A grant to help build the military industry in Battle Creek has now been awarded to Battle Creek Unlimited.

BCU says in a release that they were granted $150,000 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, with most of that money going towards attracting manufacturers of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, commonly called drones.

BCU President and CEO Joe Sobieralski says that "We believe that autonomous aerial vehicles are the future of the aerospace industry and Battle Creek has the right assets in place to attract companies to the region."

Some of the funds will also be used to develop the local economy in preparation for the possibility that Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Training Center is chosen as the site for a planned missile defense system. The Defense Department is currently considering Battle Creek along with sites in Ohio and New York for the project.

This grant comes after Battle Creek Unlimited announced their new five-year strategic plan in August, which identifies growth in the Aviation & Defense sectors as some of their priorities.

This grant is a MEDC Defense Industry Growth Area Grant, which are intended to grow the “defense and homeland security sectors in Michigan”.