The Detroit Center for Innovation

Detroit Is a City of the Future

“Detroit has always been a leader in innovation and this new center will help ensure that continues to be the case into the future. It also sends a powerful message to our young people about the city we are trying to build together.” - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan


The Detroit Center for Innovation

Anchored by the University of Michigan, the Detroit Center for Innovation will be a world-class research, education and entrepreneurship center in the heart of the city.

The Detroit Center for Innovation signals the next frontier of the city’s historic leadership in tech and innovation. The 14-acre new Center will be anchored by a world-class new $300 million, 190,000 square-foot research and education center operated by U-M. Programs for 1,000 graduate and senior-level undergraduate students will focus on high-tech research, education, and innovation, with the goal of supporting the economic development of Detroit and the state with a pipeline of talent.

The Center will also include incubator and startup services, collaboration space for established companies, residential units, a hotel and conference center and event space. For years, Detroit's leaders, community organizations, foundations, businesses and citizens have been working together to revitalize Detroit’s economy and invest in the city’s present — and future. Envisioned and supported by Stephen M. Ross and Dan Gilbert, with collaboration from top minds in the private, public, and academic sectors, the Detroit Center for Innovation will build on the incredible work already underway, and further catalyze this momentum by attracting new talent to current companies and drawing new businesses to the area. The Center will incorporate community engagement in the planning process and will provide a platform to include input and visions for the site by year-end.


Research + Innovation

The Center will be a leading magnet for tech talent and innovation, attracting new business to the area and increasing the region’s and the nation’s global competitiveness.


The site of the Center will connect four neighborhoods, putting innovation at the literal entryway of the heart of Detroit.


The Center launches a new chapter in the University of Michigan’s long-established history of partnership and engagement with Detroit and its leaders, schools, community organizations and residents.

Educational Opportunities

The University of Michigan’s new 190,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art academic building will develop and offer graduate-level and senior-level undergraduate academic programs that focus on high-tech research, education and innovation. The academic building will educate students for a wide array of current and new economy jobs.


Stephen M. Ross is the Founder of Related Companies, the largest private owner of affordable housing, Owner of the Miami Dolphins and a devoted philanthropist focused on the areas of education, the arts, racial equality, healthcare and the creation of more sustainable cities throughout the world. He is the largest single donor to the University of Michigan and has pledged to give more than half of his estate to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations through the Giving Pledge.

Detroit-based Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, developing, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential buildings. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties. Bedrock’s real estate portfolio consists of more than 330 office and retail tenants in Detroit’s technology-centric downtown.

One of the nation's top public universities, the University of Michigan has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years. U-M's alumni body is one of the largest in the world and includes a U.S. president, scientists, actors, astronauts, and inventors. The University of Michigan includes the main Ann Arbor campus with 19 schools and colleges, two regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint and Michigan Medicine. In 2017, U-M celebrated its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its founding in the city of Detroit.

From putting the world on wheels to creating Motown and techno music, what’s made in Detroit moves the world. Detroit remains at the center of the global mobility industry, and is home to a growing number of startups and entrepreneurs. Due to the city’s concentration of creative talent, Detroit is the only U.S. city to be recognized by the United Nations as a UNESCO City of Design. More than 300 years after its founding, Detroit drives global innovation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Detroit the site of the Center for Innovation?

Detroit is a perfect home for an innovation center of this kind. It is the birthplace of the middle class. It is the city that taught the world how to make cars. Detroit connects the past and future— the city sits at the nexus of muscle, hustle and brain. The launch of the Detroit Center for Innovation is the next frontier in Detroit’s evolution, allowing the city to re-establish its leadership in technology and innovation.

What educational programs will be offered at the Center?

A new interdisciplinary committee made up of faculty from the university’s three campuses will develop the Center’s academic programs across a number of technology-based fields, as well as advise on the building’s design in relation to academic needs. Advanced degrees in a range of high tech innovation disciplines will be offered and could include mobility, artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship, sustainability, cybersecurity, financial technology and more. The faculty committee will draw upon strategic consultation with the Detroit business community and programs will be reevaluated every few years to see whether what the school is offering still meets the most pressing needs. The Center holds the potential to offer other certification and advanced career development courses for employees of businesses and corporations in the Detroit area in response to the changing needs of evolving technology.

What is the timeline for the Detroit Center for Innovation?

Construction for the Center is slated to commence in 2021.

Will the community have access to the Center?

Yes! The Detroit Center for Innovation will be accessible to the public in many ways. From a physical perspective, the Center brings to the city a unique collection of architecture rooted in new pedestrian thoroughfares, public plazas, and inspiring landscapes. As a resource for the children of Detroit, community input is essential in this project. The Center’s leadership and developers are incorporating community engagement in the planning process and will provide a platform to include input and visions for the site by year-end. The Detroit Center for Innovation also presents many opportunities to support Detroiters and ensure we are setting future generations of Detroiters up for success. For instance, the Center offers the opportunity to expand on the work of Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, a citywide summer jobs program that employs young adults between the ages of 14 and 24. The Center will help add a new early career exposure component to the program and will offer many opportunities for collaboration – whether it’s through workshops, faculty talks, or hands-on internships at the Center. U-M will provide advanced educational programs through the Detroit Center for Innovation that will be tailored to the current and future needs of the local economy. In developing the academic programs, the faculty committee will draw upon strategic consultation with the Detroit business community and reevaluate each program every few years to see whether what the school is offering still meets the most pressing needs. Additionally, the University of Michigan will engage with industry and community partners and offer opportunities to workers interested in furthering their skills as the workplace – and its technology – evolves.

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