Defense industry consortium expands operations at Velocity Center

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 2, 2023

 The Velocity Center in Sterling Heights has welcomed the recent expansion of the National Advanced Mobility Consortium’s operations there.

The Velocity Center in Sterling Heights has welcomed the recent expansion of the National Advanced Mobility Consortium’s operations there.

Photo provided by the Velocity Center


STERLING HEIGHTS — A national organization that works with the defense industry has recently accelerated its use of the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights.

The National Advanced Mobility Consortium is a nonprofit that represents a group of over 500 companies and other member organizations — including academic and nonprofit ones — that specialize in military technology, especially for vehicles.

NAMC Senior Director of Strategic Growth Warren Sponsler said the Ann-Arbor-based consortium established its second Michigan office at the Velocity Center around a year ago. Last December, the consortium expanded its offices there, and it celebrated a May open house, he said.

Sponsler said the consortium helps foster collaboration and is an intermediary between its members and the U.S. Department of Defense. He said Velocity’s proximity to the defense corridor between Mound Road and Van Dyke Avenue makes it an attractive hub for these activities.

“This really gives us an opportunity to engage with and support our customers — also, several of our member organizations,” he said. “Many of those have presence there in the Michigan Defense Corridor aligned (between) Mound and Van Dyke.”

Sponsler said Velocity’s work spaces will help the consortium with meetings, conferences and networking events.

“Our presence locally really helps to maintain that connectivity between innovative companies and the government,” he said.

Velocity is one of the state’s Michigan Economic Development Corp. SmartZone spaces that assist and accelerate tech startups, businesses and advanced manufacturing. The center started as a joint project among Sterling Heights, Macomb County and Oakland University.

April Boyle, Velocity’s interim director and senior adviser for entrepreneurship and innovation, said the center’s building is equipped to help technology and manufacturing startups grow.

“It’s definitely a mutually beneficial partnership,” she said. “So we are located in the defense corridor of Michigan or even in the Midwest, so it makes sense for NAMC to be in Macomb County. Having those folks working in one building … accelerates collaboration, access to customers and partnerships.

“We bring in lots of educational opportunities that their members can attend. We do networking events. We’re going to be launching pitch competitions.”

Boyle said Velocity’s activities help improve the area’s quality of life by producing good-paying local jobs and businesses, as well as keeping the defense industry in Macomb County.

“The whole point of having these SmartZones or incubators and accelerators is it helps to start more companies, which nets new jobs,” Boyle explained.

“It also helps attract and retain talent, as well as wanting our young people to feel like they have an opportunity to stay in the community for jobs or to start companies of their own.”

Learn more about NAMC by visiting For more information about the Velocity Center, 6633 18 Mile Road in Sterling Heights, visit