U-M Invests $500,000 in Transportation Technology

 

An23700137450_dbae00b295_o-attachmentn Arbor, Mich. (August 15, 2016) – Five technologies demonstrating high potential to solve the toughest challenges in transportation are moving closer to product commercialization with a combined $500,000 in funding from the University of Michigan’s Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program.

The MTRAC program is run jointly by the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The program enables U-M researchers and innovators to discover commercial opportunities to advance their projects out of the lab and into the market.

“We are confident that MTRAC funding continues to accelerate the commercialization of U-M cutting-edge research,” said Jay Ellis, program director for MTRAC Transportation. “Each of the current, as well as previous, projects address big transportation industry problems. This program allows our faculty to engage with the state’s global expertise in transportation space, which in turn helps them identify the best commercial path.

One U-M project receiving funding is a travel search engine called Your Own Planner, which was developed to reduce time coordinating travel plans. It’s estimated that more than 180 million people visit travel sites monthly, amounting to $150 billion a year spent. Your Own Planner addresses the problem that most travel sites leave the logistical details to the traveler, which can be inefficient and ineffective.

Other projects receiving $100,000 each in funding include:

  • Automated Ergonomic Risk Assessment System for Manual Works: A computer vision-based posture analysis that can quantitatively evaluate the level of ergonomic risk workers face at dangerous or injury-prone job sites.
  • CNC Knitting Technology: Technology allowing manufacturers to produce lightweight materials that are documented into a design database to create hybrid textile compositions reducing costs and steps in production.
  • Solid State Batteries: The mapping of the energy and power capabilities of Solid State Batteries (SSB) and validating the ability to meet the requirements of potential early customers.
  • Transparent Display for Automobile Displays (HUD): The development of transparent display technology within a car window to eliminate driver distraction while creating easier access.

University of Michigan is one of four universities with an MTRAC program; others include the Michigan Technical University, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Each university has a different focus for projects to receive funding to accelerate to commercialization, including agriculture biology, life sciences, advanced transportation and biomedical.

“The continued success of programs like U-M’s is especially exciting as we begin taking this program statewide,” said Denise Graves, University Relations Director at MEDC’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative. “Michigan has a wealth of brainpower to truly impact the state’s future growth. We must continue to tap into that brainpower through programs like MTRAC and collaboration at University campuses across the state.”

Developed and managed by the MEDC, MTRAC programs, through June 2016, have funded 86 projects, helped develop 13 start-up companies, created 38 jobs, secured $23.8M in follow on funding, and licensed technology to three Michigan companies to-date.

MEDC’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit michiganbusiness.org.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 98,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

Release written and distributed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For future media inquiries regarding MTRAC Transportation please contact Jane Sugiyama, janesugi@umich.edu