2013 Fall Tech Tour
I’ll admit that by the end of most Tech Tours I’m usually pretty fried. Nine or 10 days of sleeping in a different unfamiliar bed every night, eating road food, and driving darn near 2,000 miles will do that to you.
It’s long, it’s low-slung, it stole its front end from James Bond. Its only drawback? The price tag and the tiny little trunk. That’s the Ford Fusion Energi I drove for 10 days on the 2013 Fall Tech Tour of Michigan universities.
Now home to nearly 25,000 students, with a beautiful country campus in Allendale and a rapidly growing city campus in the heart of the revitalized downtown of Grand Rapids, Grand Valley State University has pursued new areas of study and research with an entrepreneurial spark that’s rare in a government institution.
Ferris State University gets tons of life science industry lab techs ready for work. And someday its research might help you live 50 percent longer.
Like most of Michigan’s directional schools — you know, the ones with a direction as their first word — Central Michigan University started out over a century ago as a teacher’s college in the days of the one-room schoolhouse. Boy howdy, have things changed. This sprawling campus that bumps up to mid-Michigan cornfields is constantly reinventing itself with advanced new buildings, and it’s home to truly world-class science and research.
The phrase “hidden gem” is overused, and sometimes misused to describe things that are pretty much cubic zirconia. But on Day Six of the 2013 Fall Tech Tour Monday, I found a real one in Saginaw Valley State University. Or maybe a reference to gold would be better, since Saginaw Valley is observing its 50th anniversary this year.
The WWJ Technology Report’s 2013 Fall Tech Tour starts and ends in Kalamazoo. Today, the beginning: a look at the latest in Michigan’s pharmaceutical and medical device industries, at the annual Conference and Expo of MichBio, the state’s bioscience industries association, at downtown Kalamazoo’s beautiful Radisson hotel.