Billionaire Stephen M. Ross announced Friday his plans to donate $100 million towards the construction of the Detroit Center for Innovation, a University of Michigan research and education center to be built in Metro Detroit. 

“Detroit has always been an incredible place of innovation and opportunity, and the Detroit Center for Innovation will usher the city into a new era of leadership in technology,” Ross said in a Friday statement. “This gift is a symbol of progress and momentum in Detroit and I am incredibly proud to advance this transformative project. My time at the University of Michigan was foundational for my life and career, and I hope the students who come here seize the opportunity to make a difference and make an impact here in Detroit and across the country.”

In a public statement, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan emphasized the support Ross’s donation would provide for the Greater Detroit community.

“This historic gift from Stephen Ross ensures that his vision for the Detroit Center for Innovation will move forward,” Duggan said. “The auto industry already is betting big on Detroit to be the center of technological advances in mobility and today’s announcement builds on that momentum. This is a great day for our city and we are deeply grateful to Stephen for his remarkable generosity and commitment to Detroit.”

Construction of the new facility is set to begin in 2021 and will serve up to 1,000 students working towards degrees in innovation and STEM fields.

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