Saginaw Valley Research and Development Corporation

Taking new technology to commercial viability

Saginaw Valley State University is rich in know-how and the passion to nuture it. Sometimes, all it takes is a llittle help from our friends at the Saginaw Valley Research and Development Corporation (SVRDC) to bring it to the light of day.

"We want to take the wonderful ideas and technology here at the University and help bring as many of them as possible to the point of commercial viability. Our vision is to see many of them positively effect the regional economy," says Harry Leaver, Executive Director of the Center for Business and Economic Development and President of SVRDC. "In addition to internally developed ideas, SVRDC also works with regional businesses and entrepreneurs assisting them in a similar fashion."

Whether it's strictly an internal project between faculty and students, or it's a project where SVSU is helping any number of manufacturers, SVRDC has been there for 20 years to help with technology development and transfer from concepts to the real world.

For example, did you know that:


Dave Swenson, H.H. Dow Chair of Chemistry, is working on learning how to raise Thai prawns in a greenhouse setting, hoping to be able to commercialize the concept and help feed the world.


Brooks Byam, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been working with the Cardinal Formula Racing Team, helping students build a race car from the ground up each year. They learn that winning isn't always about finishing first but about investing ingenuity, hard work, devotion and team work into the project. One such project is a new lighter-weight composite steering wheel and now, he's taking the technology and enthusiasm on to a national level bringing expertise and recognition to the Saginaw Valley.


Christoper Schilling, Strosacker Chair of Engineering, is working on biofuel technology, to convert biowastes to biofuels, thereby helping alleviate our dependence on non-renewable oil.

And not only faculty members, but students are encouraged to take that leap in entrepreneurship and take ownership of their cutting edge ideas, taking that next step to commercial viability.

"I see unlimited potential," says Leaver. "It's a great education for all the students that are out there and all the mentors and adults who help them along," he enthuses. "It's cool stuff on a small scale."

The Saginaw Valley Research and Development Corporation.

Real people. Real results.