One gift, a dozen students, and lot of thanks

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Lunch at the annual program review of the research projects between U-M and Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is often a networking affair. That was the case this year, but this lunch offered a more meaningful opportunity for many who attended. U-M students in two programs that received $1 million in funding from TRI had the occasion to network with the company’s leadership and staff. This was a chance to talk about industry trends, research ideas, job opportunities, and career paths. This was a chance to showcase amazing talent, and a chance to say thank you. TRI’s commitment (more information on…

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BEC reports record corporate research expenditures in FY 2017

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Corporate expenditures on existing University of Michigan research rose to $100.8 million in the past fiscal year. The U-M Business Engagement Center reported that total corporate investment in U-M — research expenditures coupled with philanthropic contributions — rose to $142.8 million.  The first-time BEC Annual Report comes as the center celebrates its 10th year serving as the university’s front door for industry wanting to connect with the U-M community. The BEC connects companies with research, recruiting, faculty and philanthropic opportunities across campus. Since the BEC’s inception, corporate philanthropy to U-M has increased 53 percent and corporate research expenditures have nearly tripled. “After…

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Beginnings and Endings

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December 1, 2017 After 19 years in corporate relations at the University of Michigan, Susan Shields, Senior Director at the Business Engagement Center, is retiring in January. During her years at U-M, she has made a profound impact on her colleagues, both within the university and within the corporations she works with. Her efforts significantly contributed to the development of the Dow Sustainability Fellows program, and she has worked tirelessly with Ford Motor Company to grow and enhance partnerships and opportunities there, among other wonderful contributions to many partnerships across campus and the business community. She will be sorely missed!…

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MEZ CoE

3M Supports Pipeline Programs for Diverse Students in Engineering

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3M has been an active supporter of U-M student and faculty pursuits for decades. Their student support for teams including the Solar Car team and Tauber Institute offers generous learning experiences for U-M students – many of whom ultimately go on to work and/or do internships at the Minnesota-based conglomerate. 3M has also worked closely with U-M on many student projects, which provide solutions to technical and business challenges while giving an insight into potential new recruits. With this gift, 3M deepens its support of STEM-focused students by providing funding that touches students at three distinct levels during their academic…

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An Unprecedented Partnership

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Ford’s first gift in 1913 (an engine), was just the beginning of a transformational partnership that has had a significant impact on the global economy and engaged more than 50 units across all three U-M campuses. Since that first gift, Ford’s commitment to U-M’s students, collaborative research, and our community has grown exponentially. In 1955, Ford’s $1 million contribution to the Phoenix Memorial Project established the Ford Nuclear Reactor at U-M, advancing the peaceful application of atomic energy in our world. Two years later, $6.5 million and more than 200 acres of land from the Ford Estate gave rise to…

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A long relationship of innovation and integrity

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The foundations for a strong collaboration between the Procter and Gamble Company (P&G) and the University of Michigan began to take shape nearly 15 years ago.  Then, P&G’s Connect + Develop organization, a central research and development unit aimed at leveraging outside partners including universities for innovation was launched. Just a few years later, U-M’s BEC was formalized. Over the course of the next decade the two organizations began experimenting for ways to build on existing collaborations, which included a strong history of recruiting and classroom engagement.  In 2011 P&G signed a statewide master research agreement with all of Michigan’s…

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mcity-test-facility-roundabout

Industry partners invest in second phase of Mcity funding

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October 31, 2017 – Ann Arbor  Eleven companies are investing a total of $11 million in the second phase of industry funding for Mcity, the University of Michigan-led public-private R&D initiative leading the transformation to connected and automated mobility. Industry’s continuing interest reflects Mcity’s success in building an ecosystem of companies committed to the center’s mission to accelerate the development and implementation of connected and automated vehicles to improve traffic safety, conserve energy, and increase accessibility to transportation. “Launching Mcity was in itself a grand experiment,” said Huei Peng, Mcity director and the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering…

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10 Minutes with Stella Wixom

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U-M’s corporate partners say that it’s the people of the BEC that provide the biggest benefit to working with UM. That definitely starts at the top, with the Executive Director, Stella Wixom. Having served as the University and Campus Manager for Nortel Networks, Wixom brought industry experience in technology, sales, and marketing when she joined U-M. Her experience and expertise sitting on the industry side of collaborations represented a valuable perspective in building the newly structured BEC. A core part of the BEC since nearly its inception, Stella played a pivotal role in developing some critical industry/university partnerships before taking…

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Wolverine pathways students smiling

Saturday Classes

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It takes a lot of initiative for students to attend class on Saturday. That level of dedication is what the 400+ middle and high school students from Ypsilanti, Southfield and Detroit bring to all of the events in the Wolverine Pathways program. Wolverine Pathways, a new diversity pipeline program at U-M was established to address the pressing need for U-M to offer a focused and intentional K- 12 program to sustain and improve the diversity of the undergraduate student population. Nell Dority, Senior Director at the Business Engagement Center, knew this would be a good fit for the community-minded University…

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