Innovating and Incubating: MSU Business-CONNECT
MSU Business-CONNECT staff
MSU Business-CONNECT, located in East Lansing, Michigan, was established to assist businesses by directing and linking them to the right MSU resources. Charles A. Hasemann,
executive director of MSU Business-CONNECT, leads a team of professionals ready to provide corporations with knowledge, assistance, and resources tailored to their needs. The team: facilitates connections with MSU's research, equipment and facilities, and international resources; supports entrepreneurs; facilitates contractual and other business agreements between MSU and partner organizations; and supports regional economic development efforts. For example:
- Companies' research and development teams can work with MSU faculty researchers to develop new ideas or to refine or test innovations.
- MSU faculty experts can offer business-specialized help including: business strategy, leadership, and change management; marketing and new product development; financial management and control; supply chain management; business tools and techniques; labor and industrial relations; industrial and organizational psychology; and information technology management.
- MSU experts can analyze and help shape economic development strategies and provide assistance government/business-related agencies and initiatives (e.g., Michigan Economic Development Corporation [MEDC]).
- MSU faculty and staff can provide business-related articles, available from the Business-CONNECT website.
- MSU Libraries and its business librarians can provide resources such as the Entrepreneurship & Small Business Resources Guide: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/entrepreneur.
As Hasemann noted in 2010, "Our landgrant heritage means that we constantly ask how we can translate our discoveries into tangible outcomes for our region and the world...MSU Business-CONNECT is a front door for entrepreneurs and business leaders. We can put them in touch with university experts, scientific equipment and facilities, draw upon international connections, and navigate the vast knowledge base that extends across our faculty and staff, to our libraries, collections, and source materials. MSU is a big place, but we can make it a very personal experience for those working with us."
Business-CONNECT is now handling all of MSU's corporate-sponsored research contracts, which average more than $10 million annually. Clients include General Electric, Neogen, INgage, and Ford. In addition, many new potential projects are underway with West Michigan's economic development organization, The Right Place, Inc., a nonprofit economic development organization created in 1985 to advance the West Michigan economy.
Bill Foley leads advanced production initiatives for The Right Place and coordinates the collaboration between MSU Business-CONNECT and the West Michigan Manufacturers' Council. "Our participants operate small to mid-sized manufacturing companies that are dedicated to keeping the region vibrant, competitive, and forward-moving," said Foley. "We performed a needs analysis that documented what manufacturers needed and turned that over to Dr. Hasemann. He pulled together a mixture of MSU resources, including faculty, students, tech transfer, and intellectual property information. There are some interesting technologies with market potential."
Foley added, "Working with Dr. Hasemann means we have confidence that we can talk to the right people, and receive quicker feedback about opportunities or challenges for collaborations with MSU. Time is valuable, and our manufacturing decision makers want dynamic, forwardmoving relationships, because their economic survival depends on it."
For more information on Business-CONNECT and on how it can assist Michigan corporations, visit http://www.businessconnect.msu.edu or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.