Mich., partners offer grants to Israeli mobility companies for road, facility testing

Israeli startups looking to test and pilot mobility technology are getting an assist from Michigan.

Recipients of the Israel Michigan Autonomous Technologies Collaboration grant program will have access to the state's roadways and facilities, including the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township, for their tests, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s mobility arm, PlanetM.

The program is part of a partnership among PlanetM, the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Michigan's mobility landscape will allow Israeli startups to test and deploy products in extreme weather conditions, a key piece to advancing the global development of mobility technologies, PlanetM said. Michigan and other states are competing to attract startups and other emerging autonomous vehicle and mobility technology providers as the traditional auto industry undergoes disruption and change.

Companies will also have access to Michigan's technology incubators and accelerators and industry leaders. Through the program, the companies can run clinical trials, adjust their technology to meet the market's needs and gain "regulatory experience and commercialization channels," according to the application website.

The program backs technologies in areas including autonomous and connected vehicles and smart manufacturing.

"We're excited to see this program come to fruition," Seun Phillips, managing director of PlanetM at the development corporation, said in a press release. "Our goal with this program is to provide a clear, accelerated path toward real-world deployment here in Michigan for Israeli startups developing new mobility technology, providing them with the resources and funding they need to be successful."

Representatives from PlanetM announced the program this week in Tel Aviv, Israel, at EcoMotion, a conference that showcases the country's smart transportation.

Applications for the first round of recipients are open through Sept. 3.

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