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Sept. 5, 2018

University Research Corridor adds $18.7 billion to state economy

Michigan’s University Research Corridor contributed $18.7 billion to the state economy in 2017, according to the group’s latest economic impact report. Up from $16.5 billion in 2015, the impact marks an increase of 46 percent since 2007, the year the URC was formed and began benchmarking its impact on the state.

Michigan State’s individual impact on the state’s economy totaled $5.8 billion.

The URC, an alliance of Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University, is one of the nation’s top research clusters and a regional engine for innovation, prosperity and global competitiveness.

“Together with U-M and Wayne State, Michigan State is contributing to Michigan’s growing economy, providing job creation and producing the graduates and research that make Michigan an attractive state in which to do business,” said MSU Interim President John Engler. “Our graduates and distinguished faculty also contribute to the quality and strength of the communities in which they live, work, raise families and volunteer. We work hand-in-hand with the private sector to meet community needs and solve society’s problems.”

The collective impact of $18.7 billion is more than 20 times the state’s $890 million annual support for the three URC universities, and reaches every county in Michigan.

“The economic impact of Michigan’s leading research universities has increased by nearly 50 percent in just over a decade,” said URC Executive Director Britany Affolter-Caine. “The URC’s steady uptick in economic impact is more than a simple dollar figure—it’s indicative of an intentional investment in educating students, undertaking research and improving quality of life for residents across the state.”

According to the report, in 2017 the URC universities generated 78,845 jobs and were responsible for $2.3 billion in research and development spending, an increase of 54 percent since 2007. New state tax revenues that were attributable to the URC amounted to $579 million.

The URC universities claim more than 1.2 million graduates worldwide. The 669,274 living in Michigan account for 10.2 percent of the state’s population over the age of 24.

The full report can be viewed here.

Read more about how Michigan State works to advance prosperity for the people of Michigan by making a positive impact on the state’s economy in the areas of technology, agriculture, manufacturing, health care, education, energy, environment, and the arts on