Grant subsidizes access to library resources for Michigan entrepreneurs
A new grant will enable Michigan entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses to more readily obtain critical information from journals, conference proceedings, books, and other research library holdings at greatly reduced prices.
The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) and Michigan Information Transfer Source (MITS) have teamed up to provide standard articles or book loans to eligible Michigan small businesses for $15 each. Any costs beyond the nominal fee, including royalties and shipping, are covered for registered participants.
MITS, a service of the U-M MLibrary Document Delivery, delivers articles and books from the U-M Library's research collections to clients not affiliated with the university. MITS has been serving corporations and individuals for more than 30 years.
"Our clients love our service," says Anne Beaubien, director of MLibrary Document Delivery. "But some small businesses and startups find the royalties and shipping costs prohibitive."
She adds that the grant will help small businesses in Michigan grow by allowing them to tap into the collections of several of the state's great research libraries for the latest development related to their industries.
The funding comes from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Strategic Fund, which awarded $1.8 million to a collaboration of six public universities for the creation of a statewide network to support Michigan small businesses.
These university partners include U-M and UM-Dearborn, along with Michigan State, Wayne State, Michigan Technological, Western Michigan universities. Collectively, the six institutions account for 98 percent of the academic research and 99 percent of all patent activity done in Michigan.
MITS worked with the U-M Business Engagement Center, which took the lead in writing the grant application, Beaubien said.
"We're hoping to spread the word about this subsidized service," she said. "We've brought the news to conferences around the state, and have had enthusiastic responses from participants."