Wanting to accelerate R&D in the auto industry, FCA announced on Jan. 2 that it will join a partnership formed between Plug and Play, the largest global innovation platform for startups and corporations, and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) to bring a new innovation hub to Detroit by June 2020.“Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD” (Amplify:Diversity) will provide streamlined access to all technology startups, with an emphasis on those owned by women and minorities.
“The automotive industry is at the crossroads of digital transformation, where automated driving, connectivity, electrification and shared mobility are reshaping the future of mobility,” Mark Stewart, COOr, FCA North America, said in a statement.
“The participation with Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD accelerates FCA’s approach to research and development, providing immediate streamlined access to an ecosystem of hundreds of technology startups all with an emphasis on diversity, and with greater diversity, comes greater innovation,” Stewart added.
Plug and Play Detroit will secure space in downtown Detroit for the innovation hub in the first quarter of 2020 with plans to open its doors by June.
"We have been building innovation platforms focused on mobility worldwide in locations such as Silicon Valley, Stuttgart and Tokyo,: said Saeed Amidi CEO of Plug and Play. "As Detroit has been the origin of the automotive industry in the U.S., this is a strategic location for us to connect our corporate partners to startups and entrepreneurs and to continue to foster collaboration and innovation.
According to Michelle Sourie Robinson,CEO of MMSDC, “Innovation accelerator programs play a critical role in successfully bringing new ideas to market. Through this partnership, entrepreneurs will gain access to resources, mentoring, financing, as well as physical space, to research and develop future mobility technology. Such resources, in many cases, are not readily available for entrepreneurs, particularly women and minorities. I am excited to partner with Plug and Play, FCA and various other corporations we will announce in the future, to address this need as we grow corporations and entrepreneurs in the process.” While FCA will become a founding partner in the innovation hub, AmplifyD expects to welcome additional corporate and automotive partners soon.