See also: Michigan Experts Database.U-M along with other leading research universities in Michigan, along with Elsevier, developed a free online Expertise and Resource Portal, a searchable database enabling companies in Michigan and around the globe to tap into the expertise of the universities’ faculty researchers, high-tech facilities and other academic resources responsible for $2 billion in annual research.Developed and maintained by the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN), a unique collaboration of six research universities and Michigan’s University Research Corridor, it was officially released In October 2013.The portal uses Elsevier’s SciVal® Experts technology to showcase Michigan’s leading research experts and facilities and was funded by a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The portal provides an easy way for companies to find experts who can help them develop new products or deal with technical challenges, for example, thereby facilitating essential knowledge transfer. MCRN universities provide an incredible amount of university-to-business resources including: Michigan State University in East Lansing, the University of Michigan campuses in Ann Arbor and Dearborn and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan Technological University in Houghton and Western Michigan University in KalamazooUsers can search a database of of 6,632 researchers and 103 core research facilities that have produced more than 290,000 publications and received nearly 30,000 research grants.“By using this portal, companies can get assistance with advancing a new product or process, or in finding a solution to a particular challenge – all without having to guess at which researcher or facility is the best one to contact,” said Daryl Weinert, Associate Vice President at the University of Michigan Office of Research and Sponsored Projects in Ann Arbor. “We know companies need timely answers to remain competitive, and we can make sure they are connected to the right university resources quickly.”In this rare collaboration, business engagement officers at all six universities work together to develop a strategy for connecting companies with appropriate and available university resources. The portal is part of an array of programs offered by MCRN and funded by the MEDC to help businesses connect with university resources in an effort to boost Michigan’s economy while strengthening the collaboration between academia and industry.