Ford Announces New Initiatives at Mackinac Policy Conference

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DEARBORN — Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford calls for key policy reform Thursday at the Mackinac Policy Conference and the critical need to foster innovation to ensure Michigan’s competitiveness and creating new, high-tech jobs.

“While Michigan is the home of the auto industry, the trends affecting our industry offer a great opportunity to make it the home of a variety of other industries as well,” said Bill Ford. “We are heading in the right direction to grow Michigan by putting the right policies in place and investing in Michigan’s future.”

Ford told delegates that the trends emerging in manufacturing, green technology and mobility demonstrate a great opportunity for Michigan to create a dynamic, diverse and growing economy that affirms the state as a global innovation center.

He also highlighted the benefits Michigan has realized by being at the center of exciting developments in green technology, including electric vehicles and battery innovation.

Ford also outlined key public policy areas that will help improve Michigan’s competitiveness and ensure that the state realizes the full benefit of the impending mobility revolution. He called on policymakers to ensure policy was not holding back innovation and prosperity in Michigan. Ford argued for an updating of the state tax system by eliminating personal property taxes as well as investment in updating the electric grid.

Ford Motor Company also introduced a number of ways in which it is helping to encourage innovation in Michigan, including two new initiatives the company is announcing today.

These include the Motor City Innovation Exchange, a collaboration between Ford, TechShop Detroit, Wayne State University’s TechTown and AutoHarvest to help entrepreneurs commercialize their creations. The program provides a showroom for innovators to show off their creations to peers and potential customers.

Ford Land also announced the Jump Start Program, which offers startup suites, including space located near TechShop, to provide flexible, discounted work space and support for TechShop members who are ready to grow their businesses.

For more information about these initiatives and Ford and its products visit http://corporate.ford.com.

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