Facilities & Expertise
Faculty & Staff Expertise
Seeking expertise that can transform your business challenges into new opportunities? U of M researchers and faculty are available as consultants in a wide range of fields.
We have over 4,000 faculty in five campuses. In just the past five years, University researchers' inventions have generated nearly $390 million in revenue for Minnesota.
Space & Facilities
Learn about some of the University's nearly 300 centers, institutes, and interdisciplinary graduate programs below.
For more information:
- Explore the complete list of University centers and institutes
- Learn more about our colleges and schools
- Discover interdisciplinary graduate groups
Centers, Institutes, and Programs
Airport Technical Assistance Program
This statewide assistance program is available to Minnesota's public- and private-sector airport professionals. AirTAP provides training, technical assistance, access to experts, and printed materials.
Biotechnology, Life Sciences
Described as “Minnesota’s shopping mall for biotechnology and life sciences research support services,” Biodale offers advanced instrumentation and walk-in service and training. Members of the business community are invited to use these services and equipment.
Biophysical Technology Center
The Biophysical Technology Center, part of the University’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, makes state-of-the-art instrumental resources for optical spectroscopy and EPR available to researchers, providing a venue for them to pursue their projects and develop their experience. Top priorities of the center personnel are to maintain the performance of these instruments at the highest level and to provide basic training to new users. As needed, the resident expertise in the center is available for consultation in sample preparation, data acquisition, and data analysis.
BTI provides advanced research, training and university-industry interaction in biological process technology. It also is the central university vehicle for coordinated research in the biological, chemical and engineering aspects of biotechnology and is home to the President’s Initiative on Biocatalysis.
Business Retention & Expansion
Through consulting, evaluation and online tools, this U of M Extension program helps communities understand local business needs and respond, so that businesses stay, grow and become more committed to the community.
Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science
The Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science (CATSS) is an interdisciplinary enterprise focused on enhancing the capability and well-being of persons with sensory loss by translating fundamental scientific research to functional and accessible devices and therapies that can maximize quality of life for those with auditory and visual loss.
Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power
The CCEFP is a network of researchers, educators, students, and industry partners working together to transform the fluid power industry—how it is researched, applied, and studied. Center research is creating hydraulic and pneumatic technology that is compact, efficient, and effective.
Center for Economic Development
This Duluth-based center provides consulting and workshops for startups and existing businesses in the areas of feasibility studies, market research, business plan development, loan packaging, and more. Many of these services are free.
Center for Farm Financial Management
This center provides educational programs and software tools for farmers, ranchers, private businesses, crop insurance agents, and other clients in the agricultural industry. Products and training focus on farm financial planning, financial analysis, commodity marketing, and ag credit analysis.
Center for International Business Education and Research
Part of the Carlson Global Institute, this program delivers Chinese language and culture courses, CEO roundtable discussions, the Minnesota Trade Office export roundtable series, events co-sponsored by the Minnesota International Center, and a global medical technology roundtable.
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
Biotechnology, Life Sciences
CMRR is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides state-of-the-art instrumentation, expertise, and infrastructure to carry out biomedical research utilizing the unique capabilities provided by high-field MRI and MRS methodology.
Center for Nanostructure Applications
The center coordinates research projects in nanotechnology to attract external support and organizes workshops, speaker series, and short courses. In addition, the center collects and disseminates information about faculty engaged in nano research, connecting internal groups and industry.
Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies
Based at the U of M Crookston, CRES is a grant-funded organization that assists entrepreneurs across 11 counties in Northwestern Minnesota with the development and creation of their business enterprise.
Center for Sustainable Building Research
This center serves as a resource for the state of Minnesota, the design professions, the building industry, and the general public. The center's projects have resulted in a variety of tools, databases, and guidelines in areas ranging from building evaluation to life-cycle assessment.
Center for Translational Medicine
CTM provides a comprehensive portfolio of services that will augment the development and implementation of novel, investigator-initiated treatment strategies in order to achieve new breakthroughs in medicine at the University.
Engineering, Manufacturing, Nanotechnology
The “CharFac” is a multi-user, shared instrumentation facility for materials research in nanotechnology, biology, medicine, and other areas. Some of the facility’s analytical capabilities include microscopy via electron beams, force probes, and visible light; elemental and chemical imaging; atomic and molecular structure analysis; and more.
Community Economics Program
Economic Development, Tourism
The Community Economics team works with Minnesota communities as they develop economic strategies, offering education, research, analysis, and advice. With solid research and informed action, communities can chart courses that are realistic, well-informed, and supported by the community. Approaches are tailored to address local concerns. Expertise includes: tourism, retaining, and expanding local businesses, understanding economic change, growing the retail sector, and eMarketing.
Corporate Institute, University of Minnesota Law School
The Corporate Institute operates more than a dozen programs designed to enhance the connection between the business community and the Law School and to prepare law students to be effective business lawyers and leaders. Some of these programs include a Business Law Clinic, a Corporate Externship Program, a mini-MBA program, and several seminars on business topics throughout the year.
Digital Technology Center
DTC integrates research, education, and outreach in digital design, computer graphics, and visualization, telecommunications, intelligent data storage, and retrieval systems, multimedia, data mining, scientific computation, and other digital technologies.
Economic Impact Analysis
Economic Impact Analysis programs help local leaders make informed and proactive decisions by offering insights into the existing local economy, opportunities for growth, and impacts of change. Community Economics educators offer four ways for communities to better understand economic impact, ranging from a three-hour workshop on economic trends to deeper engagement with an extended analysis.
Flavor Research and Education Center
This center offers solutions to the food, flavor, and fragrance industries. Through research projects and educational programs, the center brings together students, faculty, and industry leaders.
Food Processing Center (pilot plant)
The Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center serves as a vital resource for food companies that are just starting up, or evaluating new process and product lines. The center includes specialized equipment for dairy and cheese processing, twin-screw extrusion, aseptic/ESL processing, and various concentration operations.
Digital Technology, Life Sciences
Part of the College of Biological Sciences, the Imaging Center offers services for both university and business clients. Services and capabilities include a biomedical image processing lab, light microscopy, electron microscopy, specimen preparation, scanning and printing, and multimedia equipment.
In conjunction with the staff at University of Minnesota Libraries, InfoNOW is a fee-based program customized for a range of industry sectors, from legal and financial to healthcare and engineering. InfoNOW services include document delivery, subject matter expertise, citation verification, database searching, reference research, and advanced secondary research services.
Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering
IPrime creates opportunities for industry professionals to collaborate with students and researchers at the university. IPrime partners benefit from equipment and special-user rates in the Characterization Facility, the Polymer Synthesis Facility, the Rheology Characterization Lab, and the Tissue Mechanics Lab.
Institute for Engineering in Medicine
Medicine, Life Sciences
This institute facilitates long-term relationships with biomedical engineering and regional medical device companies. Corporate members receive reduced rates on core laboratory services, the Design of Medical Devices Conference (up to 10 employees), Cardiac Short Courses, and Experimental Surgical Services.
Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development
ITDD’s mission is to conduct research, enhance biomedical research infrastructure, and create opportunities for drug discovery and preclinical drug development through interdisciplinary research collaborations and services.
Institute on the Environment
The Institute on the Environment is accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future by supporting breakthrough research across disciplines at the University of Minnesota, developing the next generation of global leaders and building transformative partnerships across the state, region and globe.
Medical Devices Center
Medicine, Life Sciences
MDC combines research, education and training, and outreach/public engagement to accelerate interdisciplinary medical device research and development across the university. MDC runs the Medical Devices Fellows Program, a full-immersion educational and product development program for creating medical devices.
Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program
LTAP provides conferences and workshops, customized training, demonstrations, and distance learning for local transportation agencies. The program also publishes newsletters and maintains a website with extensive resources.
Minnesota Supercomputing Institute
This interdisciplinary research program provides supercomputing resources and user support to faculty and their research groups at the university and at other post-secondary educational institutions in Minnesota. It provides the same types of service for a charge to parties outside the academic research community.
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
MnTAP helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs. Types of assistance include site visits, an internship program, customized research, a materials exchange program, and more.
Minnesota Traffic Observatory
This laboratory focuses on testing and evaluation of new transportation management and operational strategies, as well as traveler information technologies. Planning support systems include a Geographic Information Systems table, a digital immersive environment and a metro accessibility matrix.
Engineering, Manufacturing, Nanotechnology
Dedicated to the design, fabrication and testing of small-scale devices, the center offers tools to academic and industrial researchers for developing micro- and nanoscale technologies. Following lab safety training and approval, users may access the center 24 hours a day.
Natural Resources Research Institute
This institute works to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources and to promote private-sector employment. Just a few of the lab capabilities include minerals processing, rapid prototyping, chemical extractives, and paleolimnological research.
Office for Business and Community Economic Development
BCED supports the economic growth and development of Minnesota communities through partnerships with government, private enterprise, and community organizations. BCED programs promote socioeconomic empowerment by creating opportunities for groups that are historically and currently underrepresented.
Office of Measurement Services
This strategic measurement consulting office serves the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Expertise includes measuring stakeholder interests, internal competency identification, and performance management. Measurement tools such as online and paper surveys, focus groups, and testing are available to external clients.
Particle Technology Laboratory
Offering an annual Aerosol and Particle Measurement Short Course for training professionals, this small particle research center includes lab and cleanroom space; wind tunnel, filter testing, and vacuum facilities; instruments for particle generation, measurement, sampling, and analysis; and more.
Physicians Outreach Labs
Life Sciences, Medicine
A collaboration between Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Physicians, this laboratory offers a full range of testing services, from acute care support to reference diagnostic testing. Services include routine and complex testing; 24-hour clinical pathology and technical consultation; educational opportunities; and special project assistance.
Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships
Agriculture, Economic Development, Energy, Food, Natural Resources, Tourism
The RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in Greater Minnesota. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit an Idea Brief, and ample opportunities exist for Greater Minnesota citizens to serve on five regional boards and topic-focused working groups.
Retail Analysis and Development
Economic Development, Retail
Community Economics educators provide support for local economic and retail development. The Retail Trade Analysis program provides local sales data in an easy-to-understand format. Market Area Profiles organize data from multiple sources to describe local shoppers and identify business development opportunities. The eMarketing program helps businesses and communities take advantage of the internet to create a more vibrant local economy.
This center provides a full range of sensory evaluation and consumer testing methodologies, including test design and data analysis. In addition to working within the university system, the center conducts sensory tests and sensory research for food companies and private research corporations.
Digital Technology, Engineering, Life Sciences, Medicine
SimPORTAL (Simulation PeriOperative Resource for Training and Learning) is a medical simulation training facility. It arranges for, or directly provides space, equipment, technical and logistical support for, educational activities involving technical skills and team training via simulation. SimPORTAL also supplies research and evaluation capacity to support innovation in simulation equipment, tools, and processes via the Center for Research in Education and Simulation Technologies.
Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative
Business Analytics, Digital Technology
More than a billion people have connected on the social graph, and they’re generating data at an astounding rate. The result: new opportunities, exciting possibilities, and challenging questions. The Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative brings university researchers and industry leaders together to advance understanding of our data-rich, socially networked world.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
A premier fluid mechanics laboratory, SAFL is the only lab of its kind that uses a natural waterfall as its prime water source. Researchers worldwide have visited its Mississippi River location to develop solutions related to environmental, energy, and health issues.
Technological Leadership Institute
Digital Technology, Engineering
Bridging the gap between business and engineering, TLI activities help high-tech professionals, managers, and leaders grow their businesses. The institute offers short courses in technology leadership and management; customized courses; the Signature Series at the University of Minnesota, Rochester; and the Technology Futures Forum.
This center offers ongoing training in customer service, event management and tourism development, as well as several tourism-related degrees and certificates. The center also develops research and educational publications, the majority of which are free and available online.