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Michigan State named first Innovation Hub in state

Wednesday, July 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Designation elevates profile of cutting-edge research with commercial potential

Accelerating the creation and transfer of new technologies from research settings to practical real-world applications is the main focus of the Innovation Hub at Michigan State University (MSU), which was given the first-ever designation in the state by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board at its June meeting.

“As an Innovation Hub, we will now be able to support innovators across the state to advance the AgBio field,” said Richard Chylla, executive director at MSU Technologies in the MSU Innovation Center. “The success of the MSU program and interest from those outside of the university is what helped us achieve this milestone.”

Along with the designation as an “innovation hub,” MSU receives $1 million from MSF and $1.27 million from the university. The Innovation Hub is part of the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program, which reinforces the commitment of the MSF and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to entrepreneurship as a dynamic catalyst for economic growth. MEDC administers programs approved and funded by the MSF, and serves as the state’s chief business attraction and marketing agency.

In April, the MSF approved $3.5 million in funding to support the acceleration of technology transfer from Michigan’s institutions of higher education, nonprofit research centers and hospital systems. Supported projects focus on cutting-edge research, competitive edge technology and bioeconomy technologies with commercialization potential based on private sector interest. Once accepted into the program, projects will be reviewed and scored by an Oversight Committee for funding consideration and project mentoring.

Prior to joining the statewide program, MSU’s program received proposals on 62 projects, funding 24 of them with follow-on funding totaling $12.4 million. This resulted in the creation of two start-ups, six jobs and three licenses to industry after only the first two complete years of the program.

As of April 2016, MTRAC funded 79 projects, helped develop 13 start-up companies, created 33 jobs, secured $21.4M in follow-on funding, and licensed technology to three Michigan companies.

MTRAC is housed in the MSU Innovation Center, where technology transfer, start-up support, and a portfolio of dedicated business and community partnerships combine to bring ideas to the marketplace.

“Funding these types of programs really speaks to the wide range of expertise in knowledge, research and ideas across the state,” said MEDC University Relations Director, Denise Graves. “This grant money is doing exactly what it was set up to do by accelerating technology from Michigan’s institutions of higher education, creating jobs, advancing Michigan-based start-ups, facilitating investments to students advancing their fields and licensing technology to Michigan companies.”

MEDC’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit


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