New state program gives businesses instant technical help
KALAMAZOO, July 27, 2012: A new program developed as part of collaboration among Western Michigan University and five other state universities will make it easier for businesses to take advantage of much needed technical expertise and other resources within the university partner network.
The Instant Innovation Program has been developed as part of MCRN--the Michigan
Corporate Relations Network--a collaboration of six public universities connecting businesses with university resources to help drive innovation and commercialization.
By taking part in the Instant Innovation program, businesses have access to a facilitated brainstorming session in which a company works with a carefully selected, strategic collection of technical experts from at least two MCRN university partners to investigate the company's significant technical challenges and to identify potential solutions.
A session can lead to the generation of new ideas and thinking, solve significant and persistent problems and potentially lead to new, commercial offerings and other revenue or cost reduction opportunities for the participating company.
Following receipt of a company’s application, an MCRN representative will identify a minimum of two technical experts from within the network and develop a budget including a company match to cover program costs. By the end of the program, participants will have created a set of ideas for new research and development initiatives and potential solutions that may be directly
incorporated into existing operations or become the basis for follow-up research and development and strategic targeting of potential collaborative funding sources.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Lisa García, director of WMU’s Business Connection office, to discuss a potential program prior to submitting a proposal application. Programs selected for implementation may have a broad impact within the proposing company with potential opportunities across the industrial sector.
In addition to WMU, universities taking part in the Michigan Corporate Relations
Network include Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan
State University, Michigan Technological University and University of
Michigan-Dearborn. The collaborative effort is funded by the Michigan Economic
Each member university maintains an office that connects businesses to university resources and faculty that can assist research needs. In addition to the Instant Innovation Program, MCRN provides a variety of resources to Michigan companies that promote innovation and growth. Go to www.michigancrn.org for more information.
Garcia can be reached at (269) 387-0950 or [email protected].