Research Programs

Research is a core foundation of the Institute and continues to be integral today.  Researchers and student teams have identified best practices in lab-to-market activities, surveyed entrepreneurial support organizations, studied supply chains, and developed a tool to support international economic development.  The Institute’s research enterprise continues to grow with new programs at the forefront of technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and technology application.

Research studies

Research Inquiries

Direct inquiries to:
Sarah Crane
research manager
(734) 998-0155


The Institute has studied lab-to-market best practices of organizations across research universities and the public sector.  The Institute recently published a national study on successful technology commercialization practices at public doctoral universities.  The study, supported by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), explored the technology partnerships at universities that have received the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities designation.  Read more about the study here.

Workforce and Technology

The Institute worked with VentureWell to develop an assessment tool for the U.S. State Department.  Institute staff members, guiding a student research team, developed a tool to evaluate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of countries around the world.  Developed in response to a State Department need to assess how best to deploy resources supporting business creation, the tool evaluated in-country perceptions of entrepreneurs and the resources available for new ventures. Weighted results could then be used to score a country and assign an index score, guiding targeted programming and support for entrepreneurship.


The New Economy Initiative undertook a comprehensive regional study to better understand philanthropy’s role in establishing and supporting an inclusive network of entrepreneurial support organizations. The Institute helped NEI reach individuals across southeast Michigan through a structured outreach and surveying program.  Funders are vital to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and they can be more effective with an understanding of structures and resources that create success. Through surveys, secondary research, feedback sessions and network analysis, the surveys identified new details about the resources supporting entrepreneurs in southeast Michigan.

Supply chain

The Institute conducted a supply chain study to help the Michigan Defense Center identify potential new defense suppliers across the state of Michigan.  The team took a data-driven approach to develop a list based on key factors and attributes needed in suppliers.  A student team also assisted in developing a methodology to target suppliers with particularly high value technological capabilities for defense needs.  The student team directly contacted suppliers across the state of Michigan to collect information and refine the catalog.  The research resulted in a significant addition of supplier information that can help the Defense Center attract new defense contracts and programs to the state.

Past Research

The Institute has conducted industry and economics research for over 30 years.  Past research was overseen by George Fulton.  George was the director at the Research Seminar in Qualitative Economics at the University of Michigan and served as director of the Center for Labor Market Research.