Lurie Nanofabrication Facility Dedication
April 11, 2008
If you have ever wondered what an economic engine looks like, look no further.
We all know that our state is undergoing a difficult and sometimes painful economic transformation, as we evolve from a manufacturing base to one that seizes the power and promise of technology and innovation.
I have no doubt our state will succeed and prosper, and an important contributor to this transition will be the University of Michigan. Let me share a few highlights:
- In the past year, U-M scientists and researchers put forward nearly 330 invention disclosures—the most in University history. And the College of Engineering led the way with more than 40 percent of those inventions.
- Working with the Michigan Council of Foundations, the University is moving forward with plans to build a multi-million dollar fund to spur entrepreneurial activities across the state, in a partnership between universities, venture capitalists and industry.
- We are collaborating with Ann Arbor SPARK to fill a vacant Pfizer facility with U-M researchers and four life sciences companies to create a new wet lab incubator.
- Last fall, we worked very hard—and successfully—to attract the Spanish aerospace firm, Aernnova to Ann Arbor. Aernnova was impressed with our region specifically because of our number of engineers, and the firm’s new offices here will create 600 new jobs, plus some 650 indirect jobs.
- All this activity, of course, comes on the heels of Google opening an office in downtown Ann Arbor.
We are always looking for ways to extend our impact in terms of job development and research innovation, and the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility is a stunning new asset in these efforts.
The University of Michigan is known worldwide for its leadership in Engineering, from the transformative research of our faculty to the culture-changing accomplishments of our alumni.
Key to these achievements has been philanthropy. Whether endowing a professorship or financial support for a student, underwriting new facilities, or funding innovative research and technology, donors fuel the intellectual engine that is the University of Michigan.
We have been fortunate to benefit from several lead donors to this facility, and we are honoring them with beautiful new spaces throughout the building. Last month, the Board of Regents officially named this facility in honor of the late Robert Lurie, a highly successful Engineering alumnus, and in tribute to Ann Lurie, for all she has done for the intellectual and physical growth of our university.
The Lurie Nanofabrication Facility also features the Ford Motor Co. Laboratory, the C. Robert Kidder Gallery, the Gorguze Laboratory and Graham Laboratories—all of which pay tribute to the philanthropists who believe in the vision of the College of Engineering and the University of Michigan.
Thank you again for being here and, more importantly, for being part of the momentum that is the University of Michigan.