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US: Universities put $300M into auto research

University of MichiganA new report says three Michigan universities have spent more than $300 million on automobile-related research over the past five years and are turning out graduates with science and technical degrees that prepare them for jobs in the industry.

The analysis by the Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group was released Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island. It focuses on efforts by a research consortium involving the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Michigan still has 28 percent of the nation’s auto sector jobs. University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman says despite its downsizing, the industry will remain a cornerstone of the state’s economy and a leading employer.

The report says the universities supported 1,400 auto-related research projects between 2007 and 2011.

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