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UM Annual Research Spending Up 12 Percent To $1.14 Billion

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Research spending at the University of Michigan in 2009-10 grew 12 percent over the previous year to $1.14 billion, the second straight year UM has surpassed the billion-dollar milestone.

Thanks in part to stimulus-package research awards, federal research spending at UM rose 14.7 percent over the previous fiscal year, accounting for 65.9 percent of total research expenditures.

Funding from the National Institutes of Health increased 20.4 percent. NIH once again contributed more research funds to UM than any other federal agency. National Science Foundation research spending at UM was essentially identical to last year, while Department of Defense research expenditures rose 2.5 percent.

Among non-federal sources of support, funding from public charities increased nearly 20 percent over the previous fiscal year. Support from foundations grew 4.3 percent. In what is probably an indicator of an economy that continues to languish, research expenditures from industry grants and contracts fell 9.3 percent compared to the previous year — to $39.3 million from $43.3 million.

“The fact that the total research expenditures rose at such a healthy rate reflects the continued competitiveness of our faculty when it comes to presenting research ideas,” said Stephen Forrest, vice president for research. “It also represents the effort by the faculty to seek stimulus funds, and the energy that our research administration and compliance oversight committees expended to keep up with the demanding pace set by stimulus program deadlines.”

One of the year’s largest grants was a $19.5 million, five-year stimulus award from the Department of Energy to establish the Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion in Complex Materials. Researchers at the center will study complex materials on the nanoscale, searching for new ways to convert sunlight and heat into electricity.

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