Graham Sustainability Institute

Michigan’s Blue Economy: U-M Showcased in New Report

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
The University of Michigan was featured in the report, Michigan’s Blue Economy, a document released today by the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas and the Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute. The report is designed to spur strategic actions to expand and grow the State's already impressive Blue Economy, and help Michigan become the world's freshwater and water innovation capital.

"We are delighted that water research, education and outreach efforts at the University of Michigan are part of this exciting Blue Economy report,” said Jennifer Read, U-M Water Center Director. “The State of Michigan can be the world's center of water work, learning, business innovation, use and enjoyment.”

More than 40 Michigan communities focused on water and economic development are highlighted in the report. Authors of the report illustrated the leadership and innovation in water research and education at Michigan’s 9 university-based water research centers and 190 water programs, as well as 18 community colleges. The Blue Economy report highlights six ways water is important to our economy, including:
Water research and education centers, including the University of Michigan, Wayne State and Michigan State University—part of the University Research Corridor: Accounting for $300 million in water research over recent years, and awarding 3400 water-related academic degrees
Transportation, ports, shipping: Contributing over 65,000 jobs and $3 billion annually
Farming and manufacturing: Accounting for 581,000 Michigan jobs
Water technology product and service firms: Account for 138,00 jobs
Economic activity, including water cleanup, waterfront development and recreation: Accounting for more than 175,000 jobs and $12.5 billion annually
Conservation activity: Accounting for 2,700 people employed and $80 million in income
The report also includes stories of Michigan companies leading the way in developing new water technology products and services and a set of recommendations for local and state public officials, business, non-profits, education and philanthropic leaders are also part of the report. An important part of our history, water also has the potential to help secure our future, if we collaborate on education and research in Michigan and work toward common goals.
Michigan Blue Economy Report (Full Report PDF Download)
About the Water Center:
The Water Center conducts collaborative science, supporting Great Lakes restoration and coordinates the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative. The Water Center is part of the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute, which fosters sustainability through translational science, transformative learning, and campus leadership.