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 >

Resources for Companies

Established in 2007, the Business Engagement Center at the University of Michigan is sponsored jointly by the U-M Office of Research and the Office of University Development and is housed in the North Campus Research Complex.

We serve to connect industry broadly across the University of Michigan at all schools, colleges, and campuses, based on interest and opportunity.

We support companies by:

Student Talent

Securing access to student talent and connecting companies with student design/team projects and sponsorship opportunities


Clarifying the recruiting process, navigating career services at U-M, and offering strategic recruiting tactics


Helping discover joint research projects and leveraging faculty expertise


Uncovering technology/commercialization opportunities

Corporate Education

Introducing companies to professional development opportunities across all campuses

Strategic Giving

Identifying strategic giving possibilities


Our team are experts in what they do. They work with companies every day, all across U-M’s three campuses to find connection points. We know what companies are interested in, what questions they have, and where there is significant demand for faculty and student talent.