Michigan Central, Ford Motor Company’s new development in Corktown, and Newlab, a multi-disciplinary technology center home to over 800 engineers, entrepreneurs and inventors, recently announced a collaboration to create an innovation ecosystem in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood committed to shaping the future of mobility in a way that benefits everyone. The collaboration announcement came a day before a fireside chat between Julie Roscini, Ford’s head of external engagement for Michigan Central, and Shaun Stewart, Newlab CEO, as part of Detroit Startup Week.
“The goal of the Michigan Central district is to spur development of new transportation solutions and our collaboration with Newlab will bring even more talent to the region to join Ford in creating the future of mobility,” shared Julie Roscini who leads the development’s external engagement strategy for Ford. “The mobility studios will help us lay the foundation for the innovation ecosystem of partners and collaborators we want to create in Corktown.”
“Detroit is the birthplace for modern manufacturing, and Ford is the beating heart of the country’s automotive industry. This is why Michigan Central is the perfect place for Newlab’s model of collaborative, diverse, and dynamic innovation,” added Shaun Stewart, CEO of Newlab. “Our studio model will support the overall development of Michigan’s startup ecosystem, making the pie bigger for everyone and helping local startups to stay, grow and thrive here.”
In a press release put out about the collaboration, the alliance aims to pair Ford’s automotive industry leadership with Newlab’s successful studio model, to address complex transportation problems related to connectivity, autonomy and electrification.
Two studios from Newlab and Michigan Central will be launched within the coming months and will be based out of Corktown. The first studio, sponsored by Ford, will kick off this summer and aims to address macro mobility issues, while the second civic studio will focus more on addressing immediate mobility issues in the Corktown neighborhoods that surround Michigan Central Station.
Once the mobility studios open, Newlab plans to utilize some of its existing talents from their community of 155 startups, while also drawing from the existing community of accelerators and incubators from Detroit and around Michigan. Some companies of note that are currently involved with Newlab include Carmera, a road intelligence platform, Tarform, which is working to develop a new type of electric motorcycle, Optimus Ride, the first AV shuttle in New York and Roadpower Systems, a platform that can be used to generate grid-grade electricity using energy recovered from vehicles in motion.
Julie Roscini and Shaun Stewart will hold an online, live-streamed fireside chat, tomorrow as part of the ongoing Detroit Startup Week to discuss the future of mobility in Corktown. The talk between the two leaders aims to cover the future mobility innovation studios and how they will involve members of the region’s startup and tech community.
The chat can be watched here.