ANN ARBOR – The total volume of research at the University of Michigan reached a record high of $1.48 billion in the fiscal year that closed June 30, 2017, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous year.
“This investment in U-M research by government, industry, foundations and philanthropists is an investment in the future,” said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research. “The research we conduct generates new knowledge that leads to everything from advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, to driverless vehicles, to a better understanding of the personal and social challenges of aging. Research is also central to our ability to prepare our students for the challenges they will face in whatever career they choose to pursue.”
Over half of the total research at U-M is conducted under contract with the various agencies of the federal government. Federal research expenditures rose by 5 percent to $831.8 million last year, and much of this growth came from the Department of Health and Human Services, where expenditures rose by 10 percent to $544.7 million.
Funding from the National Science Foundation, the second-largest sponsor, increased by 7 percent to $92 million, and support from the Department of Defense was slightly higher than last year’s record of $81 million. At the same time, expenditures under contracts with the Department of Energy were up by 4 percent to $42.4 million.
The volume of research sponsored by industry showed continued strong growth. Total research expenditures from industry sources hit a record high of $106.3 million in FY 2017, up 14.1 percent from the previous year.
The investment in research at U-M often leads to ideas with potential in the marketplace. U-M researchers reported 444 new inventions last year—the fifth straight year over 400—and a record 172 U.S. patents were issued.
The Office of Technology Transfer also signed 173 license and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize U-M discoveries, equaling the previous year’s record. In addition, U-M’s Tech Transfer Venture Center launched 12 startups based on technology developed at U-M.
Further details on U-M’s research enterprise are presented in the recently released Annual Report on Research, Fiscal Year 2017.