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Michigan Impact

2013 fall Issue

Mary Sue Coleman

From our earliest days, the University of Michigan has been sustained by both public support and philanthropy. Each is critical to our mission. Last week we launched the Victors for Michigan campaign. It is our most ambitious fundraising effort in our history and will have a direct impact on U-M’s future. The goal of $4 billion is extraordinary because the University has extraordinary aspirations.

In addition to our fundraising, there remains a critical need for state support. Over the past several years, we have relied heavily on internal reallocation and cost containment to lessen the impact of reduced state support. Our costs keep rising, the national faculty environment remains fiercely competitive, the needs of our student body continue to grow, and we must ensure that qualified students of all economic backgrounds are able to attend the university. 


We are proud of our compact with society, and believe deeply in working for the public good because of the longtime public investment in higher education. We are equally grateful to our alumni and donors for private support. These bonds of support are essential to our momentum and impact as one of the world’s great public universities.


We ask that you join us in advocating for additional state support in the coming year. 

Mary Sue Coleman
Mary Sue Coleman
University of Michigan

New innovation prize emphasizes training over competition

A new statewide entrepreneurial contest aims to arm students with the resources and skills necessary to launch a successful tech startup in Michigan. In addition to more than $100,000 in award money, the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize (MCIP) will offer participants intensive startup training based on the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps program (I-Corps).

The MCIP, which runs from October-February, marks the first time this curriculum is available to undergraduates seeking to launch their own enterprises. Event coordinators say the statewide venture challenge will help both the state and its students by keeping Michigan relevant in the knowledge economy and creating different career paths for college graduates.

"It's a way to keep Michigan talent in the state," says Amy Klinke contest director and U-M Center for Entrepreneurship assistant director. "We're connecting students to local mentors and venture capitalists and engaging them in the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem."

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U-M to accelerate advanced transportation technologies

A new $330,000 pilot program will fund U-M researchers focused on the most commercially viable innovations in the realm of electrified, connected and autonomous driving vehicles. The M-TRAC pilot (Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization) is jointly funded by the university and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and will target promising new technologies from the College of Engineering and the U-M Transportation Research Institute.

This support includes research funding for proof-of-concept and late-stage translational activities, with consultation and mentoring from industry and investment experts outside the university. Potential economic impact is far-reaching throughout the region's auto sector; M-TRAC funding will focus on advanced materials, robotics and autonomy, sensors, electric vehicle drivetrain/propulsion, software/controls/data, and advanced manufacturing processes.

"The [transportation program] will be an important Michigan resource for advanced automotive research, technology commercialization, and transportation market development," says Gary Smyth, one of the oversight committee members.

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U-M’s Ross School of Business and the Zell Lurie Institute named top graduate program in entrepreneurship

U-M’s Ross School of Business was named the No. 1 graduate entrepreneurship program in the nation, in recognition of the programs, courses, and engagement offered through the school's Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine recognized Ross in the joint ranking of its top 25 graduate entrepreneurship programs, which surveyed more than 2,000 schools. This marks the fourth consecutive year Ross has appeared among the top five, advancing into the top spot for the first time and from second position in the 2012 rankings.

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New interactive map to support climate change adaptation planning in Great Lakes region

A jointly developed interactive map launched by the U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute and Headwaters Economics gives Great Lakes policymakers and decision-makers easy access to targeted data to help them plan for, and adapt to, the regional impacts of climate change. The free online tool—the "Socioeconomics and Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region" map— provides social, economic and demographic statistics on 225 counties in the region.

"We anticipate the impacts of climate variability and change will be felt differently in different regions of the Great Lakes based on their economies, infrastructure and vulnerable populations," says Don Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. The new resource will provide solutions-focused, place-based climate science that communities need to adapt, he says.

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U-M announces creation of Bicentennial Office

The 2017 bicentennial will recall U-M's remarkable past, and serve as fresh inspiration for its future, say university officials as they establish an office devoted to the celebration.

In October, President Mary Sue Coleman named Gary Krenz executive director of a newly created Bicentennial Office. She also announced the formation of the Bicentennial Advisory Committee, which will report to the president.

“Michigan’s impact on creating and advancing disciplines, on research and scholarship, on public higher education, and on society, is singularly impressive. The bicentennial compels us to rediscover this impact, tell it, and celebrate it,” says Coleman.

U-M is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. Bicentennial organizers will focus on the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion, its deeply embedded sense of public mission and its pursuit of art, knowledge and the truth.

Share your ideas on the bicentennial celebration at: http://bicentennial.umich.edu/share-your-ideas/

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Infographic highlights Michigan alum entrepreneurs 

A culture of innovation at the U-M connects the campus, advances the state economy and creates prosperity. U-M entrepreneurs come from a wide spectrum of academic discipline on campus, and 34 percent of them choose to stay in Michigan, developing big ideas with big impact for our state.

Click here to see more information on U-M's entrepreneurship efforts.

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