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Mobile-Wireless Conference Helps Michigan Grow A New Industry

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DETROIT — Hundreds of software app developers, small businesses, enterprise-level firms, government entities, educational institutions and Michigan residents came together to learn about the emerging mobile and wireless technologies currently available for personal and professional use, at the “Mobile Moves Michigan: Driving Our Economy with Mobile Technologies” conference, July 30-31 at Motor City Casino.

Throughout the conference, guest speakers talked about the ways their firms are responding to demands from consumers and businesses for mobile technologies that can increase productivity and profitability for businesses, make life easier and more convenient, and increase communication capabilities across multiple platforms.

“The Michigan mobile technology community has already greatly impacted the transportation and health care industries,” said Linda Daichendt, executive director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan. “Doctors monitor patients on iPads, and street lights are monitoring traffic and talking to vehicles on the road to increase safety. Every industry will be impacted as all of us look for more efficient and effective ways to perform any task.”

Daichendt pointed out in her remarks at the conference that it’s just a matter of time before machine-to-machine technology catches on. Soon consumers’ coffee pots will start brewing when triggered by a signal from the alarm clock, and refrigerators will send text messages to cell phones or cars when milk is running low, enabling consumers to stop on the way home to take care of it.

Speakers and guests provided other examples of mobile technology advances in business, including the city of Detroit’s  use of mobile technologies to help inspect city properties and to enable bus riders to monitor the timeliness of public transportation and RIIS of Southfield’s recent development of a mobile app that alerts people about energy outages.

This rapidly growing industry means more economic vitality for the state. A study by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.indicates that for every job created in Michigan’s mobile and wireless technology industry, 3.9 additional jobs are created in the state in other industries. MEDC further indicates that the mobile industry job creation factor of 3.9 is significantly higher than that for most other industries in the state, and is comparable to the job creation factor for the manufacturing industry.

At last week’s event, a number of company representatives expressed their desire to fill  a variety of currently available mobile and wireless positions.

“This means that the mobile and wireless industry can achieve a similar level of positive impact on Michigan’s economy as that of the manufacturing industry,” Daichendt said.

Attendees also discussed ways to ensure that Michigan becomes and remains a leader in the mobile and wireless technology community.

Among the critical elements identified as part of the events’ strategic planning discussion were:
* Initiatives to make educational opportunities available at the k-12 and higher education levels for those interested in exploring a variety of careers in the mobile and wireless industry
* Educating businesses on the many ways mobile technologies can be utilized to increase productivity and profitability for their firms
* Creating national awareness of the tremendous amount of mobile / wireless technology work being done in Michigan and the capabilities that are available from Michigan-based businesses that can’t be found elsewhere.

The ‘Mobile Moves Michigan’ conference made one fact evident to all who attended — Michigan has a limited window of opportunity to take advantage of its existing resources to garner a national leadership position in this industry. Some attendees felt that if we, as a state, need to take immediate action or the opportunity and the resulting positive economic impact will be lost forever.

MTAM is focusing on this challenge on a daily basis and is working to bring together the individuals and entities in Michigan that can facilitate the actions required to take advantage of this new growth.

Sponsors included Microsoft, Blackberry, Nook Developer, Apigee, Digital Globe, Red Hat, Mapquest, Michigan Economic Development Corp., Automation Alley, Connected Vehicle Trade Association, Wireless Industry Partnership, Application Developers Alliance,  Spectrum Health-Priority Health, Mousetrap Mobile, Crain’s Detroit Business, Mobile Groove, SmartGrid Careers, TechSmith, Gravity Works, Strategic Growth Concepts, Mobile Comply, Media Academica, SmartBusiness, The Prewitt Group, Mobile Monday Michigan, Detroit DevDays, MiTechNews.com, Fierce Developer, MEIC, CrowdJuice, and the Michigan Council of Women in Technology.

For more information about Mobile Moves Michigan, MTAM, or Michigan’s mobile and wireless industry, visit  GoMobileMichigan.org or contact MTAM at (248) 470-3257 or info@gomobilemichigan.org.

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