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MCubed conference celebrates unique research collaborations

November 18, 2013

Hundreds of people from the University of Michigan gathered November 15 for the inaugural MCubed conference, a celebration of the seed-grant program’s first funding year and a showcase of the 200-plus projects it’s making possible.

Faculty from all MCubed projects participated. Since last November, the program has divvied up $14 million in $60,000 grants to trios of professors from at least two different disciplines.

“There really is a deep pent-up demand for funding these collaborations,” said Matthew Reed, research professor at UMTRI and in the College of Engineering. “A lot of people may have said that at an institution that does $1.25 billion in research every year, these grants weren’t much. But you can see here today that $60,000 is enough for people to pursue ideas that otherwise wouldn’t get funded.”

Reed, who works primarily in ergonomics and auto safety, is involved in an MCubed project with pediatricians to study whether body shape could be a tool to predict whether an overweight child’s weight will be dangerous or not.

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