health System opened the $64 million Herbert-Herman Cancer Center in 2017.

“Sparrow is the area’s largest private employer, and with the recently announced $40-million Ambulatory Surgery Center downtown we are making tens of millions of dollars of new investment in the Lansing region,” said Jim Dover, CEO of Sparrow Health System. “Our investment is increasing the diversity of care options to local residents as we tailor our facilities to fit the specific needs of the community. LEAP’s leadership to bring key partners together around strategically connecting and advancing health care and medical technology innovation in the Lansing region is a major driving force behind our continued growth.”

Picture of the new McLaren Greater Lansing Health Care Campus to add context.

McLaren Greater Lansing’s new $605M McLaren Hospital and Karmanos Cancer Center Campus is under construction in Lansing.

The EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance-COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Projects are designed to help alleviate sudden and severe economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the CARES Act allocated emergency funding to make this and many other projects across the country possible. LEAP began the application process for the EDA grant in June 2020, along with numerous essential partners, including the region’s two major health care systems, Sparrow and McLaren; Michigan State University (MSU) and the MSU Foundation; and several area medtech businesses.

“The unique assets already in place, including the FRIB at MSU and the infrastructure in conjunction with MSU, solidified our choice to make a $601 million investment here locally with a new health care facility and campus,” said Kirk Ray, president and CEO of McLaren Greater Lansing. “LEAP’s medtech cluster-building efforts will bolster and enable our community engagement efforts and business growth plans and we are excited to be part of this strategic effort.”

Within the scope of the grant, LEAP will work with regional partners to establish the critical building blocks and fundamental strategy to aid the Lansing region’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and support sustainable long-term resilience. Bringing together industry, health care, education, government and economic development will be vital to develop a medical technology strategy that promotes economic diversity and serves the regional health care industry.

“Michigan State University exists to bring health, hope, healing and opportunity to all. Our missions of education, research and clinical care provide the path. It is a path paved by partnership; listening to, learning with and realizing the possible—together,” said Dr. Norman J. Beauchamp, executive vice president for Health Sciences at MSU. “We join with LEAP in the belief that implementing a collaborative medtech cluster strategy will quicken our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, further long-term economic and health resiliency and improve the lives for the communities we serve.”

Specific grant-related projects include deep research and stakeholder engagement to analyze and define health care supply chain and medical technology (medtech) industry clusters, numerous research and innovation fellowship opportunities, medtech specific marketing development and new startup accelerator programs alongside added human capacity, bringing medtech innovation expertise to LEAP and the region.

“Lansing is unique in having strong manufacturing roots along with the ability to tap into world and nationally leading educational institutions like MSU and LCC. This alignment enables innovative health care treatment discovery and delivery, which has helped Niowave continue to grow in Lansing,” said Mike Zamiara, president of Niowave. “Now is the time to look across industries for unique strengths and leverage those strengths in new ways to solve the many issues facing our health care industry.”

Learn more about the Lansing region MedTech industry on LEAP’s website.