URC Growth Fuels Economic Opportunity
Even as the state and national economies struggled in the recession, Michigan’s University Research Corridor grew in areas critical to the state’s resurgence: Increasing net economic impact to the state, educating more students, and boosting R&D gains, according to the latest in a series of URC benchmarking reports.
The 2010 Empowering Michigan report shows URC partners Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University have improved in several key measures since the first study in 2007. The study, comparing Michigan’s URC with leading innovation clusters around the world and building on data collected over the past four years, was conducted by Anderson Economic Group.
The study shows that the URC’s net economic impact on the state has grown from $12.9 billion to $14.8 billion since 2006. “Even as state support has dropped, Michigan’s research universities remain the number one cluster in the U.S. in terms of enrollment, and number three in terms of high-tech degrees. These universities provide a net benefit to the state that is 16 times the cost to taxpayers. This gives Michigan the talented workforce we need for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Patrick Anderson, founder and principal of Anderson Economic Group.
The fourth annual Empowering Michigan report demonstrates the URC’s growth in areas such as research expenditures, enrolled students, and technology transfer, as well as compares the universities’ collective assets apples-to-apples with other “knowledge regions” featuring research universities in close proximity.
“The URC has been a bright spot in the state’s economic picture, even in the teeth of the recession. Michigan has the second fastest research and development growth rate among competitive innovation clusters,” said URC Executive Director Jeff Mason. “Just as importantly, we’re getting stronger relative to the competition, which puts us in a good position to help propel the state’s economic growth in the future.”
The report has tracked a significant increase in patents, licenses, and start‑up companies over the past four years, evidence of new initiatives the URC universities have undertaken to better support business growth.