Michigan Technology Climate improves in annual study

January 30, 2012

iLabs logoiLabs, UM-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research, today released its annual Michigan Technology Climate Survey. The survey, which assesses opinions of executives regarding the current business climate facing tech firms, found an improving perception of Michigan as a place to conduct business.

“This year we are saw a substantial change in the outlook of technology leaders,” said Tim Davis, director of iLabs. “There is an expressed confidence and optimism about the direction and growth of their companies. This is reinforced by a positive view of Michigan as a place that is not just increasingly friendly to business and technology interests, but cultivates an environment where industry can grow.”

A total of 55 Michigan-based technology business leaders participated in the survey, which was conducted throughout the fall of 2011 in collaboration with the Detroit Regional Chamber, Automation Alley and the MIT Enterprise Forum – Great Lakes Chapter.

Over half of those surveyed indicated that a majority of their revenues come from Michigan and that they plan to expand their workforces this year to meet increases in sales. When these businesses do hire additional employees 47% plan to recruit locally with 59% indicating they benefit from access to skilled college graduates.

Michigan universities are doing a good job of preparing graduates, according to the survey, with 60% of those surveyed acknowledging that graduates are business-ready with strengths in technical and critical thinking skills. More than a third of executives also indicated that they benefit from access to Michigan’s research universities.

As in previous years, a majority of executives, 75%, agreed that shifting the Michigan economy, from one that is manufacturing-based to knowledge-based, is necessary for the State’s long-term success. These executives also believe in Michigan, with nine out of ten of them planning to remain located in the state for the next 12 months.

For more information from the 2011 Technology Climate Survey or iLabs click here.

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