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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

MTRAC Transportation Names New Commercialization Program Director


Anne Partington has joined the Office of Technology Transfer team as the Commercialization Program Director for the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hub for Advanced Transportation. MTRAC is a statewide program that funds projects which commercialize university research into products or services that shape the future of transportation technology or address poorly met transportation market needs.

In her new role, Anne will be responsible for identifying and recruiting promising projects from universities across the state, managing a competitive award process with the guidance of an oversight committee, and overseeing and assisting awarded projects in meeting their milestones and achieving successful outcomes.

A veteran of the automotive industry, Anne comes to U-M Innovation Partnerships with more than twenty years of global leadership experience at FCA (Stellantis) and General Motors across purchasing, program management, and product development engineering as well as a deep bench in corporate training experience in purchasing strategy, culture building, and transformational leadership.

Most recently, Anne was a director of Entrepreneurial Services, managing director of the SPARK East innovation center and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lead for the regional Economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK. Anne worked with public/private sector partners and companies to promote inclusive economic opportunity while mentoring high tech companies to scale and commercialize in her role as an entrepreneurial services and DEI leader.

Anne is trained in diversity and inclusion, is a certified professional innovator, serves on CADIA’s board of advisors, and the 2021 Women In Mobility Board. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from U-M, followed by an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Anne recently graduated as a member of the 2020-2021 NEW (Non-Profit Enterprise at Work) Washtenaw County Champions for Change cohort — working collaboratively to drive racial equity, inclusion, and justice across institutional and societal lines. Anne has many interests outside of work including travel, mentoring, Toastmasters, and spending time with family including her rescue dog.

The MTRAC program accelerates the transition of university research ideas into real-world products and applications in the transportation space by providing up to $100K in funding and access to industry mentors over a 12-month period. The program reinforces the State of Michigan’s Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and U-M’s commitment to use entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic growth in the State and beyond.

The MTRAC Program was created in 2012 to accelerate the transfer of new technologies from Michigan’s institutions of higher learning into the commercial market by way of licenses or startups. In 2016 the program expanded as a statewide program to support translational research throughout the state of Michigan. The expansion reinforces the commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth by providing a pathway to accelerate the creation and transfer of new technologies into the commercial market. The MEDC funds five Innovation Hubs across the state, in key technology areas, supporting projects from all institutions of higher education, hospital systems and nonprofit research centers. For more information on each Innovation Hub’s technology focus, eligibility and application process please visit the individual websites below: