An annual benchmark report commissioned by Michigan’s University Research Corridor again ranks the group of universities No. 1 in the nation for awarding advanced degrees in medicine and biological science.
This year’s report places the URC among the top three university research clusters in its Innovation Power Ranking, a composite index of key metrics including talent development, research and development and technology transfer to the private sector.
The URC – an alliance of Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University – annually benchmarks itself against the nation’s other top seven university research clusters based on regional economic impact. In its eleventh year, the report illustrates the URC’s commitment to measure itself against world-competitive university innovation clusters, such as California’s Silicon Valley, Route 128 in Massachusetts and North Carolina’s Research Triangle.
“Our universities develop the best and brightest minds,” MSU Interim President John Engler said. “Here at MSU, in 2017, more than 150 student startup companies were served in MSU’s Hatch, a resource center for student entrepreneurs ready to develop their business ideas. We also set a university record with the launch of six successful new startup companies, all creating jobs and anchoring investment.”
Talent is critical to continued economic growth and vitality in Michigan’s top industry sectors. The URC is ranked third among its peer clusters in producing four-year and advanced degree graduates in high-demand fields such as computer science, engineering and business. Nearly 11,500 degrees were awarded in these fields, which positions Michigan competitively in the global talent market.
Michigan’s competitiveness is supported by the scale of research conducted at the URC institutions, which account for 92 percent of all academic R&D and 94 percent of all federally funded academic R&D in the state. The three universities comprising Michigan’s URC conducted $2.3 billion in R&D in 2016, an increase of 53.8 percent since 2007 – a growth rate that surpasses the national average for research universities and the average among its peer clusters.
“The URC is proud to work collaboratively to improve quality of life for the Great Lakes region while advancing knowledge at a global level,” said Britany Affolter-Caine, interim executive director for Michigan’s URC. “This report is our annual effort to serve our stakeholders in identifying the areas in which the URC is competitive, leads and has the potential to grow.”