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Michigan Impact

2015 summer issue

Dr. Mark Schlissel, President

Dear Friends,

My first spring at the University of Michigan was both busy and enjoyable. Everywhere I went in Ann Arbor, I ran into so many happy graduates in caps and gowns and their beaming families and friends.

All told, the three U-M campuses graduated more than 10,500 students this spring. UM-Dearborn set a record for its largest graduating class ever.

This level of achievement bodes very well for the future of our state. By the year 2020, 70 percent of the jobs in Michigan will require education beyond the high school level. U-M is proud to lead the way in attracting the talent and providing the educated graduates our state needs to continue its economic rebirth.

I also am pleased to share two new websites that discuss our impact within the state.

At our U-M + Ann Arbor site, you can learn about the economic benefit we bring to the local community, including the addition of more than 9,000 jobs since 2001.

Our U-M + Detroit site highlights some of the many ways that we engage in Detroit. Student and faculty activities include service learning, research and partnerships, and take place within a number of centers and initiatives based in Detroit. U-M was founded in Detroit in 1817, and we are a proud partner in its revival.

Last week, the Board of Regents approved the university budget for the 2016 fiscal year. Thanks to a small increase in state funding and our ongoing efforts to control costs, tuition for in-state residents will increase by 2.7 percent. At the same time, we have increased financial aid for undergraduates by 8 percent for the year resulting in no increased net cost for most students with financial need.

We appreciate the work of Gov. Snyder and the Legislature to increase public higher education funding in the state budget in a constrained economic environment.

U-M enjoys a multitude of cooperative initiatives throughout Michigan, and we enjoy sharing those stories in Michigan Impact. Thank you for your support of the university and our students.

Dr. Mark Schlissel
Mark Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.

Michigan’s University Research Corridor contributes $16.8 billion to Michigan economy

Michigan's University Research Corridor remains competitive with the nation's top university research clusters, contributing $16.8 billion to Michigan's economy according to the 8th Annual Economic Impact & Benchmark Report.

The URC, an alliance of U-M, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, focuses on increasing economic prosperity and connecting Michigan to the world.

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U-M's annual research funding tops $1.3 billion

The total volume of research at U-M was $1.31 billion in the fiscal year that closed June 30, 2014, just below the record high of $1.33 billion from the previous year.

"Research is closely tied to the educational process and thus central to the university's ability to prepare both undergraduate and graduate students for the roles they will play as innovators in a wide range of fields," said S. Jack Hu, U-M interim vice president for research. "Last year's results show that U-M remains among the top research universities in the world."

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and U-M Health System launch statewide initiative to evaluate and improve genetic testing

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the U-M Health System are collaborating with physicians and laboratories across the state as part of a new initiative to improve genetic testing practices.

Called the Genetic Testing Resource and Quality Consortium, this initiative will help medical professionals determine whether genetic testing should be used in common clinical scenarios, and which tests will benefit patients the most. Participants also will develop best practices for performing the tests, improving testing quality and advising patients on genetic testing recommendations.

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Michigan’s Blue Economy: U-M showcased in new report

In April, U-M was featured in Michigan’s Blue Economy, a report released by the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas and the Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute.

The report is designed to spur strategic actions to expand and grow the state's already impressive Blue Economy, and help Michigan become the world's freshwater and water innovation capital.

"We are delighted that water research, education and outreach efforts at the U-M are part of this exciting Blue Economy report,” said Jennifer Read, U-M Water Center Director. “The State of Michigan can be the world's center of water work, learning, business innovation, use and enjoyment.”

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Gov. Snyder lauds 'thoughtful' U-M hydraulic fracturing report

Gov. Rick Snyder praised a recent U-M hydraulic fracturing report and said its findings helped shape changes to state rules regarding the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

"The rules that took effect in March regarding high-volume hydraulic fracturing were developed while key decision-makers from the state were participating in the first phase of an integrated assessment by the University of Michigan's Graham [Sustainability] Institute," Snyder said during a March speech on energy policy.

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High-tech robotics center coming to U-M

A $54 million robotics center at U-M will help advance the field as researchers say it's reaching a tipping point—poised to deliver autonomous technologies that are woven into our everyday lives. Across U-M's campus, more than 40 faculty members from at least six engineering departments, kinesiology and the medical school are working in the field.

They're making prosthetic limbs that could one day be controlled by the brain; spacecraft to study the solar system and the Earth; autonomous submarines that can map the ocean floor or inspect Navy ship hulls for dangerous mines; as well as a host of walking machines inspired by insects, crabs and humans that have the potential to eventually assist search or rescue tasks. U-M is the birthplace of MABEL, the world's fastest-running robot with knees. Of late, some of the most renowned work is in the area of self-driving cars, and the building will help advance that work.

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U-M Desai Family Accelerator reveals startups accepted to summer cohort

The Desai Family Accelerator, a joint venture between the U-M Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, recently announced the most-promising companies selected to participate in its inaugural cohort.

More than 72 technology-based startups submitted application and the most promising six were chosen to move into the Accelerator and take advantage of its services. Of the applications, 42 percent were from Michigan-based companies, 19 percent were led by female founders and 31 percent had a connection to the U-M.

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