- In a blog post on Monday, Cisco announced that Michigan will be the first state to participate in the company's 3-year program to advance the state's digital agenda, dubbed the State Digital Acceleration (SDA) program.
- As a part of this program, Cisco will partner with the Michigan Department of Transportation to pilot a connected roadways program for enhanced mobility; will partner with Wayne State University on a Smart/Digital Manufacturing Center in Detroit to spur innovation; will double state resident enrollment in Cisco's Networking Academy; will partner with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) to advance citizen-centric government; and will prioritize smart solutions to make Michigan a safer state in the face of a growing population.
- The SDA program is part of Cisco's even bigger Country Digital Acceleration initiative. To date, that initiative has launched in 16 countries.
This announcement, which was made at the North American International Cyber Summit in Detroit, coincides with Governor Rick Snyder's signature to codify the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps, or the MiC3 program, which "authorizes the DTMB to appoint individuals with cybersecurity expertise to respond and assist individuals or entities experiencing a cybersecurity incident," according to the governor's office. This focus on cyber is one of the governor's key initiatives moving into 2018, and The Detroit News reported that this new partnership with Cisco — specifically with the Networking Academy — will assist with filling cyber jobs in the state.
Michigan has already made significant strides on its own to fill jobs in other areas, and announced in June its lowest unemployment rate in 17 years (3.8%). Billionaire Dan Gilbert is also planning for four Detroit developments that will create 24,000 jobs in the city. The uptick in economy and new development, especially in Detroit — now home to a new $863 million sports arena — is also boosting Michigan as a tourism destination. With its new digital advancements, it is likely that Michigan will continue to raise in the ranks of states to visit, and to live.
Mobility solutions are also booming in Michigan. Mcity, a "fake city" incubator at the University of Michigan, recently selected five startups to test self-driving vehicles and other mobility solutions on the campus. Additionally, Gov. Snyder signed legislation this week to permit electric-assisted bicycles on certain state trails, allowing bicyclists to "experience the beauty of Pure Michigan in a new, exciting way," according to a statement. With Cisco's Connected Roadways project, intended to capture real-time data about traffic flows, environmental conditions and road conditions, Michigan is moving forward as an exemplary state for smart mobility.