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State-Funded Innovation Hub Directors Promote Collaborative Endeavors at Ferris

President EislerFerris State University’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs welcomed commercialization directors of Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Innovation Hubs from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Michigan Technological University to campus on Thursday, Sept. 27, to discuss prospects for collaboration through MTRAC, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation program supporting the translation of research into the commercial market.

Thomas Dowling, director of Ferris’ Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, said the session was an opportunity for administrators, program directors and faculty across the Ferris campus to meet with the Innovation Hub leaders and Denise Graves, a 1989 alumna of Ferris’ College of Business, who is the University Relations director for the MEDC.

“Ferris faculty can apply to any of the four Innovation Hubs, seeking matching grant funds in support of commercializing their technology into the commercial market,” Dowling said. “In addition to that opportunity, collaboration with other institutions, mentorship and industry feedback are key outcomes of the MTRAC program. The resources provided by the program and the Innovation Hubs are important in helping us to move technologies out of the lab and into the market.”

Ferris President David Eisler addressed those in attendance, which included business leaders in a variety of fields while encouraging university faculty to seek support for research projects that have commercial potential.”

“The Michigan State hub supports projects pertaining to Agriculture and Biological Science,” Dowling said. “Michigan Tech’s hub is focused on Advanced Applied Materials development and the University of Michigan is the resource for considerations in the Life Sciences and Advanced Transportation. Now that we are at the table, it is time to work closely with programs like MTRAC, seeking collaboration and support for exciting opportunities to commercialize emerging technologies from our faculty.”

Ferris’ Associate Vice President for Advancement Robert Murray said the university’s Shimadzu Core Laboratory for Academic and Research Excellence and other facilities are essential assets, ready and available to assist these projects.

“This is a wonderful and distinct opportunity to partner with the MEDC,” Murray said. “It will be interesting to see how this will benefit entrepreneurial and commercial prospects of our university and faculty, with the help of Ferris alumna Denise Graves.”

Hospital systems and nonprofit research centers across Michigan are also eligible to pursue support and funding from the Innovation Hubs.

MTRAC is supported through the MEDC Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative which 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. More information is available online, regarding MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University President David Eisler welcomed representatives from Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan to the University Center on Thursday, Sept. 27. Faculty and administrators from Ferris were invited to consider opportunities to pursue research projects with commercial potential, which the hubs support with financial resources provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.