Fostering Innovation to Create Economic Growth for Companies and Communities

In this episode of Michigan Minds, Director of the Economic Growth Institute (EGI) Steve Wilson discusses the ways in which EGI works with businesses and communities to help them mitigate challenges and create positive economic impact. 

Wilson explains how EGI’s work is focused at the intersection of industry, communities, and innovation, helping companies navigate the innovation ecosystem. 

“Ultimately EGI’s goal is to retain and create jobs, and increase investment and economic growth. We do that by leveraging the knowledge and resources of the University of Michigan to assist communities and industries throughout the state,” he says. 

He also provides insights on potential challenges facing businesses in 2022, including talent shortages and continued supply chain disruptions. He also discusses energy transition. 

“We will be assisting manufacturers in the adoption of fuel-switching technologies and assisting the state of Michigan in identifying policies and programs that will accelerate the adoption of clean-energy technologies in energy-intensive industries,” Wilson says. 

EGI’s professional staff engage directly with communities and companies to plan, strategize, and execute projects and programs to navigate disruptions and improve performance. Wilson highlights the focus of EGI’s research, as it centers around equity, inclusiveness, benchmarking, and best practices throughout the ecosystems of industry, community, and innovation.

“We leverage that knowledge in the university’s resources to inform our programming and improve our own performance as well as the client companies and communities performances.”

Wilson closes out the podcast by talking about how integral students are to EGI’s efforts. 

“I would be remiss not to mention our students. Students engage in EGI activity at the university and in real-world situations in the field; students perform research on equitable economic growth and they work on all of our programs alongside our many professional staff, at companies, and in communities — first by learning, and later leading.”