University Programs

Michigan’s esteemed research institutions are catalysts for growing and diversifying Michigan’s economy and play a key role in the entrepreneurial spirit across the state – collaborating to support translational research, technology transfer and industry engagement.

University Early Stage Proof of Concept Fund – ADVANCE

This university early stage proof of concept fund, administered by Michigan State University, is designed to provide a pipeline of de-risked technologies and fundable startup opportunities for further advancement. The program provides matching funds, a strong incentive for faculty with early stage technologies at Michigan universities to engage with their university’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and commercialization activities. Inventors, their technologies and TTOs will benefit through the achievement of critical early stage milestones such as proof-of-concept or market opportunity validation which will lead to follow-on commercialization activities.

For more information on the ADVANCE program, including eligibility requirements and application instructions, please visit:

Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Program 

The MTRAC Program was created in 2012 to accelerate the transfer of new technologies from Michigan’s institutions of higher learning into the commercial market by way of licenses or startups. In 2016 the program expanded as a statewide program to support translational research throughout the state of Michigan. The expansion reinforces the commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth by providing a pathway to accelerate the creation and transfer of new technologies into the commercial market.

Five Innovation Hubs across the state, in key technology areas, support projects from all institutions of higher education, hospital systems and nonprofit research centers. For more information on each Innovation Hub’s technology focus, eligibility and application process please visit the individual websites below:

Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N)  

The Technology Transfer Talent Network (T3N) is a statewide university network designed to support, through key talent programs, the commercialization of university technologies through licenses and startups. This program, created in 2012, provides critical expertise with mentors in residence and postdocs who are focused on the commercialization strategies of university projects. For more information on the T3N program, please visit

Michigan University Innovation Capital Fund (MUICF)

The Michigan University Innovation Capital Fund and Consortium is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan’s Innovation Partnerships and Michigan State University, Michigan State University Research Foundation, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University and Michigan Technological University. The new program will be funded by the Michigan Innovate Capital Fund to support pre-seed and early-stage companies across Michigan. Learn more about the MUICF here.