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

Commercialization through the Office of Tech Transfer


The Office of Tech Transfer (OTT) is the University of Michigan’s organization responsible for the transfer of U-M technology to the marketplace. Tech Transfer enhances these research discoveries to encourage licensing and broad deployment with existing businesses and newly-formed U-M start-ups, and has earned a reputation for performance among the top 10 of all universities.

The BEC partners closely with the Office of Tech Transfer and our teams have been co-located since the BEC’s inception. Our seamless partnership helps our industry partners navigate potential commercial opportunities.

U-M’s Office of Tech Transfer offers full set of services to support commercialization related to U-M partnerships, including:

Invention Reporting Facilitation

Professionals in U-M’s schools and OTT’s central office work with researchers and faculty to provide advice about potential tech transfer issues during research activities and to assist in the invention reporting process.


Patenting and Other Protections

OTT provides guidance in planning an effective patent, copyright, or trademark strategy and handles all implementation details during the protection stage.

Start-up Assistance

OTT provides proactive assistance in analyzing potential opportunities to form a start-up based upon U-M technology and encourages this interaction during the early invention reporting process. Their skilled New Business Formation Staff also provide hands-on business assistance, project planning, and links to funding and people resources.

Legal Support

Their two full-time tech transfer staff attorneys, in partnership with the Office of the General Counsel, provide legal guidance and assistance for all U-M tech transfer activities.

Decision Support

OTT’s business support and administrative staff provide information and guidance to conduct our business and expedite decisions by internal and external partners. They also advise interested parties on U-M policies and procedures including conflict of interest issues.



The OTT staff assists in technical and market assessments and actively markets U-M technologies to industry partners. They create secrecy, evaluation, material transfer, option, and license agreements with these industry partners to effectively get our technology into commercial use.