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Jeff Mason leads Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance between Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University to transform, strengthen and diversify the state’s economy.

The URC partners formed this alliance to improve the understanding of the vital role these three universities have played, and will play, in revitalizing the state’s economy.

Mason talks with MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis for MSU Today on WJR Radio.

“The whole concept of the URC is that our three major research universities here in the state of Michigan – who together account for 94 percent of the academic research and development activity and patents coming out of our public universities in the state – are stronger together than apart,” Mason says. “It’s proving itself out in many ways whether it’s research collaborations or engagement with the business community; you see it on a daily basis now.”

Mason adds that when you look at these three institutions collectively that some of the numbers highlight their impact.

-Net economic impact on Michigan’s economy of $15.2 billion annually
-Over 50,000 employees on the three campuses
-136,000 students enrolled on the three campuses
-32,000 students graduate each year, 18,000 with high-tech, high-demand degrees

Mason says these numbers show the economic engine power of these three universities “that if they were businesses, states and nations would be trying to recruit to their parts of the world.”

There’s a growing balance between steak and sizzle, adds Mason, as the URC increases its visibility and panache around the world.

“The steak is the collaborations and partnerships and tangible activities, and the sizzle is the awareness and recognition of the entity,” Mason says.

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