University breaks ground on new Ford Robotics Building

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Robots developed at facility will address range of societal needs By Nicole Casal Moore Michigan News Starting in early 2020, robots will drive, walk, fly and help rehabilitate or enhance human function in the $75-million Ford Motor Company Robotics Building at the University of Michigan, and officials broke ground on the facility Friday. The 140,000-square-foot, four-story complex will house classrooms, offices, a startup-style open collaboration area and tailored lab space for a variety of robotic technologies. Plans include a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking robots, high-bay garage space for self-driving cars, and…

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Flying Cars are Coming

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by Sheila Waterhouse  March 13, 2018 In an old airport on the north side of Detroit, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation is quietly engineering a revolution. Jon Rimanelli is doing so with industry-shifting ideas, existing technology and a really old company.  The new vision for the Detroit Aircraft Corporation could return this century plus old company to prominence. Started in the 1920’s, the company owned famous name brands such as Ryan Aircraft and Lockheed. They built the Spirit of St. Louis and developed airports, engine plants and airplanes. They were the ‘General Motors’ of their day, until the stock market crash…

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IMRA Kabuki Art

From lasers to kabuki art: IMRA America and U-M

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What does an iPhone have in common with nineteenth century Japanese theater? The block M, of course. For IMRA America, Inc., an ultrafast laser company founded in 1990, everything seems to circle back to the University of Michigan. In fact, IMRA America was founded in Ann Arbor, by executives from Japanese automotive-part manufacturer Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., specifically because it was home to U-M.  With its rich history of automotive partnerships, cutting-edge early stage research, and successful start-ups, U-M was the perfect resource for Aisin to tap for their new venture, IMRA America, which was to focus on the development…

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Deloitte Foundation matching gifts develop future leaders

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Alumni support and corporate investment are both typically important to the financial and operational success of most of today’s universities. When they work in conjunction, fueled by a shared passion, the results can be transformative. That’s what happened when Deloitte, University of Michigan alumni, and the Deloitte Foundation collaborated with U-M in 2015 to fund leadership initiatives at the Ross Business School. Since that time, around 700 Deloitte alumni seem to have embraced this opportunity, giving over $537,000 in funds to U-M. The Deloitte Foundation – University of Michigan Leadership Collaboration Fund was created in an attempt to engage Deloitte…

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Energizing Company

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Finding ways to wrap your head around climate issues can be a challenge faced by researchers, non-profit organizations, policy makers, and corporations alike. Seven teams of students tried to distill some of these complexities by competing in the Energy + Contest through U-M’s Energy Institute.  The program garnered sponsorship interest from companies and organizations, thanks to generous contributions by DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, and the Anthropocene Institute. Dave Harwood, Director of Renewable Energy at DTE Energy and one of the contest judges said, “As Michigan’s largest producer of renewable energy, DTE Energy was proud to support and participate in the…

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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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