The facility was built with a $2.5–million grant from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and a $1.1–million gift from the Ford Motor Company Fund. The EDA views the ATDC as an innovative way to pool and draw upon undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and their collaborators—from the local area, across the country, and around the world—to grow new, high-tech businesses.
The ATDC is a cooperating site of the Michigan Tech EnterPrise
SmartZone, which is a collaboration among the University, the cities of Houghton and Hancock, the State of Michigan, the regional business community, and the Keweenaw Industrial Council. The ATDC is the campus hub of the SmartZone and will lease space to SmartZone tenants in need of its specialized capabilities.
Alan West, director of the SmartZone, is a former educator and entrepreneur. He hopes that the SmartZone “can become a one-stop clearinghouse to connect people and ideas”—all with an eye to high-tech business incubation.