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 >

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the BEC

The University of Michigan strives to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, and we believe that diversity is essential to individual flourishing, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge.

U-M has many programs and initiatives that work to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment and create a diverse and talented workforce. The team at the Business Engagement Center can help companies identify ways they can support diversity initiatives at U-M.

Information on the University of Michigan’s diversity plan and priorities can be found at

Diversity Initiative Industry Partnerships

Some of our current partnerships that illustrate these shared goals include:


Ford, PNC Bank, UMCU and DTE



Old National Bank

Ford Motor Company


“We find that one of the common goals we share with our industry partners is working to create a multicultural and talented workforce. Many of the strategic objectives around U-M’s diversity plans are also in place in corporations. These shared objectives provide us both with opportunity to collaborate in unique ways to make an impact.”

Stella Wixom

Executive Director, Business Engagement Center

Campus Initiatives Supported by Industry

Many companies fund these programs  to show their support for equitable access to higher education, research to alleviate poverty, and foster a diverse and talented workforce. There are a variety of additional research and program opportunities that support these ideals. Please contact our Relationship Mangers to find the right fit for your company’s priorities.