CERI Projects

A ‘Resiliency Planning’ Thought Leaders Series 
Hosted by MSU Extension Land Use Educators and MSU faculty with support from Student Research Assistants and agency partners. 
Falling under the Resiliency Planning Pillar, this six-session live webinar ‘thought leader’ series ran from March through April 2021 (see appendix 5). It was intended to open discussion on the role of regional economic planning and local master planning to prepare for a more resilient and sustainable post COVID environment. The series not only addressed the steps for current planning but allowed for considerations for future resiliency.  

Michigan Healthy Urban Environments
Led by Ann Erhardt, in collaboration with Public Sector Consultants of Michigan
COVID-19 has highlighted many disparities and instabilities in both the health care systems and the economy. This project aims to address those issues, while also discussing how those negative impacts will be mirrored and even exacerbated by climate change events. The project will further investigate how the impacts of climate change are integrated with extractive systems and policies based in capitalism and white supremacist culture, and how this can be connected to complex solutions of racial equity. This project falls under the Resiliency Panning Pillar. 

Building Broadband Better & Planning Broadband Better
Led by REI Innovation Fellow, Mitchell Shapiro and partnered with Merit Network and the Michigan Broadband Cooperative 
Whether it is education, outreach, work, etc., the COVID-19 pandemic has moved many day-to-day activities to a virtual platform. Because of this, the need to address the longstanding digital divide in Michigan has become even more urgent. This project will help bridge this divide by developing a proposal to engage in an in-depth study on the feasibility and benefits of Automated Open Access networks in the broadband space. This project falls under the 21st Century Communications Infrastructure Pillar. 

Catalyzing Waste Reduction Opportunities for Small and Rural Communities 
Led by Terry Link, Starting Now, LLC and Bill Stough, Sustainability Research Group 
This Circular Economies Pillar research project is looking at viable options for addressing waste reduction in small and rural communities, while strengthening the markets for both profit, nonprofit and community owned enterprises within the community. The project includes a plan to develop potential models that can be adopted by communities across the state to reduce landfill waste, while at the same time spurring partnerships across local regional entities. 

Michigan Inventors Coalition
Led by John Hopkins of the Michigan Inventors Coalition
This project generated a successful synchronous online crowdfunding/market research event that allowed multiple inventors to begin moving their products towards the market. The project team has captured their learnings from conducting this event and is constructing a guide other groups across the state can utilize to conduct similar events. This project falls under the Financial Resiliency Pillar.

Creating a Community of Practice: 21st Century Economic Development Planning
Led by Dr. Rex LaMore and a coalition of University Centers across the country
This project has resulted in an application to EDA to support a comprehensive CEDS+ planning initiative to be conducted with partners in Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, and Kansas. If funded, the 5 UC (University Center) partners would have worked with multiple EDDs (as identified by each UC partner) to conduct additional economic planning processes to incorporate additional resiliency factors (social and environmental) into their CEDS development process. This project falls under the Resiliency Planning Pillar.

Digitally Connected Community Farms
Led by Partridge Creek Farms in Collaboration with MSU Rural Computing Consortium & Jean Hardy, PhD
This project is generating a best practices guide for adoption and utilization of sensors and data collection protocol on a small farm level in food insecure and hard to farm areas. This best practices guide addresses a pressing challenge faced by many communities looking to build more resilient local food systems in light of the ongoing supply-chain related challenges initiated by COVID. With Partridge Creek Farms as a primary partner, the best practices guide will be widely distributed to relevant stakeholders across the state. This project pertains to the 21st Century Communications Pillar.

Laying a Foundation for Sustainable Building Materials Management in Detroit
Led by Madi Kraus, Detroit Green Living Science
This project is conducted with support from SEMCOG and will result in an executive report summary detailing the gaps in relevant data sets identified by Green Living Science as essential to building a robust and sustainable building material reuse, recycling, and reprocessing economy in Detroit. With the cost of materials and new building still exorbitantly high as a result of the pandemic, there is hardly a better time to examine new models that help build resilience within and break dependence on global supply chains within the construction sector. This project addresses the Circular Economies Pillar.

Market-end Feasibility Studies & Economic Impact Surveys for Lansing’s Hyper-Local Food Systems
Led by Lansing Urban Farm Project 
The purpose of this study is to utilize findings to generate more successful business models for the hyper-local food system in Lansing, MI and beyond. Increasing the efficiency of local supply chains will create opportunity for long-term growth and living wages for urban/small farms. Additionally, it would increase localized food sovereignty and, therefore, resiliency of local markets to periodic economic shock and supply chain disruptions.  The findings of this study will be compiled into a report which will be shared broadly with local stakeholders. This project pertains to the Resiliency Planning Pillar.

Building a Foundation for Micropolitan Collaboration: Data Discovery in Wexford and Missaukee Counties
Led by Lisa Miller in Collaboration with Alliance for Economic Success
This project undertakes a CEDS discovery and area data analysis that sets a foundation to further analyze the Northwest Lower Michigan Region #10 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) through the lens of community and economic data in Wexford and Missaukee counties. Thus, supporting informed, collaborative prioritization at the local level. Deliverables include local data collection that can be utilized to develop meaningful dashboards and a report highlighting methods, analysis, and recommendations for next steps. This project addresses the Resiliency Planning Pillar.

CEDAM Fellows Training Partnership
Led by Sarah Teater of Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan 
This project leverages the CEDAM Fellows program – a community and economic development fellowship program that places fellows in residence in a community for a period of 15 months to work on building solutions in response to challenges identified by community members. This project is the first of many future collaborations between the fellows and EDA, in which our Michigan EDR (Lee Shirey) will train the fellows to become ‘EDA advocates embedded in community’. This partnership is expected to generate additional EDA applications through the year-long residency of the fellows; and is the first of many steps in a newly forming collaboration between MSU CCED, CEDAM, and EDA. This project falls under the Resiliency Planning Pillar.

Rural Innovation Policy Research
Led by Jean Hardy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Media & Information at MSU, Director, Rural Computing Research Consortium, with support from Student Research Assistant
This study seeks to answer the following: First, how do state and federal governments support   innovation in rural America through policy? Second, what are the downstream impacts of this legislation? In other words, how is the money actually used? To do this, the authors will conduct a pilot study analyzing policy and budget documents for state and federal support of rural innovation. The team will begin by defining and delineating what activities typically support rural innovation. To answer the first question, the team will then select four pieces of legislation, two federal and two focusing on the State of Michigan, to analyze for their support of rural innovation activities. To answer the second question, the authors will systematically follow the legislation and its budget downstream to the entities who were on the receiving end of the funding to evaluate how the funds were used to support innovation activities. The pilot study will produce two key deliverables: 1) a preliminary suite of research tools for evaluating policy supporting rural innovation and its downstream impacts; 2) a report documenting our preliminary findings to be written for key stakeholder groups such as policy makers and economic development officials who are interested in how to support rural innovation. This project addresses the Resiliency Planning Pillar. 

Connecting Discards, Reuse, and STEM: A Regional Approach
Led by Eastern Michigan Council of Governments
The Eastern Michigan Council of Governments, on behalf of the Great Lakes Bay Zero Waste Consortium (GLBZWC), is seeking to determine the potential for the development of a collaborative program in support of circular economies that will connect material discards, such as construction and demolition (C&D) materials and manufacturing scraps, with regional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs, artisans, entrepreneurs, workforce development programs, and community members. As such, this project will conduct research to determine opportunities for diversion of discarded materials used in the built environment and in the manufacturing process in the region, including current disposal and diversion data and practices of generators of C&D materials, current disposal and diversion data and practices during historical building renovation and demolition, existing end-markets for C&D materials and architectural building salvage, identification of potential sources of manufacturing scrap suitable for adaptive reuse, entrepreneurial opportunities, and STEM education and maker space opportunities. Research will consist of surveys and interviews with generators in the region regarding their interest in pursuing initiative and identification of potential stakeholders/partners in addition to identifying and interviewing current C&D recovery/architectural salvage operations in Michigan to learn best practices. This project pertains to the Circular Economies Pillar.

Building Regional Broadband Planning Capacity in Michigan: Addressing Equity in the Development of Broadband-Focused Public-Private Partnerships
Led by REI Innovation Fellow, Mitch Shapiro, in collaboration with Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and Southcentral Michigan Planning Council
This project seeks to understand the broadband-related ecosystem and its key factors—different individual, types, motivations, and resources of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and different communities’ needs, planning capacities, and broadband development strategies—between the seven counties contained in Michigan Regional Prosperity Region #8. The Prosperity Region is comprised of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and Southcentral Michigan Planning Council. The project also seeks to understand whether and how effectively the issues of equity and inclusion are being addressed by these various combinations of factors and forms of private-public partnerships. The result of this project will be a collaborative grant proposal to the Economic Development Administration’s Local Technical Assistance program. This project addresses the 21st Century Communications Pillar.

Innovative Pre-College Initiative: Investing in Michigan, Majority-Minority, and Low-Income Communities 
Led by Rex LaMore, Ph.D., Director, MSU Center for Community and Economic Development and Stephen Gasteyer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, MSU Department of Sociology, College of Social Science, with support from Student Research Assistants
Through funding from the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant provided by the MSU Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, this project seeks to investigate the feasibility of MSU strategically investing its financial resources (“Common Investment Fund”/Endowment) in the creation of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), with the purpose of supporting community and economic revitalization in disadvantaged communities in Michigan. Supporting Community Capital initiatives, Community Investment Funds, and/or the creation of a CDFI will bring opportunities to MSU to create an inclusive and diverse community and improve the chances of providing world-class education to historically disadvantaged Michigan students through supporting the economic resilience of their communities with equitable and sustainable investment practices, while addressing the long-term structural inequities that underpin uneven access to higher education. This project pertains to the Financial Resiliency Pillar. 

Circular Economy Faculty Forums
Led by Rex LaMore, Ph.D., Director, MSU Center for Community and Economic Development with support from faculty from various MSU departments and Student Research AssistantsThe Circular Economy Institute team at The Center for Community and Economic Development organized a virtual forum series focusing on how circular economies have impacted the research, outreach, and instruction of faculty at Michigan State University. The series welcomed faculty presenters from across twelves schools and colleges who presented on a variety of important topics relating to circular economies. The webinar series was organized by a team of faculty members passionate about promoting circular economies, including Vedat Verter, Ph.D., MSU Broad College of Business, Rafael Auras, Ph.D., MSU School of Packaging, Gemma Reguera, Ph.D., MSU College of Natural Sciences, Lawrence Drzal, Ph.D., MSU College of Engineering, and Janet Ireland, Ph.D., MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The series consisted of five panels throughout the fall and spring of 2021 to 2022, which were shared live over zoom as well as recorded and are available on CCED’s YouTube page. This project addresses the Circular Economies Pillar.