Emerging Sectors/Industry Clusters
Oakland County, MichiganAdvantage OaklandInternationalEmerging Sectors/Industry Clusters
Business Development Team 2100 Pontiac Lake Road Building 41W Waterford, MI 48328 (248) 858-0792 Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Emerging Sectors/Industry Clusters

Job creation ​​and diversification are transforming Oakland County's economy from manufacturing-based to knowledge-based through Oakland County's Emerging Sectors initiative. Since inception, the initiative has generated $3.2 billion in private investment and has created and retained more than 57,000 jobs. Get the latest data in our Emerging Sectors Summary Report .Oakland County Tree Graphic

  • $3.2 Billion in private investment
  • 36,630 jobs created
  • 20,704 jobs retained
  • Successes 358​

 Emerging Sectors/Industry Clusters

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Advanced Electronics & Controls,
Oakland County's Advanced Electronics industry focuses on:  biotechnology and medical devices, defense and military, automotive electronics, consumer electronics, aerospace electronics, telecommunications, and computer engineering.click to download brochure
At least 130 electronics-related companies – more than 26 percent – of Michigan's computer and electronic product manufacturers are located in Oakland County, employing more than 4,500 people. 
Michigan will receive the largest financial jolt from a $2.4 billion package of federal grants to develop battery systems and next-generation electric vehicles.  Eleven Michigan manufacturers and research facilities will receive more than $1 billion in grants awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the stimulus program approved by Congress.
The largest percentage of Oakland County electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing firms are in the relay and industrial controls industry sector.
Electrical Manufacturing FirmsResources available for Advanced Electronics firms in Michigan include:  IEEE, the Telecommunications Association of Michigan, the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.
Eight Michigan university research centers have over 25 projects related to Advanced Electronics.
Advanced Materials & Chemicals,
Seventy Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology firms in Oakland County employ over 5,700 people.  In addition, there are over 60 plastic manufacturers and almost 20 rubber manufacturers.Advanced Materials & Chemicals Brochure
Companies that chose Oakland County include:
Akzo Novel Coatings Inc. 
Bonal Technologies
Guardian Industries
LG Chemical Ltd
PPG Industries
Dow Automotive
Henkel Surface Technology
Solvay Engineered Polymers 

Twelve Michigan universities have research centers and laboratories related to Advanced Materials & Chemicals.

Oakland University established a NanoTech Research and Development Institute on its Rochester campus.  The institute recruits accomplished faculty and enlist motivated student researchers, and builds collaborative partnerships with industry to investigate ideas with real-world applications.​

Michigan organizations available to support Advanced Materials & Chemicals firms include:  Michigan Molecular InstituteMichigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and American Concrete Institute.

Chemical Manufacturing Firms Pie-ChartEmerging Sectors targets Advanced Materials & Chemicals has resulted in more than $24 million of new investment and over 130 new jobs for the region in five years. 
The largest percent of chemical manufacturers in Oakland County produce paints, coatings, and adhesives followed by pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing.
Aerospace, Aerospace product manufacturing was one of 20 industries forecast to grow here between 2008 and 2011.  Boeing conducts business with over 286 Michigan-based suppliers resulting in purchases of over $552 million.click to download brochure

Forty-seven percent of Oakland County's electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing firms are in the relay and industrial controls industry.  In addition, 16 percent of the firms produce switchgears/switchboards or current-carrying wiring devices.

Oakland County aerospace manufacturers are top industry performers.  Williams International of Walled Lake has been voted No. 1 by Professional Pilot Magazine in after sale product support for the past 11 years.
History has proven that Michigan's work force can successfully apply automotive manufacturing skills to the aerospace industry.  The Ford Willow Run plant produced B-24 bombers throughout WWII, reaching astonishing
production levels of 25 aircraft per day.  During WWII, a Lawrence Technological University alumnus developed the high wing/rear door design still used in cargo aircraft worldwide.
There are nine Michigan universities with departments and/or programs that are associated with the aerospace industry.
Lawrence Technological University's Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) is a $3.2 million, 7,200-square-foot nationally recognized laboratory that specializes in the development of innovative materials and focuses on finding new applications for carbon fiber composites, ceramics and polymers.
According to U.S. News, the University of Michigan Engineering School is ranked 9th in the nation.  Since it was established in 1914, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at UM has been recognized as one of the leading aerospace departments in the country.  Currently, the university's Aerospace Engineering program is ranked 5th in the nation (tied with Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University).
Aerospace companies in Southeast Michigan have access to six airports throughout the product development process.
Founded in 2007, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) supports manufacturers in their diversification efforts into the aerospace industry.  MAMA has grown to 50 members and helped secure more than $32 million in new business from the aerospace industry.    
Oakland County is considered the brains of the automotive industry in Michigan and a global leader in engineering and research and development.
The county has the third-highest number of technical workers in the nation and more than 70 percent of Southeast Michigan's top original equipment manufacturers are headquartered in Oakland County.

Our skilled workforce engineering and R&D workforce is increasing to meet the demands of the comeback of the auto industry. Such global automotive leaders as Chrysler, Lear and Meritor have their headquarters in Oakland County.
Alternative Energy & Power Generation, The Great Lakes are the largest and potentially greatest source of wind energy on the eastern two-thirds of the United States.
Michigan could rank among the top 20 states in wind energy production, with the potential to produce 7,460 megawatts, enough to power 1.9 million to 2.2 million homes a year.
A state mandate requiring utility companies to generate at least 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015 has spurred an explosion of new wind energy businesses in Michigan.


Alternative Energy companies that chose Oakland County include:click to download brochure

Azure Dynamics
Energy Conversion Devices                        
Magna  e-Car                                        
Novi Energy
Uni Solar                                                 Windstar Power Company

The Federal Government allotted $2.4 billion for advanced battery and electric-vehicle projects across the country. More than half will go to Michigan companies.

State officials predict that battery projects will create almost 7,000 jobs in the next 18 months and 40,000 by 2020.

Oakland County has nearly 30,000 engineers, equipping the region with the know-how to propel alternative energy concepts to tangible, market-ready products.

NextEnergy Tax Incentives & Education Grants

NextEnergy is a non-profit corporation founded to advance the alternative energy industry in Michigan. Michigan NextEnergy Authority (MNEA) certified companies have access to several state-wide incentives. NextEnergy education grants for Michigan colleges and universities ensure curriculum development and an advanced work force focused on alternative energy technologies.

Oakland County's Alternative Energy Research Focus: 
  • Stationary
  • Portable
  • Transportation
  • Military

  • Close to 20,000 acres of corn are grown every year for biotech purposes (ethanol)
  • The Great Lakes surrounding Michigan contain the largest supply of fresh water in the world - 20 percent of the world's fresh water
Communications and Information Technology , Over 36 percent of Michigan's custom computer programming service firms are located in Oakland County.click to download brochure

Communications & Information Technology companies that chose Oakland County include:
Cisco Systems                                      
Covansys Corp.
Delmia Corp.                                         
Plexus Systems
R. L. Polk                                    

SAP America Inc.                                
Tecnomatix Technologies Inc.

There are over 30 research projects and almost 30 research centers related to Communications & Information Technology at Michigan universities.

Available resources to support Communications & Information Technology firms in Michigan include:  Great Lakes Interactive Marketing AssociationInternet2Merit Network, and Telecommunications Association of Michigan.

Our Emerging Sectors initiative targeting Communications & Information Technology has resulted in more than $167 million of new investment and over 3,100 new jobs for the region in five years.

Oakland County Information Firms Distribution by Industry These Innovators below came from Michigan Universities:
  • Tony Fadell - creator of the Apple iPod
  • Charles Hutchins - creator of CAE (computer aided engineering)Bill Joy - founder of Sun Microsystems
  • Thomas and  John Knoll - co-creators of Adobe Photoshop
  • Larry Page - co-founder of Google, Inc.
Oakland County's leading engineering and manufacturing talent will help you bring your communications and IT products to market faster and cheaper.

Film & Digital Media,

​Film & Digital Media

Robotics & Automation,
Sixty-eight percent of Michigan's robotics companies are in Oakland County.click to download brochure
Eighty-five Robotics & Automation firms here employ over 4.400 people.  Some of the companies that chose us include:

Durr Automation
Fanuc Robotics America
Kawasaki Robotics

KEBA Automation Motoman Robotics
Kratzer Automation
Motoman Robotics

Nachi Robotic Systems                                   
Speedring Systems

The Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association (OCCRA) seeks to increase the number of high school students involved in competitive robotics. 
OCCRA generates enthusiasm for technical and academic disciplines like design, engineering, physics and electronics. Participants learn about the diverse technical career options available in Michigan.
Ten Michigan universities offer 16 research centers and laboratories for Robotics & Automation companies, conducting more than 35 robotics-related research projects.
Our Emerging Sectors initiative targeting Robotics & Automation has resulted in more than $21 million of new investment and over 220 new jobs for the region in five years.
Defense & Homeland Security, click to download brochureOur Defense and Homeland Security sector is comprised of companies that produce goods and services for border protection, physical and virtual security, emergency response and threat detection.  Examples include explosive detection, infrastructure protection, investigative support and forensics, physical security, military vehicle manufacturing and surveillance support.
Products developed by various industries may have defense and homeland security applications. 
At least 85 Oakland County-based companies offer products and services for defense and homeland security. Many of these companies are concentrated in Troy and Southfield.
Oakland Community College's 22-acre Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) Center provides police, fire and EMT personnel with scenario-based training. The FBI, the Secret Service, and the Oakland County Sheriff's Special Response Team stage real-life training exercises at the unique facility.
Lawrence Technological University's Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) is a $3.2 million, 7200 square-foot nationally recognized laboratory. CIMR develops innovative materials for the defense and homeland security industries.
Our Emerging Sectors initiative targeting Defense & Homeland Security has generated over $29 million in new investment and over 900 new jobs in the past five years.
Oakland County's Medical Main Street,

​Oakland County's Medical Main Street