- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - A statewide utility company has opened a center in its hometown of Jackson designed as a place for business collaboration, innovation and incubation.

The four-story Consumers Energy Innovation Center held its grand opening Friday afternoon in a former downtown F.W. Woolworth Co. store.

Officials say the facility provides space for workers on the utility’s strategic innovation, smart energy and energy efficiency teams. It also serves as an incubator for startup companies.

CEO-elect Patti Poppe says the center aims to promote “partnerships between our company, universities, startups, investors, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, innovators and businesses.”

The center also includes the Anchor Center, an effort to encourage downtown development that’s supported by Consumers Energy and about two dozen other Jackson employers.

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