MTRAC Advanced Materials Innovation Hub Receives Additional Support for Advancing Materials-Based Technologies into Commercial Development

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

MSF Board awards Michigan Technological University one-year extension and $350,000

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today that the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) awarded a one-year extension and $350,000 grant award to the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Advanced Materials Innovation Hub at Michigan Technological University to help promote and stimulate additional growth throughout the state.


Within the last two years, the Advanced Materials Innovation Hub has reviewed 44 proposals and supported 11 projects from Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University and the University of Michigan. The additional funding approved today will support the ongoing development of research related to novel and conventional-based materials to address a well-documented market need. Examples of past technologies supported by the Advanced Materials Innovation Hub include organic nanowires used as gas sensors and using ceramic material in solid-state batteries.


“Michigan universities are leading the nation in innovation and technology transfer for cutting edge commercialization of new technologies,” said Fred Molnar, vice president of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the division of MEDC that administers entrepreneurship programs on behalf of the MSF. “Innovation hubs at institutions of higher learning across the state set the framework for advanced research and development and help foster relationships between industry leaders and on-the-ground researchers.”


MTRAC supports the acceleration of technology transfer from Michigan’s institutions of higher education, non-profit research centers and hospital systems for commercialization of competitive edge technologies in the key areas of Agriculture-Biology, Advanced Computing, Advanced Transportation, Life Sciences and Advanced Materials. As a result of the MSF’s previous funding, the MTRAC Advanced Materials Innovation Hub at Michigan Technological University has already reported one startup, one job, one license, 16 patent applications and three patents issued. 


“This funding extension is a testament to the innovation hub model and its impact on universities and researchers statewide,” said Denise Graves, university relations director at MEDC. “Since its inception, Michigan Technological University’s MTRAC innovation hub program has been instrumental in the development of more than $1,000,000 in project funding and executing milestones toward the path of commercialization for several projects.”


The MTRAC program is supported by funds from the MSF and administered by the MEDC, with additional funding coming from partner institutions. To date, MTRAC programs have received 483 proposals, funded 180 projects, developed 37 startup companies, licensed technology to 29 industry partners and secured more than $134 million in follow-on funding.


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


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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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