Skip to main content

PlanetM Grant Opportunities

PlanetM is excited to announce the first-ever PlanetM Startup Grants. Separated into two different categories, these grants encourage mobility startups to test their technologies in Michigan in partnership with communities or at Michigan's state-of-the-art testing facilities. Please find more information below on each of these grants.

PlanetM Startup Grants Informational Session

The PlanetM Startup Grant Informational Session and Webinar took place on December 11, 2018 and welcomed representatives from PlanetM, Michigan Department of Transportation, American Center for Mobility, Mcity, Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center, Derq and NextEnergy. These experts shared insights and details about the program, application process, and how the grants can help accelerate your path to commercialization.

PlanetM Testing Grant

The PlanetM Testing Grant will accelerate innovation by providing mobility startups the opportunity to access advanced testing facilities. The cost to test can be a deterrent for certain startups, so PlanetM is taking action to provide funding to reduce this cost. This will allow startups to focus their resources on enhancing and proving their technologies, and work to deepen companies’ ties to Michigan and its mobility ecosystem.

Organizing Grant Partners: Mcity, American Center for Mobility (ACM), and Kettering Univeristy GM Mobility Research Center

Location: Statewide

Timeframe: October 2018 — September 2019

Value: Minimum 25% match required by participant. Grant amounts will vary.   

For more information on how to apply: click here

PlanetM Pilot Grant

The PlanetM Pilot Grant will support global mobility startups to deploy their technologies in Michigan in partnership with Michigan communities, ultimately making it easier, safer and more affordable for people and goods to move around.

Organizing Grant Partners: NextEnergy and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)

Location: Statewide

Timeframe: October 2018 — September 2019

Value: Minimum 25% match required by one or more of participant's partners and may not be in the form of a discount or in-kind services. Grant amounts will vary. Anticipated grant range is $50,000 – $100,000.

For more information on how to apply: click here

PlanetM Startup Grants informational Video

$8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge

The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge is a grant initiative seeded with an $8 million legislative appropriation to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state. The Challenge is a collaborative effort that is led by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and PlanetM with collaboration from four other state agencies.

A total of 13 projects in communities of varying sizes throughout Michigan have been funded. The first round of nine grants were awarded to the following:

  • Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, with plans to pilot autonomous wheelchair securements on 10 of its Ann Arbor buses to improve independence for people with wheelchairs.
  • Bedestrian, to test delivery of food and pharmaceuticals with their autonomous delivery vehicle, a task many people find difficult to do themselves.
  • Capital Area Transportation Authority, to encourage independent use of public transportation among individuals in the Lansing area who are blind or visually impaired. CATA will use the funds to collaboratively partner with LookingBus, a tech company geared towards providing a new sense of freedom to people with disabilities.
  • Feonix – Mobility Rising, for the Fenoix Connect project with plans to implement technology solutions to assist with the “last 50 feet” problem of locating bus stops and final destinations.
  • Flint Mass Transit Authority, for the Vets for Wellness program, while partnering with several veterans-serving organizations to provide health and wellness transportation to the veteran communities throughout the Flint region.
  • Hope Network, for its Expanding Mobility Access project, a plan to develop a specialized mobile app to provide on-demand, personalized transportation to this audience.
  • Huron Mobility Initiative, who along with its partners, will use the funding to creatively leverage and expand existing resources to help meet the personal mobility needs for all residents.
  • Kevadiya, for its Indoor Wayfinding for Veterans including the Visually Impaired project, an attempt to solve the problem many veterans have in navigating to their final point of care.
  • SPLT, now acquired by Bosch, who plans to enhance its existing health care transportation coordination technology to improve health care transportation in rural Grand Traverse, Benzie and Allegan counties.

The second round of funded projects are:

Ford City of Tomorrow Challenge

In June 2018, the Ford City of Tomorrow Challenge kicked off in Grand Rapids, Miami and Pittsburgh as a crowdsourcing platform for residents, businesses and community groups to propose and pilot solutions that improve mobility. In Grand Rapids, Ford launched the challenge in partnership with the City, PlanetM, The Right Place, AT&T, Dell Technologies and Microsoft.

Chicago-based Kaizen Health was selected as the winning pilot in Grand Rapids. The company’s goal is to eliminate transportation as a barrier to medical care by integrating existing services from providers, payers, selfinsured employers and municipalities so residents can make independent decisions about their mobility options.

Project Kinetic

Project Kinetic is a unique collaboration between the public (City of Detroit and PlanetM), private (General Motors, Lear, DTE Energy, Quicken Community Fund, Bedrock Detroit and Boston Consulting Group) and philanthropy (New Economy Initiative) sectors. Representatives from each of the partnering organizations worked hand-in-hand for 12 weeks to brainstorm more than 120 innovative solutions to tackle some of the most pressing mobility challenges facing Detroit.

One of the pilots chosen was Busority, which will launch a traffic management system that employs connected technology to public transit vehicles at select intersections in 2019. Another pilot, ChargeD, will provide a futuristic public space in the heart of Detroit where people can meet and socialize while fast-charging their electric vehicles and learn about the benefits of EVs and mobility technologies.

Ann Arbor Mobility Transformation Project 

The Ann Arbor Mobility Transformation project is a public-private partnership consisting of the City of Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor SPARK, Ford Smart Mobility and Deloitte Consulting’s Future of Mobility practice and PlanetM.

The program’s aim is to integrate data from mobility solutions into a centralized digital platform so city planners and transportation users can make more informed decisions on how, where and when to deploy and use mobility services and innovations. Pilots will be identified in 2019.