Built on collaboration between Michigan’s leading research universities and supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) is a statewide partnership designed to build relationships between Michigan’s corporations and universities.
MCRN partners (Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Michigan Technological University) collectively produce more than $1.8 billion dollars of research annually, the substrate from which Michigan can grow a more diverse and productive economy. MCRN programs facilitate access for Michigan companies to this research capacity, talent, and technology.
Built to help companies overcome a common challenge faced by small companies and entrepreneurs, MCRN Small Company Innovation Program/Technology and Commercialization Assistance (SCIP/TCA) program provides matching funds up to $40,000 to Michigan small businesses to help cover the cost of conducting a research project at any Michigan public university. This program helps meet research and development needs to get products and services to market faster.
At MSU, SCIP/TCA projects cover diverse topics including anaerobic digesters, improved shelf life for fresh fruit, sleep quality, biodiesel improvements, turbine designs, urban agriculture, feline vaccines, and septic systems.
The MCRN Small Company Internship Award (SCIA) program provides funding to help small businesses working in STEM fields to hire university students as interns on projects that are beneficial to the company and academically relevant to the student. The program provides a 50:50 cost share for 12-week internships. More than 20 MSU students have worked at Michigan-based companies under this program.
MCRN’s Expertise and Resource Portal serves businesses both within Michigan and around the globe. This search tool, combined with the business engagement services at each MCRN university, provides a means for businesses to quickly find and access resources at the MCRN universities.
The MCRN program has built a cooperative across MCRN partner schools. Corporate engagement offices routinely make referrals and work on projects together, simplifying and streamlining company access to the right experts on the right projects. It is often noted, “We may compete on the football field, but we are true partners in growing Michigan’s economy.”