Downtown Detroit Partnership Forms Nonprofit to Support Detroit Center for Innovation

Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc. (DDP), Related Cos., and Olympia Development of Michigan announced that DDP will serve in a fiduciary role for the Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI) by establishing a new non-profit organization, the Detroit Partnership for Innovation (DPI).
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The Detroit Partnership for Innovation nonprofit organization formed by Downtown Detroit Partnership and others will support the Detroit Center for Innovation. // Courtesy of the Detroit Center for Innovation
The Detroit Partnership for Innovation nonprofit organization formed by Downtown Detroit Partnership and others will support the Detroit Center for Innovation. // Courtesy of the Detroit Center for Innovation

Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc. (DDP), Related Cos., and Olympia Development of Michigan announced that DDP will serve in a fiduciary role for the Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI) by establishing a new non-profit organization, the Detroit Partnership for Innovation (DPI).

The DPI will support the DCI by facilitating the funding and construction of the Academic Research Building. The DPI board will be responsible for supporting the operations of the DCI. The Academic Research Building (ARB), which will form the cornerstone of the Detroit Center of Innovation, will be transferred upon completion from the non-profit to the University of Michigan to run its academic programming.

“Detroit’s public, private, and philanthropic leadership have recognized that, in most cases, we don’t need to recreate the depth and breadth of infrastructure that DDP represents. Instead, organizations can use DDP’s existing backbone, expertise, and governance,” says Eric B. Larson, CEO of DDP.

“One of the significant benefits DDP brings to opportunities such as the DCI is its ability to quickly and efficiently support investments, ideas and actions that address real needs that have resonating impacts throughout our community.”

The three-building DCI campus will be built in The District Detroit and is being anchored by this $250 million, 200,000-square-foot research and education center operated by the University of Michigan. Programs will focus on research and innovation, with the goal of supporting the economic development of Detroit and providing the state with a pipeline of talent.

The DCI will also include a technology incubator, housing, and green space, while providing a critical skills and educational pathways for students from the Detroit Public Schools Community District and beyond. Additionally, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan are expected to explore programmatic partnerships through the DCI.

For 100 years, DDP has cultivated economic and social impact in Downtown Detroit and beyond by connecting private, public, philanthropic, and civic sectors, providing stewardship of public spaces, executing innovative strategies, and developing programs that engage and benefit all Detroiters.

“The DDP has long been a trusted fiduciary committed to ensuring that investments in Downtown Detroit work hard for Detroiters and nowhere is that more critically important than the realization of DCI,” says Stephen M. Ross, chairman and founder of Related Cos.

DDP has served as the parent organization of numerous affiliates that have contributed to building a more connected and vibrant Detroit, including MoGo Bike Share, Build Institute, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone, the Detroit Experience Factory, Live Detroit, Spirit Plaza, M-1 RAIL, the 2006 NFL Super Bowl, and more. These programs connect downtown to the greater area through investment, mobility, education, and community outreach.

“Thanks to our long, cooperative relationship, I know the Downtown Detroit Partnership is the right partner to manage the financial aspects of this philanthropic endeavor that will have a positive, transformational impact on Detroit and the region,” says Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. “I’d like to thank the DDP team for their continued support of our hometown and for taking on this important responsibility.”

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