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State Rep. Jeff Mayes, left, and Zigmond Kozicki lead discussion of a proposed Great Lakes Water Research Institute recently at Delta College.

Great Lakes Water Research Institute Proposed by Kozicki, Mayes

Officials Gather at Delta College to Eye Sustainable Water Quality Project

May 29, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Mike Seward, president of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, weighs in with a comment on the water institute project proposal.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

About 20 local officials and group representatives met recently at Delta College with State Rep. Jeff Mayes, D-Bay City, and psychologist and community activist Zigmond Kozicki to discuss the feasibility of establishing a Great Lakes Water Research Institute (GLWRI).

Although the discussion was tempered by concerns about funding, the group enthusiastically endorsed the proposal and pledged to move forward with consideration.

"Economic growth in Michigan will be a result of new innovative thinking," said Mr. Kozicki, in a Power-Point presentation. "The concern for the environment we live in has reached a critical point. Creating a 'water institute is a specific answer to all these concerns."

One aspect of the discussion, creation of an industrial incubator to generate new water quality related businesses, seemed to have support from some members of the group.

Such an incubator would apply basic research to model and test new applications for water management and anchor a new environmental fresh-water business community, said Mr. Kozicki.

"GLWRI could support connecting people, resources, organizations, and programs through strategic investments and technical support for projects that balance economic, environmental and social priorities," said Mr. Kozicki.

Mike Seward, president, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, pronounced the project idea "timely," and said "economic development and the environment are important initiatives to pursue."

Discussion also centered on the possibility of Delta College offering a four-year degree, perhaps in the water quality academic area.

Mr. Kozicki postulated a business model in which 20 percent of the revenue of the institute would come from students, 20 percent from professional development training, 20 percent from research grants, 20 percent from business partnerships and 20 percent from product development royalties.###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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