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Updated 4:00 PM January 24, 2007




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U-M Research reaches $797 million in FY 2006

Research expenditures by the University reached $797 million in fiscal year 2006, a 2.4 percent increase, Stephen Forrest, vice president for research, told the Board of Regents at its monthly meeting Jan 18.

The greatest portion of research is sponsored by the federal government, a total of $585 million, which accounts for 73.4 percent of the total. Additional funding sources include the University, industry, state and local governments, and foundations.

Forrest said his priority in the current year will be increasing engagement of the University's research enterprise with industrial partners, and more robust technology-transfer activity. A faculty advisory committee has been established, and staff members have been assigned to formulate specific plans, metrics and strategy to make the goal a reality, Forrest said.

"Increasing tech transfer will require us to engage our faculty in bringing ideas to market, and make long-term strategic investments in fostering an entrepreneurial spirit," Forrest said. "We need to be creative, and we need to be willing to take long-term risks. I am confident that we have all the ingredients necessary to become a leader in industry partnerships, and will make significant positive contributions to reinvigorating the Michigan economy."

Forrest also reviewed with the regents recent progress made in establishing the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute (MMPEI), founded in September 2006 to support and increase research that will lead to a future that can rely on clean, affordable energy.

The MMPEI is founded on core strengths of the University, such as automotive engineering, nuclear engineering, solar power, low-power/solid state electronics and hydrogen technology. Its priorities for growth will lie in fields where U-M has particular capabilities, such as policy development, economics and societal impact, he said.

In addition, carbon-free energy sources, transportation systems and fuels, energy storage and energy utilization will receive focus. The institute will be housed in the Phoenix Memorial Lab, which is being renovated with $11 million from the state and U-M. LSA and the College of Engineering have committed more than four chaired professorships, and Rackham Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research have committee four graduate fellowships to the initiative.

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