Corporate-sponsored research is critical to the vitality of our enterprise, providing teams across the University of Michigan with incredible resources and expertise so they can collaborate with industry partners to catalyze innovative activity. Corporate philanthropy also is an essential component that drives our mission, and our ongoing partnerships with companies worldwide help strengthen and support key university priorities.

The university has modernized its approach for corporate engagement, providing clear focus and increased service in the areas of research and philanthropy.

Effective September 1, these functions will be managed by two units:


The corporate philanthropy component of the BEC will transfer to the Office of University Development (OUD). This new Office of Corporate Relations will strengthen and sustain strategic partnerships, and generate a clear focus and ideal customer experience for our corporate philanthropic partners. It will align company goals with university priorities and facilitate connections to student and alumni talent, continuing education programs and strategic giving opportunities.

Office of University Development >


The corporate research component of the BEC will be served by a new Corporate Research Alliances (CRA) unit within the Office of Technology Transfer, a unit within the Office of the Vice President for Research. This move prioritizes the faculty experience for corporate engagement, with Tech Transfer serving as the primary gateway for U-M faculty seeking to increase the impact of their research by connecting with the private sector — whether this be through corporate sponsored research collaborations, licensing discussions, or connections with entrepreneurs and investors to support startup company formation. Tech Transfer also will provide concierge service for companies, investors and entrepreneurs seeking opportunities to collaborate with U-M researchers.

Corporate Research Alliances >

Partnership. Innovation. Impact.

The Business Engagement Center is industry’s front door to the University of Michigan

How we work with companies

Our team works closely with corporate partners to identify win-win partnerships and collaborative opportunities that advance the mission of both organizations.

How we work with faculty & staff

Our team provides resources, counsel and connections for faculty and staff that facilitate industry partnerships and research funding.

“The Business Engagement Center model is widely recognized as defining the leading edge of integrated corporate relations practice.”

Ed Krause

Ford Motor Company


Increase in corporate research awards at U-M over the past decade

$ Million in corporate investment in FY20

Corporate visits hosted by our office in FY20

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Connecting corporate diversity initiatives with those of the University of Michigan is a strategic priority at the BEC.


Bootcamp on Introductory Data Science

July 26-30
Using biomedical case studies, U-M faculty will provide hands-on experience in the application of the latest data science techniques, including machine and deep learning. These techniques will enable attendees to discover hidden trends and relationships in their organization’s data; analyze or predict therapeutic, biological, and clinical outcomes; and to scale these analyses to large, complex data sets.

Participants will have opportunities to learn, network, and collaborate with U-M biomedical faculty throughout the week-long bootcamp.

Workplace Mental Health Conference

August 18, 1-6 PM
The COVID-19 pandemic put mental health issues front and center and created an unexpected opportunity for employers to better support their employees. The 2nd Annual Workplace Mental Health Conference will bring together key stakeholders to discuss strategies to improve employee mental health.

Topics will include transforming company culture, innovations in workplace mental health, case studies, and special presentations on millennials and compassion in the workplace. 

Tauber Institute Spotlight! Competition

September 17, 12:00 PM EST
Spotlight is a competitive presentation of operations and manufacturing solutions developed by Tauber Institute student teams from their 14-week team projects. Students showcase their project results and compete for academic scholarships. It is an excellent opportunity to establish relationships with students and corporate partners, expand your university presence, and see many new ideas in operations and manufacturing.


Funding Opportunities in Research: Genentech Fellows at UROP

Funding Opportunities in Research: Genentech Fellows at UROP

  Undergraduate students have a unique opportunity to pursue research through the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). Over the past 30 years, UROP has served as a national model of access, diversity, and equity in...

Success Stories

Read about the impact of industry and university connections in our case studies, white papers, faculty features, and corporate engagement articles.

Success Stories

Arts support in a pandemic