LANSING, Michigan, October 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan Corporate Relations Network and Elsevier develop a unique database to help bolster economic growth Michigan's leading research universities and Elsevier have developed a free online portal 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. The Expertise and Resource Portal is an online searchable database developed and maintained by the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN), a unique collaboration of six research universities and Michigan's University Research Corridor. The portal, based on Elsevier's SciVal® Experts, showcases 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. "Using the portal can save companies valuable time in their efforts to tap the extensive expertise available at Michigan's top research universities," said Charley Hasemann, executive director of Michigan State University's Business-CONNECT office. "These six MCRN universities provide an incredible amount of university-to-business resources." By using the portal, businesses gain access to nationally recognized research universities, including Michigan State University in East Lansing, the University of Michigan campuses in Ann Arbor and Dearborn and Wayne State University in Detroit. Users can search a database of 6,632 researchers and 103 core research facilities that have produced more than 290,000 publications and received nearly 30,000 research grants. Once faculty and facilities from Michigan Technological University in Houghton and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo are integrated, the database will encompass 99 percent of all research and patent activity at Michigan universities. Searches can be based on a concept, a researcher's name or a published abstract. Nick Fowler, Managing Director Academic & Government Institutions at Elsevier, said, "University research can help drive economic growth. Knowledge-sharing between universities and industry can also result in valuable innovations for society. Elsevier is proud to be supporting the Michigan Corporate Relations Network with its mission to drive economic growth and innovation." The portal's search tools will guide users to the university business engagement office that can connect them to the appropriate university resources. Businesses can count on being contacted by a business engagement office within five working days after conducting a search.