At the heart of Michigan State University’s $120 million capital outlay request to the state of Michigan is a commitment to building talent and innovative research pipelines to support the growing demand for a strong and transformative Michigan-based ecosystem focused on the convergence of digital and physical technologies. The funding would support the development of the university’s Engineering and Digital Innovation Center.
This is the second consecutive year the institution requested funding from the state Legislature for the $250 million project.
The investment, if approved by the Legislature, will provide a critical foundation to support industry needs and student interest in semiconductor research. Michigan needs a trained workforce in essential disciplines to ensure it can become the leading manufacturing hub in many industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 667,600 new jobs in computer science-related fields, with a median income of $97,500 — and the center stands to position Michigan as a frontrunner in the competition for these jobs.
“As Michigan’s state university, we have a commitment to preparing homegrown Michigan talent through a best-in-class education,” said Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “This center stands to continue that legacy and support an emerging industry sector through innovative research and prepare a new generation of problem solvers who can fill the needs of companies coming to Michigan to do business.”
Investment and interest in the new center continue to grow. In July, MSU received $30 million in funding for the project through a state budget allocation through the higher education bill.
The new center will be a collaborative effort among six MSU colleges (Engineering, Natural Science, Arts and Letters, Business, Communication Arts and Sciences and Social Science) and will harness research, innovation and discovery across multiple disciplines to ensure students are prepared to thrive in a competitive state and global economy. It also will support an increase in enrollment of more than 1,500 new undergraduate students in computational sciences and digital literacy disciplines as well as students in related graduate-level programs.
“This critical funding will allow MSU to more rapidly serve the growing materials-based industries, such as semiconductors and electric vehicles, and the growing number of computer science students at MSU,” said College of Engineering Dean Leo Kempel. “As today’s resolution makes clear, ‘This center will be a physical and symbolic gateway to the digital future at MSU — a home for new ideas and transformational learning and research."