New state program gives businesses instant
KALAMAZOO, July 27, 2012: A new program developed as part of
collaboration among Western Michigan University and five
other state universities will make it easier for businesses to
take advantage of much needed technical expertise and other
resources within the university partner network.
The Instant Innovation
Program has been developed as part of MCRN--the Michigan
Corporate Relations Network--a collaboration of six public
universities connecting businesses with university resources to
help drive innovation and commercialization.
By taking part in the Instant Innovation program, businesses
have access to a facilitated brainstorming session in which a
company works with a carefully selected, strategic collection of
technical experts from at least two MCRN university partners to
investigate the company's significant technical challenges and
to identify potential solutions.
A session can lead to the
generation of new ideas and thinking, solve significant and
persistent problems and potentially lead to new, commercial
offerings and other revenue or cost reduction opportunities for
the participating company.
Following receipt of a company’s application, an MCRN
representative will identify a minimum of two technical experts
from within the network and develop a budget including a company
match to cover program costs. By the end of the program,
participants will have created a set of ideas for new research
and development initiatives and potential solutions that may be
incorporated into existing operations or become the basis for
follow-up research and development and strategic targeting of
potential collaborative funding sources.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Lisa García,
director of WMU’s Business Connection office, to discuss a
potential program prior to submitting a proposal application.
Programs selected for implementation may have a broad impact
within the proposing company with potential opportunities across
the industrial sector.
In addition to WMU,
universities taking part in the Michigan Corporate Relations
Network include Wayne State University, the University of
State University, Michigan Technological University and
Michigan-Dearborn. The collaborative effort is funded by the
Each member university maintains an office that connects
businesses to university resources and faculty that can assist
research needs. In addition to the Instant Innovation Program,
MCRN provides a variety of resources to Michigan companies that
promote innovation and growth. Go to
Garcia can be reached at (269) 387-0950 or