Michigan’s three leading universities have contributed $14.8 billion in economic stimulus to the state since 2007, playing a critical role in slowing the state’s decline and pushing its current revitalization, according to a report released today by the University Research Corridor.

The 2010 Empowering Michigan report was released this morning by representatives from the URC’s three member institutions — the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. The report highlights how the URC has grown substantially since 2007 and how it has contributed to the overall economic welfare of the state.

The report concluded that the URC has generated significant tax revenue and its overall economic impact on the state has grown considerably.

Patrick Anderson, founder and principal of Anderson Economic Group, which produced the report, said in a statement that the URC’s overall economic impact has been extraordinary so far.

“There is one enormous number in this report which speaks to the remarkable positive effect these three universities have on the state of Michigan: $14.8 billion,” Anderson said in a press release. “Since 2007, we have measured what the state gains by having the collective assets of the University Research Corridor, and there is no denying the powerful impact and the critical importance of the URC to Michigan’s economy.”

The report also found that the three member institutions of the URC generated $401 million in tax revenue for the state in 2009. The figure represents a 12.5-percent increase from the tax revenue the three universities generated for the state in 2006, and also represents more than 40 percent of the total $888 million the state appropriates to the three universities.

URC Executive Director Jeff Mason echoed Anderson’s assessment, calling the URC “a bright spot in the state’s economic picture.”

“Michigan has the third fastest research and development growth rate among competitive innovation clusters,” Mason said in a press release. “Just as importantly, we’re getting stronger relative to the competition, which puts us in a good position to help propel the state’s economic growth in the future.”

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement she is pleased with the recognition the URC is getting for its efforts.

“A recent headline from the San Francisco Business Times really said it all,” Coleman said, referencing a headline that read, ‘California’s Innovation Model… Michigan?’ “For four years we’ve worked to change attitudes about the impact of innovation on whole regions and the evidence shows the word is getting out.”

Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement that she is also pleased with the URC’s innovation activity — which includes new patents and licensing revenue.

“We’re working diligently and creatively to make university resources accessible to entrepreneurs and businesses,” Simon said in a statement. “This report reflects the impact of those efforts in addition to growth in other benchmark areas.”

Each member of the URC has an industry liaison division, which includes the University of Michigan’s Business Engagement Center, to aid in such efforts.

Allan Gilmour, interim president at Wayne State University and former CFO and vice chairman at Ford Motor Company, said the report demonstrates the value of those collaborations between industry and higher education.

“Businesses and universities are both part of the solution to our economic challenges,” Gilmour said in a press release. “It’s the combined power that can really make a difference.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.