University of Michigan Invests in 5 Transportation Technologies

By Amanda Lewan on August 16th, 2016 / Comments

The University of Michigan has been growing their investments into the technology world, one startup at a time, often through their various student fund arms and commercialization tracks.

Today, the university announced an investment of $500K in funding from the University of Michigan’s Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) program to help solve some of our toughest challenges in transportation.

The MTRAC program is run jointly by the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help researchers discover commercial opportunities to advance their projects out of the lab. Below are the technologies that received investment:

  • Automated Ergonomic Risk Assessment System for Manual Works: A computer vision-based posture analysis that can quantitatively evaluate the level of ergonomic risk workers face at dangerous or injury-prone job sites.
  • CNC Knitting Technology: Technology allowing manufacturers to produce lightweight materials that are documented into a design database to create hybrid textile compositions reducing costs and steps in production.
  • Solid State Batteries: The mapping of the energy and power capabilities of Solid State Batteries (SSB) and validating the ability to meet the requirements of potential early customers.
  • Transparent Display for Automobile Displays (HUD): The development of transparent display technology within a car window to eliminate driver distraction while creating easier access.
  • Your Own Planter: Your Own Planter reduces time coordinating travel plans. It’s estimated that more than 180 million people visit travel sites monthly, amounting to $150 billion a year spent. Your Own Planner addresses the problem that most travel sites leave the logistical details to the traveler.

University of Michigan is one of four universities with an MTRAC program; others include the Michigan Technical University, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Each university has a different focus for projects to receive funding to accelerate to commercialization, including agriculture biology, life sciences, advanced transportation and biomedical.

To date the MTRAC programs have funded 86 projects, helped develop 13 start-up companies, created 38 jobs, secured $23.8M in follow on funding, and licensed technology to three Michigan companies to-date.For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.