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Comau to launch new products at Automate 2017

Comau will exhibit at Automate 2017, held at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, from April 3-6, where it will unveil its newest automation solutions. Comau’s booth (#1650) will feature several robotic applications, including the innovative AURA collaborative robot, the Rebel-S SCARA robot, the Racer5 robot, and a large palletizing robot. Each robot will demonstrate unique capabilities that can be applied to a variety of industries. Visitors will not only have the opportunity to witness these industrial robots in action, they will also discover new enhanced technologies of the Comau product portfolio. 
  
Automate is held once every two years in the United States, and is the broadest automation solutions event in North America with an overview of the entire industry. Event participants can explore the ever-changing future of automation in a number of different trades. The event features the latest in cutting-edge robotics, motion control and other related technologies from around the world. Attendees will have the chance to be admitted to co-located ProMat 2017, North America’s leading exposition for manufacturing, distribution and supply chain professionals. 
 
Come see what Comau has to offer in Booth #1650.

About Comau
Comau, a company part of FCA Group, is the worldwide leader in manufacturing flexible, automatic systems and integrating products, processes and services that increase efficiency while lowering overall costs. Headquartered in Turin, Italy, with an international network that spans 17 countries that employ more than 12,600 employees, Comau uses the latest technology and processes to deliver advanced turnkey systems that consistently exceed the expectations of its customers. Comau specializes in body joining & assembly, powertrain machining & assembly, robotics and maintenance, as well as advanced production systems and environmental services for a wide range of industrial sectors. The continuous development of its products and services enables Comau to lead the automation industry in meeting the unique requirements of each customer, and through all phases of the project - from design, implementation and installation, to production start-up and maintenance services.
www.comau.com

OU INC hosting nationally acclaimed MEDTECH+ intensive workshop

Calling All Technology-Based Entrepreneurs - OU INC is hosting an intensive workshop for public and university entrepreneurs April 7-9.  

This program, MEDTECH+, has been featured by the National Science Foundation and at leading tech centers around the world and has served over 2,000 teams. 
 
“This weekend event is equally valuable to growth companies looking to tighten their go to market strategy as well as teach researchers, students, and innovators looking to learn, create, or even join a new technology startup,” said Neil Sheridan, Principle of SVPI and creator of the program.  “I am excited to team up with OU INC and its partners to bring this program to the region”. 
 
The three-day innovation workshop weekend is designed for researchers, students, and innovators starting a new tech-focused company or growing an existing one.  The skills also apply to those people developing innovation within their companies. 
 
The agenda includes developing a workable business model, attracting talent to the company and making effective investor and customer presentations. The participants will work with expert business and technology coaches learning to sell technology solutions, conduct market research and act on customer feedback with many hands-on activities.
 
The weekend will culminate with teams pitching their ideas to guest judges. There will be in-kind services available for the winning presentation.  Judges, coaches, and stakeholders in the medical and technology fields will join the participants in a reception after the pitches.
 
“This program is a continuation of several key activities this year in commercializing medical device and digital health technologies.  The skills also apply to other technology-based companies.  We are offering this opportunity to attract the many talented people in the area with the ability to create innovations,” said Amy Butler, the executive director of OU INC. “Our program will help attendees understand how to reduce their risk, speed up their launch and make important network connections.”
 
Irene Spanos, director of Economic Development & Community Affairs for Oakland County said, “Programs like this exist to help our growing Medical Device Cluster here in Southeast Michigan known as Medical Main Street. With over 4,300 life science businesses in Oakland County, these boot camps allow them to get the knowledge they need to compete globally.” 
 
“With funding support by the New Economy Initiative, we’re offering this startup accelerator program for free because we want to reach out to more potential innovators and founders in our region and strengthen the innovation ecosystem,” Butler added. “A program of this caliber typically costs as much as $1,500. We also want to be able to give participants real feedback and an opportunity to meet companies and stakeholders.”
 
"Helping new startups launch and expand is a great example of how OU INC helps support entrepreneurs with access to key resources and expertise," said Maria LaLonde, a senior program officer at the New Economy Initiative. "With the new Innovation Weekend, local companies can build a successful path to growth as suppliers and employers within our region.”
 
Partners contributing to this opportunity include: New Economy Initiative; Medical Main Street Powered by Oakland County; the MedHealth Cluster; the Small Business Association of Michigan; JKY Legal, and SVP, LLC. 
 
Participants can register for the event at medtechplus.eventbrite.com where a full program schedule and a welcome video explain the content of the event.  Meals are included in the weekend.
 
About OU INC
OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the medtech, energy, mobility, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Association for international companies. For more information go to http://www.oakland.edu/ouinc.

Fresh fruits and vegetables store opens in Pontiac

It's only been a few weeks since Sprout Fresh Food Store opened in Pontiac--Jan. 26, to be exact--and co-owners Bethany Blackburn and Coleman Yoakum are quickly learning about their neighbors and customers.

They're starting to learn about people's families, about their lives. They're learning about people's buying habits, too; Sprout can't keep enough grapes and bananas in stock, they're flying off the shelves so quickly. But that's part of Sprout's mission, says Blackburn. Not only did they want to provide fresh vegetables and fruit to a neighborhood slim on such options, but they wanted to become a part of that neighborhood, too.

"Everything's been really well received," says Blackburn. "It's not that we didn't think we wouldn't be, but people are visibly excited when they come in."

The nearest grocery store is two miles away, which is a problem for neighbors with limited transportation options, she says. And the nearby party stores and gas stations don't exactly carry a wide range of fresh produce, either.

Sprout makes an effort to keep prices low and affordable for its neighbors. The co-owners volunteer at community gardens and farms in places like White Lake, Oakland Township, and Romulus in exchange for free and low-cost produce. They also have their own two-acre garden in the neighborhood.

Blackburn says they just found out they've been approved to accept Bridge Cards and SNAP benefits.

Yoakum first moved to Pontiac for an internship, eventually deciding to stay and start Micah 6, a community development non-profit. He reconnected with his old friend Blackburn, who moved to the neighborhood from Arkansas to help run the produce shop. Sprout, she says, is just one avenue of community outreach that Micah 6 has planned.

"This next year is all about building relationships with our neighbors and opening our arms to the rest of Pontiac," says Blackburn.

Sprout is hoping to throw a grand opening party in the next several weeks, and more information on that can be found on their Facebook page as plans develop.

Sprout Fresh Food Store is located at 580 W. Huron St. in Pontiac. They are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Troy company aids development of UK energy storage plants

Excerpt

Troy-based chemical company LG Chem Power Inc. first began manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in 1998, and is one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers with a significant market share in consumer, automotive, and stationary applications. As energy companies around the world work towards increased energy savings, environmental responsibility, and sustainability, LG Chem Power has created a robust mass production system for their battery technology and now supplies cells to major international companies, becoming one of the world’s principal battery manufacturers across several industries.

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Duluth Trading Company opening first store in Oakland County, second in Michigan

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Duluth Trading Company is opening its second Michigan store right here in Oakland County.

The Wixom Planning Commission approved the Minnesota-based company’s site plans. The goal is to open the store later this year.

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Royal Oak approves redevelopment plan for closed Northwood Shopping Center

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Beaumont Health has received final approval from the Royal Oak City Commission on a zoning change that clears the way for redevelopment of the former Northwood Shopping Center at the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road.

Groundbreaking for a new 183,000-square-foot commercial retail development on the 15-acre property is expected to take place this summer. Demolition, abatement, and soil remediation of the former shopping center buildings and townhouses on the property is currently underway. The plan is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

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Valeo to grow in Auburn Hills, Troy, add 290 jobs

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Valeo North America Inc. plans to create 290 jobs as it builds a low-speed test track and new building in Auburn Hills, and also improve its Troy headquarters, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said.

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Birmingham's Soaring Pine Capital acquires aerospace and DoD provider ETI Tech Inc.

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Birmingham-based Soaring Pine Capital, a Simon Group Holdings company, announced it has acquired ETI Tech Inc. in Dayton, Ohio.

Founded in 1996, ETI is a leading provider of more than 200 flight hardware parts for military aircraft and ground support equipment for the aerospace defense industry, including fixed and rotary wing aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles such as the F-35, C-130, F-16, and C-5B.

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New Fillmore 13 Brewery coming to downtown Pontiac

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Fillmore 13 Brewery LLC is set to open in downtown Pontiac in the next two weeks with about 20 beers on tap in the location which was previously the Oakland Arts Center at 7 North Saginaw St.

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Mission Point Nursing & Physical Rehabilitation Center opens in Holly

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Mission Point Management Services, LLC, a full-service healthcare and property management company, has invested nearly $12 million into its newest facility, Mission Point Nursing & Physical Rehabilitation Center of Holly, a short-term transitional rehabilitation center, located in the village of Holly.

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Lawrence Tech to build fourth residence hall

The Lawrence Technological University Board of Trustees approved construction of a new, 95,000-square-foot residence hall on its Southfield campus, to open in the fall of 2018.
 
The new residence hall will be four stories tall and include space for 300 students, along with 22 resident assistants and housing administration staff, according to Michael Guthrie, a partner at inForm Studio, the Northville architecture firm that is designing it.
 
All four principals at inForm are Lawrence Tech architecture alumni – Guthrie (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1995), Corey Lavigne (Bachelor of Architecture, 1996), Ken Van Tine (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1985, Bachelor of Architecture, 1986), and Gina Van Tine (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1989, Bachelor of Architecture, 1994).
 
“This project will continue the transformation of Lawrence Tech from a commuter-only school to a residential campus, and will offer our on-campus students the latest in amenities designed to enhance their total educational experience,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said.
 
The new residence hall will be built between two existing residence halls – the Edward Donley Residence Hall, which opened in 2002 and houses 210 students, and the Lloyd E. Reuss Residence Hall, which opened in 2015 and houses 150 students. (Lawrence Tech’s first residence hall, University Housing South, is a nine-story high-rise on 10 Mile Road that houses 390 students. It opened in 1977.)
 
Guthrie said the project is designed to connect the two major areas of Lawrence Tech’s campus – the main academic Quadrangle to the south, where Donley Hall is located, and North Campus, home to LTU’s Ridler Field House, Reuss Hall, the Art and Design Center, the Applied Research Center, and several office buildings.
 
“We have two guiding principles for this project,” Guthrie said. “One is the unification of the entire campus to create a very walkable environment, and the other is to create a housing district within the campus.”
 
Added Joseph Veryser, LTU university architect: “It has been the university's objective to aggregate or cluster undergrad housing in the heart of the campus to better enable entering freshmen to become part of a community and a part of campus life. The principle is one of closeness to one another and closeness to campus activity and core support areas such as food service, bookstore and library. The placement of the building is in line with LTU’s Campus Master Plan that is structured around that philosophy.” 
 
Guthrie said the building would be designed with two four-story towers linked by a bridge on the second, third and fourth floors. The first floor of the west tower will feature “a lot of communal space,” including a fitness center, coffee shop, and a commons area. Common spaces will also be scattered throughout the building, he said, including study areas, lounges, and music practice rooms.
 
More about inForm and its work at www.in-formstudio.com.
 
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Lear Corp. reports record sales for 2016, earnings jump 17% to $1.5B

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Southfield-based Lear Corp., a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, released its financial results for last year, and reported record sales.

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Kyyba Inc. expands with purchase of ASG Renaissance staffing contract

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Farmington Hills-based staffing augmentation, application software, and projects solutions services firm Kyyba Inc. has purchased the staffing contracts of ASG Renaissance, a professional services firm based in Dearborn. 

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Java Master brings in-store roasters to retail industry

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Wixom-based coffee technology company Java Roaster has announced a new line of in-store roasters for coffee retailers and others looking to deliver a fresher brew. With 65 percent of coffee sold in the United States sitting in transit or on the shelf for at least 30 days before it reaches customers, Java Roasters new on-site roasting devices will allow retailers to provide a fresher product by roasting fresh coffee beans in their stores as needed.

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Paint Creek Trail bridge set to be renovated

Excerpt

A Paint Creek Trail bridge will be renovated thanks to funding acquired through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Bridge 33.7, which is located on the Paint Creek Trail between Dutton Road and Silverbell Road in Oakland Township, will be replaced by a precast concrete bridge that is 14 feet wide and 60 feet long.

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