Online database links university researchers, employers

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Six research universities in Michigan and the state’s University Research Corridor have joined together to develop an online database to connect researchers and facilities with potential employers.

The Expertise and Resource Portal custom online database offers access to companies around the globe that want to utilize the expertise of faculty and other academic resources in the state. The online portal showcases leading research experts and facilities and was funded in part through a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Companies can use it to search for knowledgeable individuals to help in the development of new products or come up with solutions to technical challenges.

The online database application features information on 6,632 researchers and 103 core research facilities that have produced more than 290,000 publications and received nearly 30,000 research grants. The universities involved in the project are Wayne State, Michigan State and the University of Michigan campuses in Ann Arbor and Dearborn. Western Michigan University and Michigan Technological University also will be included.

“By using this portal, companies can get assistance with advancing a new product or process, or in finding a solution to a particular challenge — all without having to guess at which researcher or facility is the best one to contact,” said Daryl Weinert, associate vice president at the University of Michigan Office of Research and Sponsored Projects in Ann Arbor.

The universities involved with the custom online database project will constitute 99 percent of patent and research activity at Michigan universities. The University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus alone produced 421 new inventions in 2013, according to the University of Michigan News Service.