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GLITR’s Ninth Year In Review: September 2009 – August 2010

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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September 2009: After a fall of more than 12 points in the previous quarter as the credit crunch made economic innovation difficult to finance, innovative economic activity in Michigan was unchanged in the first quarter of 2009, according to the “innovation index” compiled by scholars at the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of BusinessDetroit Edison creates the Solar Currents program to encourage customers to install solar energy equipment… Ann Arbor’s Adaptive Materials rolls out a 250-watt propane-powered fuel cell, which at 20 pounds replaces more than 300 pounds of batteries in a military application… DTE Energy expands smart metering into Bloomfield Township… Manpower predicts a bleak fourth quarter hiring outlook… Michigan Public Service Commission staffers say neither Consumers Energy nor the Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative successfully showed they need to build large new coal-fired power plants in the state… A major kickoff event for a new renewable energy center that was to employ thousands is held at Ford Motor Co.’s idled Wixom plant. (Alas, the companies involved never moved in.)… The University of Michigan tops $1 billion in research spending for the first time… AT&T Inc. introduces 3G mobile broadband network in Mount Pleasant, Muskegon and Traverse City… UM economists predict that 2009 will go down as the worst year for job losses in Michigan history, but a turnaround will start in 2010… A California software developer, Systems In Motion, plans a development office in Ann Arbor with up to 1,000 jobs…

October 2009: GLITR’s Fall Tech tour begins at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, then gets the heck outta town to visit tech-based spinoffs at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, the downtown Grand Rapids campuses of Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan State University in East Lansing and Kettering University in Flint … A new biogas firm, UTS Residual Processing, is formed in Eaton Rapids… Dow Chemical Co. announces a move into shingles that produce solar power… Compuware makes a major acquisition, Massachusetts-based Gomez Inc., whose software measures and manages the performance of Web applications… Azure Dynamics sells nearly 250 of its energy-saving refrigerated truck systems…. Detroit announces plans to host the World Stem Cell Summit in October 2010… Advanced lighting manufacturers in the state launch the Michigan Solid State Lighting AssociationMarquette, Midland, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Wixom were identified as communities that are “2009 top performers at attracting and retaining entrepreneurial firms” in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business… A capacity crowd of 600 gathered at Motor City Casino in Detroit Tuesday to hear about the future of plug-in electric vehicles and the electric grid at “The Business of Plugging In” conference… Ann Arbor’s HandyLab, a developer of diagnostic assays and automation platforms, is bought out by Big Pharma’s Becton, Dickinson & Co. … For the fourth time in the University of Michigan Solar Car Team’s history, the students placed third in a biennial 1,880-mile race across Australia…

November 2009: GLITR takes a de facto Tech Tour of cool tech and spinoffs at Wayne State University in Detroit… Ford Motor Co. and Oak Park-based Azure Dynamics Corp. announce a deal to deliver a pure battery electric Ford Transit Connect van for the United States and Canadian markets in 2010… Lansing’s ACD.net wins an $8 million judgment against AT&T for breach of contract, and AT&T vows to appeal…The University of Michigan has topped Harvard University and all other universities in the United States for the amount of public interest measured by media coverage, Internet traffic and social media mentions, according to an independent national analysis released this week… The MichBio Expo draws more than 500 to Kalamazoo… More than 2,100 people spent this week at a pair of national wind energy events being held this week at Cobo Center. The American Wind Energy Association held both its inaugural Small and Community Wind Power Conference and Exhibition and its second Wind Power Supply Chain Conference together… Plex Systems gets a $6 million equity investment… Around 240 attend a University of Michigan-Dearborn – Engineering Society of Detroit event on managing Michigan’s water resources… Liquid Web opens its $80 million, 90,000-square-foot office and data center in southwest Lansing… A $19 million biofuel plant is planned for Marquette… Lansing-based Arialink acquires a 100-mile fiber optic network in and around Lansing from Lansing-based Waypoint… After a year of job losses they called “nothing short of mind-boggling,” University of Michigan economists call for modest job losses in 2010 and actual job gains in the state by the second half of 2011…

December 2009: Buy Michigan Now, a campaign designed to promote and restore Michigan’s economy, celebrates its two-year anniversary with the release of a 2009 Holiday Gift Guide… CIOs predict a first-quarter IT hiring binge in the Detroit area… The federal government awards nearly $18 million to build a refinery in Alpena that will produce biofuels… Four Michigan companies get a combined $924,000 from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund – a Chinese language teaching firm Mandy & Pandy, the nutrient removal technology developer Algal Scientific, a dental drill manufacturer Axenic Dental and a stem cell culture developer RealBio Technology… The Made in Michigan Movement also releases a holiday gift guide of Michigan products… Canton Computers offers ‘drive-through’ computer repair at its Livonia store… RPM Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm, Friday announced the successful close of its $60 million second venture capital fund…GE Energy Financial Services, CMEA Capital, Khosla Ventures and Energy Capital Management invest $13.2 million in Danotek Motion Technologies, a Canton Township company that develops generators and components to supply wind energy to the power grid…

January 2010: Ann Arbor-based HistoSonics, a company developing non-invasive technology to shrink enlarged prostate glands, raises $11 million in capital… New OnStar features for the Chevrolet Volt debut at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas… Visteon shows off a variety of advanced auto cockpit tech at CES as well… The people behind the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize announce they’re bringing their competition to the state of Michigan this year… Ferndale-based Myine Electronics (now Livio Radio) wins several CES awards… Watertown, Mass.-based A123 Systems will add more than 500 jobs to its Livonia and Romulus operations building lithium ion batteries for the auto industry… You’ve got to have friends, and the Pure Michigan Facebook page now has more than 25,000 of them, making the Great Lakes State one of the nation’s tourism leaders for fans on the social media outlet…. Four companies receive $170,000 in new grants from the Michigan Microloan Fund Program. CTC Holdings of Ypsilanti, Energy Management Devices of Commerce Township, MemCatch of Ann Arbor and Motor City Wipers of Rochester will use the microloan funding to commercialize their products and accelerate business growth… GLITR is rechristened the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report, reflecting its broader coverage focus… Busch’s markets add online shopping…

February 2010: The Detroit-based IT and business services provider Strategic Staffing Solutions Tuesday announced its 20th consecutive year of revenue growth, hitting $168 million in 2009… The presidents of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University open the new office of their University Research Corridor in downtown Lansing… Ford Motor Co. unveils the all-electric version of its Truck of the Year, the Ford Transit Connect, at the Chicago Auto Show… A student group proposing to make tiny device that scavenges energy out of small vibrations won the second annual University of Michigan Clean Energy Prize Friday. The winner, Enertia, got $50,000…. Two entrepreneurs with significant experience in the energy industry have launched a new Web site, GreeningDetroit.com, that they aim to make the headquarters for all things green in the Detroit area…. Traverse City-based Appia Communications buys a competitor, Indianapolis-based Connect CommunicationsMichigan State University opens a new medical school campus in Clinton Township… Lansing-based tech provider Dewpoint also buys an Indianapolis competitor, Moongate Technologies…. Around 250 people learn how Michigan can become a hub for renewable energy at a WWJ Newsradio 950 – GLITR business breakfast Thursday at Lawrence Technological University.

March 2010: Allegan’s Perrigo acquires Australia’s largest generic drug maker, Orion Laboratories… A Manpower survey finds a labor market turnaround… Signs of job creation boost the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Michigan Innovation Index… Holland will get 400 jobs from an LG Chem battery plant… Clinton Township-based Powermat says its wireless charging system is now for sale in Sprint stores… More than 200 people gathered Friday at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn for the third annual HFCC Energy SummitJeffrey Sloan is back in Detroit, and he’s getting back in to the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurship scene. He’s started a venture capital firm that will have an office in a new business incubator in Troy. And he wants to resurrect the Digital Detroit technology conference and awards gala, as well as the Startup Nation entrepreneurial advice organization…

April 2010: The Southfield tech services and staffing provider Epitec Group buys Rochester-based Creative Logic… Ann Arbor’s Sakti3 raises $7 million in equity to develop advanced batteries… An alliance of teams from Oakland County’s International Academy, the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency and Andover and Lahser High Schools in Bloomfield Hills win the FIRST Robotics State Championship at Eastern Michigan University… ALTe LLC opens a 185,000-square-foot electric vehicle research center in Auburn Hills… Detroit Public TV has added a $1.5 million high-definition TV mobile studio to its stable… GLITR goes to Big Rapids for Ferris State University’s annual Michigan Energy Conference; the coverage included video on a new GLITR YouTube page… Ann Arbor-based NanoBio launches a Heptatitis B nasal vaccine candidate…. Plex Systems is adding 90 jobs in an expansion… GLITR’s Spring Tech Tour visits Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Holland and Lansing…

May 2010: General Electric is adding another 200 tech jobs at its new Van Buren Township campus…. Strategic Staffing Solutions opens a Detroit development center, promising 150 new jobs there this year… Wayne State University launches the nation’s first degrees in electric vehicle engineering… Ann Arbor-based Accuri Cytometers Inc., manufacturer of a low-cost, bench-top cell analysis unit, sells its 500th Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer System…. Lansing-based Spartan Internet Consulting observes its 12th birthday this month…. Ferndale-based Livio Radio has figured out a way to bring Internet radio — more than 42,000 online music and information streams — to your car, through the Apple iPhone… The GLITR Spring Tech Tour spends a Friday in Flint and the Tri-Cities… Farmington Hills-based Illuminating Concepts is rolling out smarter, LED-based street and area lighting… Compuware sales and profits fall, but the company pledges better days ahead… Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute spin-off Delphinus Medical Technologies gets $8 million in venture capital to commercialize SoftVue, an alternative to mammography… Upwards of 240 technology decision-makers from the Midwest heard about the latest trends in tech Wednesday at the Michigan Technology Leaders 2010 conference at the MGM Grand in Detroit…

June 2010: The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference kicked off Wednesday with a blistering indictment of the state’s failures in responding to its 10-year economic crisis… Detroit’s purchasing managers say the economy is on the grow… GLITR also finds lots of cool tech ideas on a Tech Tour-style stop at the University of Detroit Mercy… Venture capitalist Beringea invests in Livio RadioGas Station TV opens a new headquarters in Birmingham… a Maker Faire is coming to Detroit in July… Plymouth’s Stardock releases an app that will remove the sound of those awful vuvuzela horns from TV coverage of World Cup soccer matches… The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association’s Michigan Energy Fair comes to the Detroit area for the first time, in the Rock Financial Showplace… Comcast shows off 3-D HDTV in a World Cup-themed event…

July 2010: Three Michigan companies receive $104,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program, bringing the total amount invested through the fund to more than $1.3 million — Terra-Telesis of Okemos, KnowledgeWatch and Uwemp of Ann Arbor… The Detroit purchasing managers and Comerca economic indices both indicate the economy is coming back… Accuri Cytometers gets $1 million in funding… A 200-kilowatt solar system will be installed on the roof of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan’s downtown Detroit headquarters… Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos Jr.’s pay doubles to $8.6 million after the company hits financial performance targets… General Motors will give its Chevrolet Volt batteries an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty…  Microsoft builds a 17,000-square-foot Technology Center in the 1000 Tower of the Southfield Town Center, one of only nine such Microsoft centers in the United States…The NextWave business incubator opens in Troy… The University Research Corridor shows off the research prowess of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University in a journalism bus tour… Stock in Detroit’s Compuware Corp. plunged 12 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the company’s fiscal first quarter earnings met Wall Street expectations but missed on the revenue side… Pure Michigan Facebook fans took a giant leap since June 1 by doubling its followers from 50,000 to 100,000 as of July 22… 100-mpg cars compete in the blistering heat at Michigan International Speedway as part of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PrizeBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan will move 3,000 workers from Southfield to downtown Detroit…

August 2010: Thousands of do-it-yourselfers, inventors, musicians, crafters, and assorted technology nerds gathered at the Henry Ford in Dearborn Saturday for the first-ever Maker Faire DetroitClearwire Corp. announces plans to offer 4G mobile Internet service in Grand Rapids… General Motors Ventures announces an $5 million investment and a “strategic relationship” with Anderson, Ind.-based Bright Automotive, developer of an electric commercial vehicle… Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced that five Michigan companies have been awarded more than $42 million to provide broadband infrastructure to underserved communities in the state… Michigan Technological University breaks ground on a $25 million Great Lakes research center… Traverse City-based Appia Communications buys St. Louis, Mo.-based Voxitas, a national Voice Over Internet Protocol and Multiprotocol Label Switching networking services provider… Ann Arbor-based Swift Biosciences gets $3 million in venture funding… Ford will install a 500-kilowatt solar power plant at its Wayne auto factory… Speaking at a WWJ business breakfast at the Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford Motor Co.’s Bill Ford Jr. says science and technology will lead the auto industry to a brighter day… Henry Ford Health System tries out high-tech pill bottles that remind you when to take the medicine… Ford Motor Co. begins using Wi-Fi on the assembly line to program its vehicles’ Sync systems as other parts are installed…An increase in trademark applications and incorporations helped drive innovative economic activity in Michigan during the first quarter of 2010, according to the “innovation index” compiled by scholars at the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business…

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