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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships


Supporting faculty and connecting industry research partners.

Our Corporate Research Alliances team provides faculty-facing support to convert industry relationships into successful sponsored research collaborations. Our team also provides alliance management support for ongoing large research collaborations, working to broaden these relationships across the research enterprise.

Let’s Get Started

Are you interested in a research collaboration with a company? At Innovation Partnerships, our team maintains a robust network of national and global partners for commercial research endeavors. Our work includes large research alliances with Ford, Toyota, Great Lakes Discovery, Sparc, and more.

For Faculty

Corporate Research Alliances serves faculty across the U-M research enterprise by providing strategy and negotiation support for corporate sponsored research agreements with an emphasis on intellectual property, licensing and business terms.  

What We Do

We partner with faculty to understand their goals, and work diligently to find common ground between their goals and those of the industry sponsor to negotiate and establish mutually beneficial research partnerships.

Why We Do It

We play a unique role in the campus research ecosystem by providing faculty-focused negotiation support before and after the submission of a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) to the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects.  Pre-PAF discussions with companies relating to intellectual property, licensing, and business terms are often important for framing the project budget, statement of work, and deliverables in a manner that is most likely to yield successful outcomes for both faculty and our industry partners.

When to Engage with Us

We are here to assist faculty exploring corporate sponsored research relationships at any stage in the process, from early ideation, to negotiation of IP, licensing, and business terms through agreement execution.

For Industry

Corporate Research Alliances is the University’s destination for corporate partners seeking research collaborations with faculty that emphasize the translation of novel ideas and discoveries to commercial applications.

Who We Work With

We work with companies large and small, national and international, who are seeking to sponsor innovative faculty-led research efforts on a project by project basis, or as part of a larger strategic research alliance.

What We Do

We work with corporate partners to understand their research needs, connect them with U-M faculty whose expertise and goals best align with those needs, and support discussion and negotiation to launch new research projects and alliances.

Why We Do It

We understand that the modern landscape of industry-university research collaboration merges interests and activity relating to faculty research expertise, laboratory capabilities, inventions, and faculty start-up companies.  In bringing direct access to each of these areas under the umbrella of Innovation Partnerships, we align essential internal capabilities including institutional knowledge, domain expertise, and negotiation capabilities to more efficiently and effectively create, grow, and sustain research partnerships and alliances that maximize benefit for both our faculty and our industry collaborators.

Certainty at Michigan

In response to industry and to researcher feedback that new models would catalyze research partnerships, Innovation Partnerships created the Certainty at Michigan Program to institute various new licensing models that will provide greater certainty on IP outcomes and expedite the execution of sponsored research agreements.

Learn more

Corporate Sponsored Research

Great Lakes Discovery LogoToyota Research Institute LogoFord Logo


Innovation Partnerships

“The team at Innovation Partnerships always works to find the value in the invention that you bring to them. And for them, value is about helping you to turn your invention into impact.”

– Chinedum Okwudire

Meet Our Team

Photo of Chris Fick

Chris Fick

Director of Corporate Research Alliances

Hilary Bond

Assistant Director, Corporate Research Support

Michael Brandt

Associate Director, Business Development, Life Sciences

Lisa Campbell

Senior Associate Director & Alliance Management Group Lead, Corporate Research Alliances

Raymond Cluckey

Assistant Director, Corporate Research Alliances & Corporate Research Support

Olga Kiely

Assistant Director, Alliance Management - Corporate Research Alliances

Alison Osborn

Administrative & Data Assistant

Kate Remus

Senior Associate Director & Business Development Group Lead

Maggie Swift

Senior Associate Director & Corporate Research Support Group Lead

Rob VanRenterghem

Partnership Development - Physical Sciences

Seohee You

Great Lakes Discovery Scientific Collaboration Director

Mitchell Klein

Alliance Management Fellow