Research and Development
City of Lansing and the Michigan State University Corporate Research Park have recently started an expansion project located southwest of the MSU campus along Collins Road. This expansion of the Lansing Regional SmartZone includes: a new street and utilities expansion linking the north and south ends of the 115-acre Park. The expansion project will ensure that facilities are in place when the economy emerges from the present recession and technological development begins to accelerate. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon points to the expansion as a step on the road to greater public-private collaboration."We are fostering a culture of collaboration, connecting technological breakthroughs driven by public university research with the private sector entrepreneurial activity," Simon says. “The University Corporate Research Park is an important venue for bringing the two sectors together.”Current Park tenants encompass a range of technologies, all pointing to the future economy, including materials, information technology, business logistics and biotechnology. Theyrepresent the educational community, government, and private industry, among them:
• MSU’s Composite Vehicle Research Center (CVRC) primarily comprised of researchers from mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and materials science, this group designs and tests lightweight, impact-resistantstructural materials, which enhance both safety and energy-efficiency. The highly flexible research and testing space within the Park has afforded them the ability to quickly transfer useful research to automotive, aerospace, and other applications.
• MBI International (MBI) a highly innovative non-profit corporation, MBI works with Michigan State University and industrial partners to de-risk technologies and get them to market. Growing interest in MBI, MSU BioCollaborate and MSU’s Office of Biobased Technologies, already being observed, will fuel expansion within the Park over the next several years.
This expansion is a direct result of a joint effort between the MSU Foundation and the City of Lansing to secure project funding from the U. S. Economic Development Administration, as part of its 2008 grants program for the expansion of technology infrastructure. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero cited the importance of the project and collaboration to Lansing’s Regional SmartZone.“Building out the infrastructure for our SmartZone is an exciting milestone on the path toward diversifying our local economy, fostering innovation and creating new jobs in the fast-growing sectors of the emerging economy,” Bernero says. “Thanks to the great partnership and support of President Simon, the MSU Foundation, the Lansing Economic Development Corporation and the City of Lansing, we continue to make bold strides forward as a community and as a region that will pay dividends for decades to come.”
The Michigan State University Foundation serves as a flexible and ongoing resource, responsive to the University’s strategic needs. At its core is an extensive program supporting research, teaching, and commercialization of technologies. Areas of focus include:
• Granting funds to advance research and the University’s scholarly infrastructure ofteaching and dissemination of new knowledge,
• Underwriting MSU’s work in technology commercialization,
• Developing, scaling and de-risking bio-based technologies through MBI International, a wholly-owned Foundation subsidiary, and
• Providing facilities and building sites at the University Corporate Research Park fortechnology enterprises, University technology-development initiatives, andUniversity/industry collaborations.In addition, the Foundation has a longstanding role as fiduciary and trustee for charitableannuities, trusts, and gifts of property on behalf of the University.