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Sunday, 02 August 2015 22:00

Changes ahead for SMIC

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Southwest Michigan Innovation Center. Southwest Michigan Innovation Center. COURTESY PHOTO


As Western Michigan University plans the expansion of its Business Technology and Research Park, a key part of the existing site is undergoing a transition.

The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center (SMIC), a technology and life sciences incubator that includes a wet laboratory, is set to be acquired by WMU’s Homer D. Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. The medical school is a private institution with its own board of directors.

SMIC was originally developed through a partnership of Southwest Michigan First and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

Because the companies in the SMIC are focused on the life sciences, officials are excited about the potential for crossover between the SMIC, the medical school and the College of Engineering, which is also located on WMU’s Parkview campus.

“It’s an opportunity to expand the med school’s research footprint,” said Bob Miller, the associate vice president of community outreach at WMU.

“It’s not going to be that much of a stretch to say, ‘What about intellectual property? What about some patent filings? How can we do some research over here at the Innovation Center?’” he added. “Then the medical school will have its own research facilities. It’s just another resource.”

The med school’s acquisition of SMIC has already been approved by WMU’s trustees, as MiBiz previously reported. It must still be approved by the medical school board of directors, as well as by the boards of Southwest Michigan First and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

Miller said there was no definite date for the acquisition to close, but he added that the boards would be voting to consider the move in the coming weeks.

Read 5132 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 August 2015 09:38