The Detroit Center for Innovation

Detroit Is a City of the Future

University of Michigan, Related Companies and Olympia Development to advance innovation- and talent-focused community development, propelling job creation and creating opportunity for Detroiters and residents across Michigan.


The Detroit Center for Innovation

The Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI) will be a world-class research, education and entrepreneurship center in the heart of the city. It is a collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M), Related Companies and Olympia Development to advance innovation- and talent-focused community development, propelling city-, region-, and statewide job creation and inclusive economic growth.

The DCI signals the next frontier of the city’s historic leadership in tech and innovation. The approximately four acre new DCI will be anchored by a world-class estimated $250 million, 200,000 square-foot research and education center operated by U-M. Programs will focus on high-tech research, education, and innovation, with the goal of supporting the economic development of Detroit and the state with a pipeline of talent.

The DCI will also include a technology incubator, housing and green space. For years, Detroit's leaders, community organizations, foundations, business and citizens have been doing the big work, together, to move the city forward. The DCI will build on the incredible work already under way -- and catalyze this momentum further, by combining the academic and research prestige of the University of Michigan with Detroit’s innovative history and singular growth potential.


Research + Innovation

The DCI will be a leading magnet for tech talent and innovation, attracting leading businesses to the area and increasing the region’s and the nation’s global competitiveness.


The Detroit Center for Innovation will be built in The District Detroit, where it will connect with the innovation corridor and help spur development, job creation, community engagement and inspire the next generation of trailblazing Detroit talent.


The DCI launches a new chapter in the University of Michigan’s long-established history of partnership and engagement with Detroit and its leaders, schools, community organizations and residents.

Educational Opportunities

The University of Michigan’s new 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art academic building will develop and offer academic programs that focus on high-tech research, education and innovation. The academic building will educate students for a wide array of current and new economy jobs.


Related Companies is a global real estate and lifestyle company defined by innovation and the most prominent privately-owned real estate firm in the United States with over $60 billion in assets owned or under development. Formed over 45 years ago, Related is one of the largest private owner of affordable housing and a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of design, development, acquisitions, management, finance, hospitality, sustainability, and sales. Related’s mixed-use, residential and commercial office properties have been consistently heralded for their placemaking vision – bringing together iconic design, arts and culture, dynamic programming, and innovative wellness programs.

Olympia Development of Michigan, an Ilitch company, is a real estate development firm dedicated to improving the lives of people who live, work, and play in Detroit and beyond. Through catalytic developments, innovative design and construction, and inclusive placemaking, Olympia Development continues to create jobs, increase tax base, and grow businesses in Detroit while steadily creating one of the world’s most dynamic sports and entertainment destinations, The District Detroit. The District Detroit unites world-class theatres, four professional sports teams and three multi-use sports facilities, including Comerica Park – home of the Detroit Tigers, and the state-of-the-art, award-winning Little Caesars Arena – home of the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Pistons and world-class entertainment and community events. The District Detroit also includes retail, residential, educational, and commercial office developments, such as the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, the Detroit Center for Innovation, and the Little Caesars World Headquarters. Olympia Development’s restoration of Detroit’s historic icons, such as the Eddystone residences, is bringing much needed market-rate and affordable housing to the core of the city. The past and future economic impact of The District Detroit to the region and the state of Michigan is estimated to exceed $4 billion, driving job creation and entrepreneurship for the betterment of the greater community.

One of the nation's top public universities, the University of Michigan has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years. U-M's alumni body is one of the largest in the world and includes a U.S. president, scientists, actors, astronauts, and inventors. The University of Michigan includes the main Ann Arbor campus with 19 schools and colleges, two regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint and Michigan Medicine. In 2017, U-M celebrated its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its founding in the city of Detroit.

From putting the world on wheels to creating Motown and techno music, what’s made in Detroit moves the world. Detroit remains at the center of the global mobility industry, and is home to a growing number of startups and entrepreneurs. Due to the city’s concentration of creative talent, Detroit is the only U.S. city to be recognized by the United Nations as a UNESCO City of Design. More than 300 years after its founding, Detroit drives global innovation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Detroit the site of The Center for Innovation?

Detroit is a growing presence as a center for innovation, which now includes Ford's new Corktown mobility innovation campus, TechTown Detroit, Wayne State University and more. The collaborative approach will encourage business growth in Detroit as students graduate and start their own businesses in the area, with continued support from the Center.

What is the timeline for the DCI?

Groundbreaking is expected to occur in 2023.

How much money has been committed for this project so far? Where will the rest of the money come from?

DCI has been seeded by a $100 million donation by Stephen Ross and the contribution of land by the Ilitch organization. The rest of the money is expected to be raised from a combination of public and private funding to be determined.

What will community engagement for this project include?

The community engagement process will include a series of monthly community meetings, each of which will cover a different topic relating to the project. Additionally DCI will engage with the community through both mail and flyers, as well as social media, email and other digital platforms. There will also be the formation of a Community Advisory Panel.