FCA announced 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 partnership underpins FCA’s approach to the rapid advancement of select technologies through smart and strategic collaborations that promote a culture of innovation and safety.
“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, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America, said. “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.”
According to Michelle Sourie Robinson, President & 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. FCA’s support and partnership with MMSDC is consistent with the company’s longstanding, enterprise-wide commitment to diversity. Later this month, Scott Thiele, Head of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, FCA – North America, will assume the helm as MMSDC Board Chairman.
Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD 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. 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,” said Saeed Amidi, Founder and CEO of Plug and Play. “The automotive industry is going through an incredible transformation with electrification, connected and autonomous vehicles. This partnership with MMSDC and FCA as an early participant – globally as well as in Detroit – in the automotive industry, is a perfect example of how big corporations are taking the necessary steps to embrace the changes in the mobility sector.”