Leveraging the Medical Innovation Assets in Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario to Catalyze the Regional Economy

The region’s medical innovation cluster is strong and ready for growth. It is advanced by many businesses, healthcare systems, research universities, and funders. These stakeholders are working toward a common goal—to improve our quality of care and contribute to economic growth.

Health Systems

Health systems in the region are Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont Health, Ascension, Detroit Medical Center, University of Michigan Health System, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor Regional Hospital, Bluewater Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, and Erie Shores Healthcare. Each system is devoted to supporting innovation as a means to improve operations and patient outcomes.


Contributing universities in the region the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Lawrence Technological University, Michigan State University, Oakland University, and the University of Windsor. Each of these institutions support the healthcare community with world-class biomedical sciences research and entrepreneurship programming. These universities produce a significant number of highly educated graduates who are qualified to lead and innovate in the health industry.


Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario have a growing network of funding sources that help expand medical device and digital health technologies. Both philanthropic organizations and venture capital associations are invested in supporting the region’s health innovation community.

Our regional assessment shows that Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario share many geographic and economic characteristics. Combined, they provide a solid foundation for the expansion of the cluster.

  • Despite differences in economy size, both regions devote a similar proportion of their economies to cluster jobs: The cluster makes up 17 percent of Detroit’s economy and 18 percent of Windsor’s.

  • Combined, Detroit and Windsor employed 438,217 people in the cluster industries in 2016.

  • Cluster employment has grown 10 percent for Detroit and 38 percent for Windsor from 2007 to 2016.

  • Jobs in the cluster typically pay well. Two of the highest-paying industry groups in the U.S. and Canada are research and development (nearly $90,000 and C$52,000) and medical software (over $90,000 and C$51,000 respectively).

  • The median annual earnings for cluster-related occupations in the Detroit combined statistical area range from $12.11 per hour to $48.05 per hour, with an overall median salary of $28.27 per hour.

  • The median annual earnings for cluster-related occupations in the Windsor region range from C$11.19 per hour to C$52.50 per hour, with an overall median salary of $24.24 per hour.

Read the Detroit-Windsor Industry Cluster Assessment