The Corporate Engagement Team works to create collaborations between university and corporate research teams. These collaborations work to advance research and bring MSU innovations closer to the world where they will have direct impact.
“Matching a particular MSU expertise to a challenge a company is facing is the ideal outcome,” said Brice Nelson, a director of corporate partnerships. “My role at MSU is to help companies find this value and to help work through the details to enable the work to go forward.”
The team has been responsible for facilitating countless collaborations between MSU and the private sector over the years. That list includes major multinational corporations with advanced research organizations such as Ford, Dow, Zoetis, BASF and Facebook as well as small to midsize companies whose access to MSU research capabilities can provide expertise and facilities they could otherwise not muster.
“While my general focus is on connecting companies to the life science expertise of MSU faculty, corporate engagement is a team effort in our office. We all work together to move research collaborations forward,” said Jeff Myers, director for corporate relations.
“We enjoy working with startup companies because they are what is changing Michigan and the world,” said Kevin McCurren, Commercialization Program Director, Gateway Grand Rapids. “We also enjoy connecting existing corporations and new startups to the many resources at MSU and the MSU Foundation, and ultimately helping MSU research find a way to serve the world.”
The team touches on each of the three pillars of the Innovation Center: Corporate Engagement, Tech Transfer & Commercialization, and Startups & Entrepreneurship. By doing so, they can support the work of MSU faculty in their labs and beyond.
“The research partnerships we help create bring together unique university talents and market-based perspectives that truly accelerate the impact we have on Michigan and the world,” said Charles Hasemann, assistant VP for innovation & economic development. “When it really works well, this leads to new product opportunities for the corporate partner, novel insights that drive years of ongoing university research and revenue for both partners that gets reinvested in even more innovation. It’s a very real manifestation of the university participating in economic development for Michigan.”