International Landing Zone Seeks Defense Industry Applicants


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The International Landing Zone is based in the Velocity Collaboration Center in Sterling Heights.

The International Landing Zone in Sterling Heights is seeking applications for its first tenants: defense and homeland security companies interested in setting up or expanding operations in the U.S.

“We are looking to bring companies with proven technologies with defense applications into the United States through Michigan’s Defense Corridor, which is in Macomb County,” says Alyssa Tracey, senior economic development specialist for the county. “A lot of people don’t realize that more than half of all of the state’s defense spending takes place here.”

Starting April 1, the International Landing Zone — a collaboration between the Michigan Defense Center, Macomb-OU INCubator, and Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development
— will opens its doors to four different companies for a six-month period.

During that time, the selected tenants will receive assistance with goal development and capital resources in addition to other benefits including access to on-site mentors and introductions to potential customers and major defense contractors.

Being based in Macomb County — home to 63 percent of the state’s defense business with such major players as TARDEC, TACOM, General Dynamics, and Selfridge Air National Guard Base — lends itself to considerable networking and partnerships. “We want to make sure they’re utilizing the best resources Macomb County has to offer, and there are quite a few,” Tracey says.

The partner organizations have been in talks with companies as far as Australia and the U.K., she says. “We want to make sure we’re bringing in companies that can make a real impact here in Michigan.”

According to the Michigan Defense Center, military-related spending totals $5 billion annually among some 4,000 companies employing 48,000 workers.

Applications are due by Feb. 6. For more information, visit michigandefensecenter.com/land-here.

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