Center for Innovation Research


iLabs is proud to have worked with these outstanding clients to bring our innovation research to their firms:

Ford Motor Company

When Ford, in collaboration with the UAW, began offering buyouts in 2005 to workers at former Visteon and Ford plants scheduled for shutdown, they found far fewer employees accepting buyout offers than they had initially expected. As part of a joint effort by Ford and the UAW, a study was conducted by iLabs to better understand what factors influenced Ford’s hourly employees to accept or reject the buyout packages. An iLabs’ team of faculty and student researchers surveyed more than 1,500 hourly employees at Ford plants in St. Louis and Edison, N.J. Using the results of the iLabs’ study, Ford was able to craft a plan that resulted in nearly half of its U.S. factory workforce – the largest employee exodus in automotive history – to accept special retirement or separation offerings.


J.D. Power and Associates

J.D. Power and Associates is a global market research firm known for their consumer satisfaction surveys.  J.D. Power generously supports iLabs by funding two scholarships for student researchers, providing mentors for the research teams, and funding a professional development day at UM-Dearborn. iLabs is proud to have many of its alumni working for J.D. Power.


University of Michigan-Dearborn

As part of the University’s mission to deliver impact as an educational leader and partner for the people, organizations, and industry of Metropolitan Detroit, iLabs teams have conducted numerous studies. Findings from focus groups and surveys have helped determine the needs and preferences of students and local employers. As a result, changes have been made to course offerings, internship programs, and opportunities for involvement of students and community stakeholders.


Wayne County Airport Authority

Wayne County Airport Authority, which oversees Detroit Metro and Willow Run Airports, has made significant investments in capital improvements at both locations. Since these facilities are crucial to the economic health of the state and region, iLabs performed economic impact studies for both airports. Detroit Metro Airport provides an economic impact of more than $7.6 billion and more than 70,000 jobs to the State of Michigan, while Willow Run Airport has an economic impact of more than $200 million and 2,000 jobs.


RecoveryPark is a planned community redevelopment project for the city of Detroit that will include urban farming, education, commercial, and housing development along with other projects that visions the rebuilding of a partner community with an eye toward financial and environmental self-sustainability. This 10-year, multi-million dollar project will stabilize neighborhoods in Detroit and create permanent jobs related to agriculture and food production. iLabs created a business plan and associated documentation as RecoveryPark seeks private and governmental funding.


Detroit Jewish News and Detroit Chaldean News

iLabs partnered with the Detroit Jewish News and Detroit Chaldean News publications on the Building Community Initiative. The Building Community Initiative was a 10 month partnership which consisted of events and articles that explored and shared the many similarities of Metro Detroit's Jewish and Chaldean communities while addressing the many misperceptions that still exist between the two groups.

Through an innovative survey process, iLabs identified opportunities for entrepreneurs in these two communities to create business opportunities in Southeast Michigan.


Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s On the Rise Bakery

On the Rise Bakery is a division of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen's that provides training programs to men recovering from substance abuse issues or returning from incarceration. Since its inception, the bakery has been operating with a deficit and iLabs' goal was to develop a way the bakery could become a self-sustained business. To accomplish this goal, iLabs implemented marketing and organizational plans for the Bakery.