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 >

Our Results


The world renowned research, faculty, and facilities at the University of Michigan cultivate cutting edge technologies, innovative ideas, and the talent to fuel our economy. Companies, students, and researchers come to U-M to be a part of this work and the exciting energy on campus.


The BEC’s campus partnerships and support from U-M leadership help make the BEC one of the premier corporate engagement programs in the country. We continually pursue strong industrial engagement that fosters win-win strategic partnerships on all three U-M campuses.


Our numbers speak for themselves. Not only the breadth and depth of capabilities of our entire university, but the intense level of corporate engagement illustrates why we are the Leaders and Best.

Business Engagement at U-M in FY20

Total Corporate Investment

$144.2 M

Corporate Philanthropy

$30.7 M

Research Expenditures

$113.5 M

University of Michigan


Students participated in undergraduate research projects



New Inventions



in Research Expenditures



New Business Startups




Research volume

in U.S. public universities




Top Public School
in the U.S.

(QS World University Rankings 2019-2020)




Grad Programs
in the Top 10

(U.S. News & World Report, 2019)




Best College Town in the U.S.

(Forbes, 2018)




More than


living alumni worldwide



Economic impact on the State of Michigan




MBusinessLink is the Business Engagement Center's monthly publication


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