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Davidson Foundation gives $4.35M to U. of Mich.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The William Davidson Foundation has awarded $4.35 million to the University of Michigan in part to fuel innovation driven by research, the school announced Wednesday.

The aim of the funding is to speed the transfer of ideas to the marketplace and spur economic activity in southeast Michigan. The school said the money will count toward the $4 billion goal of the "Victors for Michigan" fundraising campaign that kicked off last year.

"Entrepreneurship is thriving at the University of Michigan. Our faculty and students are committed to developing new technologies and systems to strengthen the Michigan economy, and we are grateful for the support," school President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

One grant will support the Medical School's Fast Forward Medical Innovation effort with $2.9 million over three years. A second will provide $1.45 million for programs in the Ann Arbor school's Office of Technology Transfer and Center for Entrepreneurship over two years.

Davidson died in 2009 at age 86. He owned the Detroit Pistons and was chairman of glassmaker Guardian Industries Corp.

The William Davidson Foundation, which was established in 2005, previously provided a $7.5 million gift in support of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. In recognition of his support, the university's Player Development Center was named in his honor.

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Online:

http://www.umich.edu

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