Michigan Tech's technologies range from gene sequencing software to wood product manufacturing to fly ash beneficiation. To learn more about practical applications and advantages of licensing our technologies, contact Jim Baker, director of technology partnerships, at 906-487-2228 or email@example.com. You can also see www.admin.mtu.edu/iptc/
For more information about the Advanced Technology Design Center, Corporate Services, or the Enterprise Program:
Pete Radecki at 906-487-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the SmartZone:
Ford, EDA Support New Facility
Imagine a day when a bright student could work on real-world design challenges, develop creative solutions, and have a place right on campus to turn that creativity into a business.
Imagine a day when a creative faculty member could take ideas from the lab and participate in developing them into a new business right on campus.
These are novel concepts, but novel concepts need places to grow.
Michigan Tech’s student-based design programs have such a place, now that the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) has opened.
The ATDC provides an expanded home for the Enterprise Program and senior design programs. The Enterprise Program is a new approach to engineering education, allowing students to work on real engineering, design, and manufacturing problems sponsored by companies and government agencies.
Students join an enterprise for up to three years and operate just like a business. This year, more than 600 students are involved. Senior design cuts across the campus in many academic disciplines. Like enterprises, students work in teams to solve real-world design challenges.
The new Ford Student Design Center, located in the ATDC, provides a flexible space for students to carry out their projects, and maybe even create a new business.
Enterprises range from purely computing—like creating software related to homeland security issues—to rolling-up-the-sleeves for gearhead duty, like improving a vehicle.
Appropriately, the Ford Center includes space for computing and team meetings, as well as large rooms with specialized equipment and utilities for creating prototypes. But there is also room for the vehicle-intensive enterprises, and overhead doors to the outside to accommodate cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and formula cars.
Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center has even installed a full vehicle dynamometer for powertrain systems performance testing.
While built primarily for students, the ATDC is also affiliated with the Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone, an entity that provides business services, and incubator space for start-up companies.
Companies that need space for building prototypes, or large-scale experiments, can lease an area in the ATDC and even buy time with specialized equipment. The ATDC becomes an ideal place from which to forge business development collaborations between faculty, students, and the private sector.
The building also has full video conference capabilities in the Ford Conference Suite, a flexible meeting area that can be subdivided, if necessary.
“The Ford Motor Company Fund is interested in assuring that we continually have the space and specialized facilities necessary to meet the growing demands of our student-based design programs,” said Pete Radecki, executive director of corporate services at Michigan Tech. “EDA is interested in converting university-based innovation into economic development and jobs. This facility is ideal to accomplish both.”
The Ford Motor Company Fund and the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) funded the $3 million building, which also includes offices for Michigan Tech’s corporate services operation and the Michigan Department of Community Health testing facility.
“Ford understands that companies need innovators with an entrepreneurial spirit in order to stay competitive in the face of rapid technological change,” said Radecki. “They believe that our Enterprise and Senior Design Programs are ideal at instilling those characteristics in students. That’s why they supported this facility.”
The Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone
Companies looking to license Michigan Tech technologies, or develop other science- and engineering-related businesses, can get an extra boost from the SmartZone.
The Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone is a collaboration between Michigan Tech and the cities of Houghton and Hancock. The SmartZone captures certain state taxes, with the goal of creating or attracting more than 500 science and engineering jobs to the area.
The SmartZone operates two business incubators—one in Houghton and one in Hancock—and participates with Michigan Tech’s Advanced Technology Design Center. The organization also offers programs and services to encourage entrepreneurial development and that help ensure the success of start-ups and small companies.
Services include the incubators, with flexible leases and shared services, business development programs (such as educational workshops), business services, and student programs (internships and co-op opportunities).
Corporate Services Links Research and Technology
Michigan Tech’s corporate services office provides the link between Michigan Tech’s research and technology efforts and corporations with similar interests. The staff works with researchers on patents and with companies interested in licensing those inventions.
Besides its technology transfer responsibilities, the corporate services staff also manages complex corporate managed partnerships with several companies. This can range from matching corporate and university interests, to developing scholarship programs in specific areas.
“Our job is to create partnerships to help industry find those solutions quickly and economically,” said Pete Radecki, executive director of corporate relations. “We are also the link to the SmartZone, to the state of Michigan, and to the Keweenaw Industrial Council.”