Automation Alley

Government Advocacy

As Michigan’s largest technology business association, Automation Alley is the voice of the technology economy at the local, state and federal levels. Automation Alley, through its ongoing advocacy and government relations work, represents nearly 1,000 technology-driven members from across the region.

Automation Alley works with a variety of government officials and agencies, representatives from academia, economic developers and business leaders and, through its ongoing advocacy and government relations work, emphasizes the importance and impact of the technology industry to the region, including its ability to provide quality, high-paying jobs and its contribution to the quality of life.

In 2009, Automation Alley’s Executive Director, Ken Rogers, attended President Barack Obama's "Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth" as a guest of Congressman Gary C. Peters (MI-9th). Working on behalf of Automation Alley’s regional membership, Rogers focused on strengthening credit markets; encouraging and growing entrepreneurship and international trade; increasing investment in innovation and infrastructure and preparing Americans for 21st century jobs. He also stressed the need to increase credit for companies.

In 2010, the Government Affairs Committee approved the following agenda to strengthen the federal government’s innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructure:

  • Improve access to capital for innovation companies.
  • Make the federal R&D tax credit permanent and refundable, as it is in Canada.
  • Increase investments in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs).
  • Reauthorize and increase funding to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).
  • Protect intellectual property rights while promoting cross-licensing.
  • Support reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.
  • Create a national program that will foster increased commercialization of the nation’s research to support university, state and federal laboratory technology commercialization initiatives.
  • Allow international students receiving STEM degrees from U.S. universities to automatically qualify for immigrant visas.

The Government Affairs Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis and is a benefit of foundation membership in Automation Alley. For additional information, contact the Resource Center at (800) 427-5100 or

Additional resources:


         Gary Peters & Carol Browner

       Dr. Thomas Anderson

Congressman Gary Peters and Carol Browner, Assistant
to the President for Climate and Energy Change at the
advanced technology vehicle roundtable at
Automation Alley in August 2009.

Dr. Thomas Anderson, testifying before the
Michigan House
Republican Task Force
on Jobs & the Economy, June 2009.