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Plans for Freshwater Research and Innovation Center in Traverse City continue full steam ahead

TRAVERSE CITY - Further conversations on a new educational facility for Northwestern Michigan College. The college’s board of trustees held a meeting May 8th to discuss the future Freshwater Research and Innovation Center going at Discovery Center and Pier in West Bay.

It’ll be around 40,000 square feet and serve as a hub for research and development, tech start ups, incubation; plus educational and workforce activities. It’s a partnership between multiple entities that will also make use of the facility like 20fathoms, Michigan Technological University, and Discovery Center and Pier.

“This is going to take the strength of all those partners and kind of amplify them,” says NMC Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Jason Slade. “So now we have that university component. We have that incubation component with 20 fathoms. We have the support and outreach of Discovery Center Pier, and then we can grow that economic base here with Traverse Connect. So this thing doesn’t work without all those partners. And that’s what makes it so exciting because it’s unlike anything else that we’ve done before.”

Currently the timeline of the center would see the construction being completed in spring of 2027.

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