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Updated 10:00 AM April 6, 2009

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Web site to aid state's economic development

As the nation and state struggle with a difficult business climate, the university is intensifying its efforts to help transform the Michigan economy.

U-M today announces the creation of a new Innovation Economy Web site,

The site is designed to raise the visibility of economic development activities, and encourage tech transfer and entrepreneurial ventures among faculty. The site also gives potential business partners a robust source of information about university resources.

"The University of Michigan is committed to playing a leading role in enhancing the economic vitality of our region and our nation," President Mary Sue Coleman says. In recent public appearances, Coleman has stressed the significant role universities can play in economic development.

Last year, for example, U-M created a new Business Engagement Center and helped launch a record number of business spin-offs based on U-M technology.

Stories to be found on the Innovation Economy Web site comprise a catalog of recent activities at U-M that contribute to an innovation economy:

• Biomedical engineer Charles Cain formed a company around a novel ultrasound surgical tool to destroy prostate cancer, an innovation that grew out of his faculty research.

• The year-old Business Engagement Center developed relationships with 100 businesses in its first year of existence.

• U-M approved a plan and is in the process of potentially purchasing the vacant Pfizer facility in Ann Arbor.

• The University Research Corridor — the alliance of U-M, Michigan State University and Wayne State University — harnesses the state's research universities to accelerate economic development in the state.

The site also gathers news releases and media coverage about the university's economic development initiatives, and provides resources in the form of links to annual reports, publications, research institutes and economic development organizations.

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