University Initiatives

American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute

In collaboration with the Ohio-based manufacturing research nonprofit EWI and Ohio State University, U-M is leading a $148 million project to further the use of lightweight metals in manufacturing. Reducing weight can improve the fuel efficiency of road vehicles, ships and airplanes. The Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow center opened in Detroit in January, 2015, providing 100,000 square feet of space for research that will make lightweight metals feasible in manufacturing.

The center will focus on six manufacturing techniques: melt processing, powder processing, thermomechanical processing, novel/agile processing, coatings, and joining and assembly.

Contact: Alan Taub, (734) 763-1024,

Biointerfaces Institute

The Biointerfaces Institute brings engineers, scientists and medical researchers together under one roof to facilitate innovations that cross traditional disciplinary bounds. Collaboration between medical professionals, who know about clinical needs, and engineers, who find technological solutions to problems, helps speed the progress of an idea for a diagnostic tool or therapy from the lab to the clinic.

Areas of focus include biomaterials and drug delivery, microfluidics and sensors, cell and tissue engineering, and nanotechnology.

Contact: (734) 763-7924,

Energy Institute

scientist wearing protective glasses works in the labThe Michigan Energy Institute is committed to diversifying the global energy portfolio and improving the way existing resources are used. The challenges of sustainable travel, lighting, heating, cooling, manufacturing and construction demand interdisciplinary innovation and collaboration. With over 130 faculty affiliates conducting over $50 million in research each year, the University of Michigan Energy Institute initiatives span 19 disciplines, several countries and a range of industries.

Engineering research thrusts include carbon-free energy sources, energy storage and utilization, and transportation systems and fuels.

Contact: Director Anna Stefanopoulou, (734) 763-7401,

Graham Institute for Sustainability

The Graham Institute for Sustainability systematically brings together and harnesses talents across all U-M schools, colleges and units. Their work focuses on three key areas:

1. Translational knowledge through vibrant collaborations between academics, practitioners and stakeholders

2. Transformative learning to cultivate sustainability leaderships by helping students pursue interdisciplinary and diverse projects at a global level

3. Institutional leadership by organizing university-wide sustainability strategies and activities

Contact: Director Donald Scavia, Assistant Director Andrew Horning,


The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) National and Michigan/Midwest I-Corps are transformational training programs that teach how to turn feasible early-stage technology into a commercial opportunity with real-world impact. With a focus on customer discovery and business model knowledge, this program helps teams accelerate their venture, expand their networks and enable potential future venture creation and research efforts.

Contact: (734) 647-7460,

U-M Coulter Translational Partnership

The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, in collaboration with Michigan Engineering and the Medical School, created a $20 million endowment for the Coulter Translational Partnership. Also known as the “Coulter Program,” the partnership supports collaborative research that addresses unmet clinical needs and leads to improvements in health care while dovetailing with business assessment work needed to bring it to commercial success.

Contact: Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, (734) 647-1680,

University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI)

Autonomous car parked in McityThe University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) is dedicated to achieving safe and sustainable transportation for a global society. UMTRI is committed to interdisciplinary research that will ultimately increase driving safety and further transportation systems knowledge.

Contact: Francine Romine, Director of Marketing and Communications, (734) 763-4668,