The URC works with a number of partners from across its member universities, the business and nonprofit communities, and government. These partnerships leverage unique assets, resources, and expertise to seed new ideas, creative programs, and innovative research to address challenges and promote greater positive impact.


Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center

Launched in August 2016, the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC) is a statewide center that supports researchers and clinicians from the URC to enhance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Michigan ADCC is one of nearly 30 NIH-funded Alzheimer’s disease centers across the nation, and the only one that links three major research universities.


Focus: HOPE Urban Learning and Leadership Collaborative

The Focus: HOPE Urban Leadership and Learning Collaborative is a partnership between the three URC schools (Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University) as well as HOPE Village and Focus: Hope. Its mission is to mesh local knowledge and university resources to create innovative solutions to community challenges. Neighborhood stakeholders host university research and service projects – ensuring that local knowledge is honored and expanded, in order to solve neighborhood problems and create equity and opportunity. READ MORE


Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM)

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) is a business roundtable of executives from the state’s largest job providers and universities, including the three URC universities. One example of this partnership is Accelerate Michigan which aims to place Michigan among the “Top Ten” states for accelerating economic transformation and cultivating entrepreneurship based on mutually beneficial values, investments and activities. READ MORE



The Infrastructure Network for Water, or inH2O, is a URC collaborative project focused on water infrastructure. It is a pilot to a larger interest in developing a national infrastructure network focused on multiple urban infrastructure systems. READ MORE



The URC and its member institutions have long been a strategic partner of MichBio, an organization dedicated to driving the growth of Michigan’s bio-industry through education, business support and advocacy. This partnership has supported collaborative activities across the URC and industry, particularly in the area of drug discovery. In October 2017, MichBio and the URC hosted a drug discovery conference at Wayne State University in Detroit, which was the second time such an event was held in partnership. READ MORE


University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP)

Michigan’s URC is a proud partner with University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP).  The partnership URC and UIDP has developed throughout the years continues to grow collaboratively in resources and economic development, and positively impacts Michigan schools and universities. READ MORE


 The Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems

The Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems is a partnership between U-MMSU and Michigan Technological University to develop tiny wireless devices that can serve as anything from sensors monitoring bridge safety or other environmental conditions to next generation medical implants.

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium involves members from the URC institutions as well as regional universities like Saginaw Valley State University. The consortium fosters awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan. Its mission is to create, develop, and promote programs that support its vision and reflect NASA strategic interests, and encourage cooperation between academia, industry, state and local government in space-related science and technology.

U-M and Wayne State announced they have joined forces through STIET, a multi-disciplinary research-education program involving corporations like GoogleYahoo and IBM to train the PhDs who will transform the Internet into one that is speedier, more secure and spam-free.

Simultaneously, they are developing new technology to make it easier for the best and brightest minds to collaborate, creating virtual classrooms and laboratories that enable faculty and students to share classes and laboratory assets seamlessly. Key to the effort is Michigan LambdaRail, an ultra high speed fiber optic network developed by the universities.

Economic Development Organizations

Each of the partners have been leaders in establishing major economic development organizations designed to attract new industries and jobs to their regions.

U-M helped establish Ann Arbor SPARK, an economic development and marketing organization for greater Ann Arbor, in 2005 with the goal to double the number of technology companies and triple technology jobs in the region by 2010, making the greater Ann Arbor region a hub of entrepreneurial energy. For more on Ann Arbor SPARK, visit:

MSU helped establish Prima Civitas in 2006, with a mission to help Michigan reemerge as an economic powerhouse, diversify Mid-Michigan’s economy, and transform the region into one of the most innovative in the world. For more information, visit:

MSU is also an investor and board member of the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP). To learn more about LEAP, visit:

Wayne State helped establish TechTown, Detroit’s only research and development park, as a community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, service providers and corporate partners creating an internationally recognized entrepreneurial village. Spanning 12 city blocks, the incubator provides the support and access to capital needed to build high tech companies. For more information, visit:

Environmental Health Funding

In 2011 the University Research Corridor (URC) awarded more than $750,000 for two three-year grants to support collaborative and potentially transformative research in environmental health science. The two award-winning projects, which include UCARE Asthma and the Michigan Bloodspot Environmental Epidemiology Project (BLEEP). Both projects are completed, and have yielded findings  that have led to academic publications and outside funding for larger project. (Read about the Environmental Influences of Child Health and Outcomes, or ECHO program.) Each project has successfully integrated their URC-supported work with related research, and identified and attracted external funding to enable ongoing research efforts.

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium

The Michigan Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) provides the largest higher education job board in Michigan. The consortium is designed to make it easier to recruit or retain talented faculty and staff by helping spouses find openings at nearby colleges or universities within the same region, to create networking opportunities and share best practices among member institutions through regular meetings, and to reduce costs through joint purchasing arrangements. READ MORE

Hospitals and Healthcare

The U-M Health System plans to create 5,623 new full-time jobs between 2007 and 2012, and carry out more than $1 billion worth of new construction, which will create hundreds of temporary construction jobs each year between now and 2012. The projects including a half billion dollar new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s HospitalWayne State is expanding its medical campus as well and MSU has expanded medical operations into Grand Rapids, Detroit and Macomb County.

K-12 Education Partnerships

URC education faculty, working with other universities across the state, helped develop new standardized tests and curricula that will give the state some of the nation’s highest education standard by 2011. Michigan this year became one of only three states in the nation requiring nearly all-11th graders to take the ACT, which boosted the number of students taking the test by more than 40 percent.

The U-M School of Education’s many Detroit related activities include efforts to put Education students into teaching roles with the Detroit Public Schools as well as the Highly Interactive Classrooms/Curricula/Computing in Education, known as the Hi- Ce program. For more than 10 years, this research group has conducted curricular design experiments and explored facets of science, social studies, and literacy education reform in collaboration with Detroit middle school teachers and administrators. For more details, visit:

More than 2,000 Detroit Public School students each year participate in BioKIDS, the University of Michigan School of Education and Museum of Zoology program that uses technology and hands-on learning methods to help middle school students ask questions the way scientists do.

The National Science Foundation has awarded $11 million in grants for researchers at U-M, MSUNorthwestern University and Project 2061 to take their efforts to reform elementary and middle school science education to the next level. The goal: Maintain U.S. competitiveness by re-tooling science education to keep kids interested in science and improving scientific literacy for all students with some winding up in vital science and technology careers. Building upon past success in Detroit and Chicago, the researchers now are aiming to take their model curriculum to other middle schools across the nation to sites including Washington, D.C. and Tucson, Ariz.

U-M School of Education Professor Ed Silver, who has been spearheading efforts to help displaced Pfizer employees earn education degrees, last fall received a $356,000 grant from Saginaw Valley State University to start a project entitled, “The Michigan Math and Science Partnership Teacher Leadership Network.”

Life Sciences Collaboration Team

The Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team is a partnership between all the Michigan Life Sciences structural biologists including researchers at U-M, Wayne, MSU, and the Van Andel Institute. It is also worked with researchers in other state.

Another Life Sciences collaboration involves U-M’s Center for Chemical Genomics, David Sherman at U-M’s Life Sciences Institute and Rick Neubig at the U-M Medical School. They are collaborating with Wayne State on screens for targets on diabetes/metabolism and infectious disease.

Making it Easier for Community College Students to Obtain Bachelor’s Degrees

MSU and the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in November launched the Michigan Transfer Network ( to make it easier for community college students to transfer to four-year universities.


The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR)

The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) is a 22 year-old collaborative research, community outreach, and faculty mentoring program based at Wayne State, Michigan State and the University of Michigan. Under the leadership of a coordinating center, it is one of eighteen national Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) and specialized Alzheimer’s focused projects funded by the National Institute on Aging to increase and enhance the diversity of the future scientific research workforce; mentoring promising new faculty and research scientists from under-represented groups for sustained careers in aging-related behavioral research.

Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN)

The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) began as a collaboration between six of Michigan’s leading research universities: Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. These six schools, which stretch from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the state’s southeast and southwest corners, are responsible for 98 percent of the academic research done in Michigan, 99 percent of all patent activity and the education of more than 160,000 students statewide. READ MORE

Michigan Sea Grant

Michigan Sea Grant is a joint program of U-M and MSU. It is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 30 university-based programs in coastal states across the country. READ MORE

National Children’s Study

Researchers from the three research universities collaborated with Henry Ford Health System and Children’s Hospital of Michigan as part of the National Children’s Study, a massive federal effort to examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 U.S. children, following them from before birth until age 21.

The Perinatology Research Branch

The Perinatology Research Branch (PRB) is the only Clinical Branch in the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to focus its research on human pregnancy and unborn children. It is currently housed at the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan through a service contract. The Branch has thrived in this environment, earning a national and international reputation for its pioneering work and scientific achievements. In 2017, the PRB celebrated 25 years of such accomplishments. Using a multidisciplinary approach to study pregnancy complications, the Branch has assisted in providing care to over 25,000 pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

Regional and Community Outreach Efforts

MSU Extension offices and staff are in all 83 counties. Extension faculty on the MSU campus conduct research and translate research results into educational programs. Since its beginning, Michigan Extension has focused on bringing knowledge-based educational programs to the people of the state to improve their lives and communities. County-based staff members, in concert with on-campus faculty members, serve every county with programming focused on agriculture and natural resources; children, youth and families; and community and economic.

AKTL (Advancing Knowledge Transforming Lives) Networks have been created in major geographic areas across Michigan – Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and the Upper Peninsula. These networks bring together faculty and staff who collaborate with community agencies, organizations, schools, public institutions, and businesses. Their purpose is to enhance communication among MSU scholars who do work in the same geographic area and to encourage multidisciplinary work.

Detroit: Both U-M and MSU have established Detroit-based research and outreach efforts for the hundreds of outreach and research projects they have underway in Michigan’s largest cities. Their locations, close to the Wayne State campus, further aid the ability to collaborate.

The U-M School of Public Health runs 15-20 projects through the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center. The school also runs several AmeriCorps projects including one on lead poisoning with the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, one with ACCESS (serving the Arab American population in Detroit and Dearborn), and one with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation. For more information, visit:

Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Each year, a team of architecture students and expert guest designers volunteer to put together the Detroit Design Charrette. The assembled teams work to come up with innovative designs and ideas for various areas of Detroit. The program also includes U-M students from disciplines as varied as the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the U-M Law Schooland the School of Natural Resources and Environment. For more on the Charrette program,

Research Libraries Are Linked

The research universities libraries have been linked electronically since 1994 through the Michigan Research Libraries Triangle, allowing students, faculty and staff borrowing privileges at any of the three universities. READ MORE

STEM Partnership With Western Michigan University to Boost Number of Minorities in Math, Science

U-M, MSU, Wayne State and Western Michigan joined together in 2006 to launch the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, a federal initiative designed to attract and retain under-represented minorities to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The five year, $5 million program was supported by a National Science Foundation grant. The four partner schools aimed to increase the number of under-represented minorities earning baccalaureate degrees in STEM areas.

The alliance universities establish a student ambassadors program; collaborate with other STEM groups such as the American Chemical Society; make it easier to earn dual degrees in STEM areas; develop pre-first year summer transition programs; involve more undergraduate students in research projects; and increase participation in MI-LSAMP internships and residential learning programs.

Traumatic Brain Research

Wayne State University’s Biomedical Engineering Department, proposing to manage a consortium of 14 research institutions including U-M, the Henry Ford Health System, TACOM, several military labs and the VA Medical Center in Detroit, is vying to become a national center for Traumatical Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Under the proposal, Wayne State would be the lead institution, managing a consortium of 40 researchers from 14 institutions, including the University of Michigan, Henry Ford Hospital, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit and several military labs, including TACOM in Warren.



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About the URC
The University Research Corridor is an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University to transform, strengthen and diversify the state's economy.
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