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 >

Key Research Initiatives

U-M research initiatives that are highly sought after by our corporate partners include interdisciplinary offerings seeking advancements and solutions in a realm of industries. Our BEC staff can provide connections and more information on the topics below, helping create partnerships where there are strong matches between corporate goals and university research priorities.


U-M’s expertise in mobility solutions is second to none. Our resources are found in almost every school and college at U-M and all three campuses.

Mcity is leading the transition to a new world of connected and automated vehicles. Our work goes beyond technology. Mcity’s researchers, collaborators, and partners consider all aspects of the future of transportation and mobility, such as the impact on business, infrastructure, and society. It is home to world-renowned researchers, a one-of-a-kind urban test facility, and on-road deployments. Here, industry, government, and academia come together to improve transportation safety, sustainability, and accessibility for the benefit of society.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is dedicated to achieving safe and sustainable transportation for a global society. With a multimillion-dollar research program, broad faculty expertise, and multiple collaborators, UMTRI is committed to interdisciplinary research that will ultimately increase driving safety and further transportation systems knowledge.

UMTRI has carried out more than 1,000 short- and long-term research projects in broad areas involving accident data collection and traffic safety analysis, bioengineering, human factors, mechanical engineering, psychology, economics, and public policy. In addition, numerous multidisciplinary research programs are currently being conducted with other units of the university involving specialized areas of engineering, business, medicine, and public health. UMTRI research scientists collaborate with many academic, government, and industry partners to accomplish interdisciplinary research, generating new knowledge and providing student training.

Opioid Solutions

Opioid Solutions serves as a central hub for U-M research, educational activities and community outreach related to opioids. The University of Michigan is a leader in addressing the opioid epidemic, which is the single deadliest drug epidemic in United States history, affecting people of all races and socioeconomic sectors across the nation.

The Opioid Solutions network allows you to browse education and research projects, researchers, centers and publications to see the infrastructure and scope of work that allows U-M to facilitate collaborations with local, state and national partners

Poverty Solutions

Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan is a multidisciplinary initiative to inform, seek out, and test new strategies for preventing and alleviating poverty. It combines the principles that attracted many of our students, faculty and staff to the University of Michigan. These are bedrock principles that we pursue with the full weight of our considerable intellectual power: That we serve the public. That no challenge is too big or too complex. That great universities tackle and aim to solve great problems.

Poverty Solutions will include faculty from many schools and colleges, build upon our strong community partnerships, and provide new engaged learning opportunities for our students.

Global CO2 Initiative

Carbon-negative, dollar-positive

The Global CO2 Initiative funds and conducts research to transform CO2 into commercially successful products using  technology assessment, technology development and commercialization. The Initiative will identify and assist with economics understanding and policy levers needed to speed progress of carbon-based product deployment, while gauging public perception of and interest in these products.

As global CO2 emissions continue to accelerate, a diverse set of solutions is critical to reduce, reverse and remove carbon dioxide emissions to prevent further atmospheric warming. Paired with the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency products, decarbonization technologies and methods can help achieve global climate goals in this century.

Data Science

The Data Science Initiative brings together the newly created Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), Consulting for Statistics, Computing and Analytics Research (CSCAR) and Advanced Research Computing – Technology Services (ARC-TS) to provide a coordinated and comprehensive home for data science as part of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at the University.

The University of Michigan (U-M) plans to invest $100 million over the next five years in a new Data Science Initiative (DSI) that will enhance opportunities for student and faculty researchers across the University to tap into the enormous potential of big data.

Artificial Intelligence

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) program at the University of Michigan comprises a multidisciplinary group of researchers conducting theoretical, experimental, and applied investigations of intelligent systems. Current projects include research in cognitive architectures, distributed systems of multiple agents, machine learning, data mining, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics, computational healthcare, human computing, and computational social science.

The FinTech Collaboratory

The Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance (CSIF) is a cross-campus initiative led by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), in partnership with the Ross School of Business, the Ford School of Public Policy and the Law School. CSIF focuses on creating financial models through the integration of engineering design, data science and financial technology. CSIF’s structure provides a significant advantage in identifying and overcoming the investment barriers, legal requirements and policy challenges of the smart infrastructure market.

Precision Health

Spanning across 19 colleges and schools, Precision Health brings the best and brightest together to 1) develop fundamental social, medical, computational, and engineering science; 2) translate these basic science discoveries into promising treatments that are evaluated in partnership with Michigan Medicine patients and regional health systems; and 3) evaluate and increase the public health impact of effective therapies, working with community health systems, policy makers, and payers to implement these therapies nationally. Currently, there are hundreds of precision health research projects at U-M focused on a broad range of topic areas.