Small Company Innovation Program


The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) provides matching funds up to $40,000 to Michigan small businesses to help cover the cost of conducting a research project at any state of Michigan public university.

The program is intended to help companies overcome a common challenge faced by small companies and entrepreneurs – getting research and development needs met so they can get to commercialization faster. Often, universities have the expertise and facilities that the company needs, but small companies may not have the connections nor are they able to afford the cost of conducting research and development at a university. The program aims to introduce companies to the benefits of working with a university to increase the number of university/industry collaborations across the state, and to accelerate a company’s positive economic impact.

To get started, read through the SCIP guidelines, complete the SCIP Application and contact Mary McCardwell at to initiate the application process.


A small company can apply to be part of SCIP at any time when the need for resources at a public university in Michigan will accelerate product development and growth. Resources can be anything from faculty expertise, use of laboratory equipment and access to qualified technicians, testing services, business expertise and others. The industry/university partnership designs a project that will be conducted at the university. If the company and project are considered to be a good fit after being evaluated by SCIP, the program matches the company’s funds up to $40,000 and the universities pay for their own indirect costs. The company must provide its matching share upfront to the university as a condition for SCIP to release the grant funds to the university researcher(s).


Project-related questions should be directed to the appropriate MCRN business engagement office.

To fast-track the application process and to verify eligibility and funds availability, please complete the SCIP Application and contact Mary McCardwell s at at your earliest convenience.

Highlights from a SCIP research project at Michigan State University

Impellia Plants Their Feet

It’s tough being a start-up company. The need for access to technology and capital can lead many budding companies to fail. The turning point can sometimes be through the power of your network, one that Impellia and U-M worked hard to create. Impellia’s leadership had...

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