- Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a technology business association located in
Southeast Michigan, U.S.A.. Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley has expanded to encompass an eight county area that includes business, educational institutions, and government entities, with the goal of promoting regional prosperity through business attraction services, exporting assistance, workforce development, and technology acceleration. The association currently includes over 850 advanced technology companies.cite web | url=http://www.michigantrade.org/about.htm | title=Why MITA will be a success | publisher=Michigan International Trade Association | accessdate=2007-09-03]
The genesis of Automation Alley can be traced back to Oakland County Executive
L. Brooks Patterson’s 1997 State of the County address, where Patterson unveiled his vision for leveraging the combined strength of the county's high-tech companies into a national marketing strategy that could be used as a tool to attract skilled talent and cutting-edge businesses.
The first phase of development, where the organization's basic structure was formed, began with a member roster of 44 organizations. The beginning of the second phase turned Automation Alley into a working organization and dramatically increased membership. Four member-driven committees were established and member benefits, including seminars, networking events, and a quarterly newsletter were created. During the second phase, a national marketing campaign was launched to attract high-tech talent to the area.
In 2002, a trade mission program was established with the assistance of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The initial funding enabled Automation Alley to create a program to aid small businesses in boosting their sales through the use of exports.
Automation Alley, which is currently headquartered in
Troy, Michigan, in the designated Automation Alley Technology Park-Troy, has conducted trade missions to Mexico, China, Germany, and Central and Eastern Europe. The association has also hosted a reverse trade mission of Chinese delegates to Southeast Michigan. Automation Alley conducts international business attraction activities in addition to the exporting activities.
In the summer of 2003, Automation Alley began to offer entrepreneurial services, which bring together businesses, educators, and government to help entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and services. This assistance includes limited pre-seed and commercialization funding, business plan and strategy development support, and a network of experts and mentors.
* [http://www.automationalley.com/autoalley/Automation+Alley Automation Alley Official Site]
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