Download Annual Reports as pdfs: 2010 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report

Engaged in Economic Development


The Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE) assesses the impact of economic restructuring and provides hands-on assistance to distressed businesses, non-profits, and communities throughout the Great Lakes region. These efforts, undertaken by staff, students, and faculty, enhance the retention and revitalization of existing businesses undergoing economic transition and assist communities experiencing major plant shutdowns and downsizing by linking them to resources and facilitating new enterprise formation. IRLEE also provides local, state, and regional economic forecasting services for business, government, and academic constituencies.

Among the many communities assisted by IRLEE in FY 2010 was Hamtramck,
Michigan, where stakeholders were assembled to identify critical community
needs, and key federal and state agencies were brought in to help fund
those needs. In addition, IRLEE arranged to send two graduate interns from the
School of Social Work to support Peoples Community Services, a local
human service non-profit, in implementing several community initiatives.

Attracting GE to Southeast Michigan

GE continues to expand its presence in Michigan—particularly at its new Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township. This state-of-the-art IT and research facility, which opened its doors in October 2009, currently employs about 450 experienced information technology professionals and will grow to house the largest concentration of GE IT professionals in the world. The information technologists and engineers working at this center are helping GE develop innovative new software, processes, and technologies to drive excellence in manufacturing. The university continues to help GE expand its recruiting and research relationship as their total employment grows to more than 1,100 professionals at the center and to roughly 3,500 professionals across sthe state.

U-M Start-up Acquisitions

Three U-M start-ups have been acquired in recent years by strong industry partners, demonstrating the quality and growth potential of these ventures and paving the way to accelerated growth and job creation.

HealthMedia was acquired by Johnson & Johnson, expanding their products and services for online health care coaching and growing the employee base here in Ann Arbor.

In 2009 HandyLab was purchased by BD (Becton Dickinson and Company) with plans to integrate and expand their portfolio of molecular diagnostic assays and automation platforms, addressing vital issues that impact the cost and quality of our health care.

In 2010, Arbor Networks was acquired by Tektronix Communications, part of Danaher Corporation, adding a full suite of network security and management solutions with plans to expand the Ann Arbor operation by 30 percent in 2011.

Move to North Campus Research Complex

In October 2010, U-M Tech Transfer and the U-M Business Engagement Center moved their core offices to the NCRC, part of a 2-million-square-foot complex, once a major Pfizer research center, housed on 174 acres of land. The move is part of the university’s effort to expand our commitment to innovation, engagement, and commercialization activities.

Venture Accelerator

A new Venture Accelerator managed by U-M Tech Transfer’s Venture Center is planned for the NCRC. The Accelerator will house emerging U-M start-ups, and provide an expanded suite of business services to enhance the quality and time-to-market for promising U-M start-up ventures.