Industry Partnerships

We understand that one size does not fit all. The Department of Surgery offers multiple ways to partner with startups, companies and industries to ensure that each relationship is the right fit for everyone involved.

How to Partner With Us

North Campus Research Complex
North Campus Research Complex (NCRC)

We invite industry colleagues with innovative ideas to partner with Department of Surgery researchers in creating new knowledge that advances surgical care and human health.

Through academic-industry relationships, we combine vast research experience and resources with bright new ideas as we pursue commercially viable developments that will connect more patients with breakthrough treatments, medicines, and devices.

With a strong platform for surgical research already in place in the department — including a top 5 ranking for National Institutes of Health funding — and institutional support for entrepreneurship and business development through the Fast Forward Medical Innovation effort and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, we offer a unique environment for industry ventures in biomedical research. We also offer a Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator course to encourage the development of cutting edge technologies that will improve surgical diseases or the care of surgical patients.

  • Leverage expert lab services and facilities. By accessing the capabilities and infrastructure of one of the leading academic surgical departments, you’ll tap into our expertise in the lab. 
  • Development of commercial products. We can provide research expertise for both medical device companies and drug companies.
  • Design and measurement of health care solutions. Current projects include care delivery in the context of trauma, and creation of best practices for setting up successful surgical trauma centers.


Surgery at the University of Michigan has a long established history of research collaborations across institutions and industry. By partnering with some of the world’s top faculty researchers, you can leverage our expertise and facilities to act as a catalyst for your organization. How a research partnership can benefit you:

  • Partnerships that drive innovation forward. Generation and application of shared intellectual property with U-M experts including publication opportunities with leaders in their field.
  • Invest in your future. Gain access to an elite pool of surgical scientist trainees for future recruitment and collaboration.

Through our fast-track research partnership program, we connect academic labs with industry partners, putting our research infrastructure to work for you. This kind of partnership removes a barrier for industries with limited biomedical research facilities — while providing access to the unique animal models, compounds, devices, simulation modeling, regenerative medical therapies and drug discovery resources already developed within the Department of Surgery.

This partnership is ideal for startups that will benefit from deep resources as they look to quickly scale. How fast-track research partnerships can benefit you:

  • Move your project forward with proven best practices. Our streamlined process includes expedited and pre-approved contract templates, upfront pricing, and structured timelines and deliverables. 
  • Leverage our expertise at analyzing and answering complex research and development questions. With huge overlap between our research aims and yours, we can combine resources and expertise for a greater chance at successful outcomes.
  • You don’t have to build the tools yourself. Developing intricate animal disease models in order to test drugs is time-consuming, expensive, and scientifically risky because there’s no guarantee that new models will work. Our wide range of animal models have been validated, and our scientific tools have been developed by field leaders, reducing risk to your project and providing credible and reliable expertise for data collection and analysis.
  • You save time and money. With our established resources, we can begin your project sooner than if you relied on your own limited research infrastructure capacity. That means you’ll get results sooner, speeding up the cycles of iteration for product development and testing.
  • You’ll keep your intellectual property rights and your data. With this form of researcher-academic partnership, you’ll control how and whether your work is published.

As one of the nation’s leading research institutions, our surgeon scientists offer their expertise as consultants to outside organizations and industries. Let us help you implement proven best practices developed at U-M to take your project to the next level.

Connect with us to find out what’s happening in the world of surgery research at the University of Michigan, and see what opportunities match your needs. Reach out to Greg Witbeck, Senior Director for Business Development and Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations, at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or 734-763-0867 to set up a consultation.