Welcome to the inaugural annual report issued from the University Research Corridor, a new alliance of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. We created the alliance to promote and leverage our collective assets and to encourage collaboration among our universities and the state. Our goal: Accelerate statewide economic development.

We believe strongly that robust investment in all 15 of Michigan’s public universities is key to the state’s future economic stability. The state’s universities and community colleges are the critical path to an educated, skilled, and flexible workforce, one prepared to respond to the economic challenges ahead. Specifically, our research-intensive universities have a unique and important role in fostering the innovation that will fuel new industries.

The University Research Corridor describes the significant concentration of university-based research and development within a geographic area, much like North Carolina’s Research Triangle. In fact, the URC generated more external research dollars last year than the universities that make up North Carolina’s successful alliance.

Through the URC, we can:

  • Promote the state’s R&D assets to businesses and investors
  • Encourage greater collaboration among and beyond our campuses so the state realizes even more impact from its research universities
  • Provide services to the state to support new business recruitment and development


The URC offers powerful collective assets. Our institutions conduct the vast majority of university-based research in the state. Together we account for 94 percent of the federal and other research dollars brought to Michigan by public universities—over $800 million. That R&D translates into a large and growing base of university-based tech transfer and new business development. In the past five years, the URC received 632 patents and accounted for 79 start-up companies—effectively creating at least one new business every month.

Recently, the Anderson Economic Group (AEG) of East Lansing completed a comprehensive economic impact study of the URC. We commissioned the study to benchmark our performance and productivity over time. We hope to provide a “report card” by which the state can evaluate the return on its investment and establish measures of accountability, as well as increase the visibility of our collective assets as we work to attract new business to the state of Michigan. Both Wayne State and Michigan State have worked with the Anderson Economic Group in the past, and we are confident that the firm’s methodology is rigorous, conservative, and accurate. We wanted to make sure that the data we present now and measure over time is rock solid, so it captures a reliable picture of economic activity and impact.

The results are startling in scope: The URC is responsible for bringing $12.8 billion of new revenue into the state each year, earnings that would not exist in our state if not for these three highly productive teaching and research universities.