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2011: The GLITR Tech Year In Review

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January: Oakland County announced that its Medical Main Street economic development effort drew six life science companies investing more than $21 million and creating or retaining about 600 jobs… Ford’s Sync system hits the three million car mark… General Motors’ OnStar enters the consumer electronics market with OnStar FMV, an aftermarket rear view mirror that contains OnStar technology…  Ann Arbor’s Advanced Photonix gets $4 million in funding… Ford Motor Co. rolls out the Ford Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show… Oak Park-based Azure Dynamics gets a record order for 600 of its hybrid electric buses… The University of Michigan opens a new business accelerator in former Pfizer laboratory space in northeast Ann Arbor… UM announces federal stimulus research awards have topped $300 million… Muskegon County announces an 11,000-acre wind farm on its wastewater treatment plant properties…Troy’s CareTech Solutions opens a $5 million network operations center… Compuware’s quarterly sales and profits jump…

February: Ferndale-based Livio Radio announces a kit to bring its Internet radio technology to the car… A new study from Ann Arbor-based ForeSee Results says spending marketing money on social media efforts does not (yet) pay off as well as other online media… Walloon Lake’s Gas Technologies LLC reports great success in a field test of its gas-to-methanol process… Health care giant Becton Dickinson buys Ann Arbor’s Accuri Cytometers… Grand Rapids-based US Signal expands its fiber optic footprint in Ohio and Indiana… Compuware schedules its first tech staff recruiting event in five years… Livonia’s Roush Industries begins production of electric vehicle charging stations… Ann Arbor fuel cell maker Adaptive Materials pays back a $6.3 million state loan…

March: New Wayne State University cancer research tricks cancer cells into killing themselves… Doctors at Beaumont Hospital Troy perform Michigan’s first robotic procedure to correct atrial fibrillation… The first laboratory-based researchers have moved into the UM’s North Campus Research Complex, the former Pfizer research center… Ann Arbor-based Internet2 partners on a new national network with an astounding 8.8 terabits per second data capacity… The Pure Michigan Facebook page hits 200,000 fans… A $100 million cash gift, the largest ever made to a Michigan college or university, will be used to give birth to a private medical school at a public institution — Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo… UM researchers have developed a new drug in the laboratory that has potential to treat multiple types of cancer with few side effects… The drug, called AT-406, is currently being tested in clinical trials….

April: UM researchers have created the state’s first human embryonic stem cell lines that carry the genes responsible for inherited disease, which enables scientists to study the onset and progression of genetic disorders and to search for new treatments… Wayne State researchers say simple low-cost hormone gel can sharply reduce premature birth… Ann Arbor-based Adeona Pharmaceuticals raises $3.5 million in capital… FIRST Robotics crowns its state champions… Venture investing in Michigan in the second half of the ’00s was $735 million, up over 40 percent from the first five years of the decade… National Robotics Day in Ann Arbor finds a bright future for the industry in Michigan… UM researchers find a novel magnetic effect of light that could lead to solar power without solar cells… Packed events at the University of Michigan and the Detroit Athletic Club find a bright future for Michigan in cleantech manufacturing and real estate development… Another huge WWJ event draws 500 to Schoolcraft College in Livonia to go over the business case for social media…

May: More positive preliminary results from Plymouth-based Esperion Therapeutics for a new cholesterol-lowering drug… Adeona Pharmaceuticals gets $1.6 million in federal funding for a new treatment for multiple sclerosis in women… An Ann Arbor startup, Accio Energy, is using static electricity and water vapor to turn wind into energy without turbines… More than 100 of the region’s top technology minds gather for Midwest Technology Leaders 201 to talk mobile apps to smart buildings to the smart grid to security to the importance of mentorship… Ann Arbor’s Enlighten launches WhatWasThere.com, a Michigan visual history site… Kettering University gets a $2 million donation from the Mott Foundation… More than 40 early-stage companies seeking venture capital and hundreds of representatives of VC firms play the business Dating Game at the 30th annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium… GLITR’s eighth annual spring Tech Tour visits high-tech startups in Traverse City, Midland, Bay City, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing… Automation Alley launches a $100 million investment fund available to second-stage companies… A. Alfred Taubman donates $11 million to Lawrence Technological University…

June: Michigan businesses will have new ways to buy, sell, and raise capital,  through Pure Michigan Business Connect, a $3 billion public-private initiative announced at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference… Henry Ford Health System plans to turn an 87-year-old education building into a medical innovation center… Peter Karmanos formally announces his retirement as CEO of Compuware Corp… Azure Dynamics gets a four-year federal contract worth up to $112 million for its hybrid and electric trucks… Hewlett-Packard plans to hire up to 250 people in a new office in Pontiac… The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan is formed, claiming that 47,000 people in Michigan work in mobile technology… Comcast, under its new Xfinity brand, promises 100-megabit-per-second home Internet connections soon… More than 2,500 attend the annual Michigan Energy Fair, sponsored by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington…

July: The initial Social Media Day is held at Motor City Casino draws more than 500 to combine business and pleasure… England’s Logicalis buys Auburn Hills-based Netarx, an IT services provider, for $34 million… Logicalis’ U.S. headquarters is in Farmington Hills… Detroit’s Compuware buys the Waltham, Mass.-based software provider DynaTrace for $256 million… Royal Oak-based Pixofactor gets state tax credits for a digital game based on golfer Ben Hogan’s famous book Five Lessons… Pleasant Ridge-based ePrize LLC buys the Seattle-based customer relationship management division of Apollo Data Technologies, a Chicago-based predictive analytics firm… a Grand Rapids health care IT company, Intervention Insights, gets $7.2 million in funding… Punishing heat and humidity drive Michigan utilities to record demand, and experts warn heat is a danger to electronics… LG Chem wins a $9.6 million battery development contact… A public-private partnership involving state and federal government and Dow Chemical Co. is pumping up to $130 million in new business financing over five years into the state of Michigan…The mainstreaming of electric vehicles continues, with new charging stations at Detroit Metro Airport…General Motors Ventures LLC invests $7.5 million in Sunlogics PLC, which plans to create 200 jobs in the Detroit area…

August: C/D/H, the IT consulting firm with offices in Grand Rapids and Royal Oak, buys the Web development and SharePoint consulting team of the Southfield accounting and business advisory firm Plante & Moran PLLC… The Ann Arbor medical device firm Hygieia gets $1.5 million in capital from Oakwood Medical Investors… Three new companies move into the University of Michigan Venture Accelerator, which is now 60 percent full after just seven months in operation… Novi-based Red Level Networks acquires the technical services division of Preferred Solutions of Northville… Nine Michigan projects get more than $45 million from the feds to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies… DTE Energy begins using Ford Transit Connect Electric delivery trucks… UM builds MABEL, the world’s fastest running robot… Detroit-based iRule develops software that allows users to control stereos and TVs from their iPhone or iPad… A Michigan Technological University graduate with a brother in the Army rebuilds toy trucks with cameras and uses them to search trucks in Iraq, saving soldiers’ lives… Michigan’s first green airport terminal opens in Oakland County… DTE Energy is more than halfway to its renewable energy goal with a contract to purchase 120 megawatts from a wind farm in Tuscola, Bay and Saginaw counties…

September: Compuware formally opens an urban garden in downtown Detroit… Consumers Energy says its renewable energy plan will save the typical electric user $22 a year… Auburn Hills-based CJPS Healthcare Supplies & Equipment gets a deal that could be worth $100 million for its remote patient monitor VitalPoint… Ferndale’s Livio Radio formally rolls out its “Kit” car Internet radio…  DTE Energy debuts a new incentive program for its large commercial and industrial customers to increase energy efficiency and save money… Ford is adding an operator assist function to its Sync car telematics service… The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute gets $3.5 million from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for  better therapies to treat triple negative breast cancer… A Wayne State University professor, Aloke Dutta, gets $2.15 million from the federal government to study better treatments for Parkinson’s disease… Royal Oak-based National Adopt-A-Watt kicks off, trying to get donors to pay for expensive energy-saving hardware for cash-strapped municipalities… TEDxDetroit — idea incubator, business idea tryout spot, networking opportunity unparalleled — packs more than 1,500 of Detroit’s brightest into Orchestra Hall…

October: The Fifth Annual GLITR Fall Tech Tour visits Saginaw, Houghton, Mt. Pleasant, Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, East Lansing, and Flint, concentrating on university tech spinoffs… Detroit-based JazzPlanet.tv announces it hit a million viewers for its Webcast of the 32nd Annual Detroit Jazz Festival… Quicken Loans begins moving another 2,500 workers to downtown Detroit… Eaton Corp. says its hybrid trucks have hit 200 million miles on the road… A $12-million project aimed at shaping the future of medicine — the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford Hospital — opened its doors Wednesday… A Bloomfield Township company introduces Med-Track 360, PC software for those living with cancer, their caregivers and families… RetroSense Therapeutics, a Michigan-based company, licenses new gene-therapy approaches for treating blindness developed at Wayne State University… Google, Intuit and other tech partners sponsor “Michigan Get Your Business Online,” and more than 1,200 business register for the sponsors’ offer for a free three-page Web site and a year of free Web hosting… An Engineering Society of Detroit job fair offers 4,000 tech job openings… A new defense technology firm, ClearTech Ventures LLC, is launched with a $25 million investment from Quantum Ventures of Michigan LLC… A stretch of 10 Mile Road just east of Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills has officially become a test bed for a new brand of intelligent street lamp from Illuminating Concepts…

November: The Ann Arbor personalized medicine firm Everist Genomics buys California-based Angiologix, developer of a new method of detecting heart disease early… Ferndale’s Livio Radio says its car Internet radio kits will be available at 4,400 Radio Shack stores… Potential new drugs that could bring health to tens of thousands of kidney patients, cure osteoporosis and advance the battle against cancer were featured at the MichBio Expo… The Oak Park hybrid and electric truck power train developer Azure Dynamics gets $5 million from a Canadian subsidiary of Johnson Controls… A new survey from Connect Michigan shows 39 percent of Michigan residents are still not using broadband at home… Based on slow demand, Energy Conversion Devices suspends production, lays off 500 and furloughs another 400 at plants in Michigan, Ontario and Mexico… General Motors cuts the ribbon on a unique solar power installation that swivels to meet the sun at one of its Warren offices… The second annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition hands out $1 million to entrepreneurs for their business ideas… The Pure Michigan Business Connect program has more than doubled in less than six months with an additional $5 billion in loan access for Michigan-based companies offered through Fifth Third Bank…Detroit-based iRule LLC, a developer of cloud-based software that allows home electronics to be controlled by iOS devices, gets funding from CPoWeR Ventures, the venture capital arm of Compuware Corp….

December: Ann Arbor’s Adeona Pharmaceuticals reports positive results in high dose zinc to slow the progression of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease… State officials roll out Pure Michigan Talent Connect, a Web site listing 77,600 Michigan job openings… Consumers Energy scuttles plans for an 830-megawatt coal fired power plant near Bay City and plans to close smaller coal-burning generators, citing lower power demand and falling natural gas prices…The Novi power grid manager ITC holding buys the grid of a New Orleans utility, Entergy, effectively doubling ITC’s size and geographic reach… The Detroit Regional Chamber hosts a series of meetings between NASA and Michigan companies, looking for high-tech partnerships… MagneGas Corp. leases an industrial building in Rochester Hills to showcase its technology, which turns liquid industrial waste into a natural gas alternative and a metal-working fuel… Michigan Tech research says affordable solar power is getting closer and closer, based on falling panel prices and rising electric rates… Dow Corning installs a new solar farm at its Midland headquarters to test using its adhesives in the place of metal fasteners in building solar panels… Wayne County introduces a new Web site letting residents know the exact location of snow plows, many of which are even outfitted with live Webcams, offering a snowplow’s-eye view of road conditions… Ford begins building the Focus Electric at its refurbished, green Wayne Assembly Plant… Wayne State research shows that chemicals found in soybeans can make radiation treatment of cancer tumors more effective while protecting nearby healthy tissue… Troy-based Altair Engineering opens a new data center to handle the demands of customers who want to buy its HyperWorks computer aided engineering software as a service… Merit Network brings 10-gigabit-a-second data connections to universities in the Upper Peninsula for the first time… For the third year, OnStar will help NORAD track Santa on Christmas Eve…

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