99.64% of Michigan residents have broadband internet access - Connect Michigan
99.64% of Michigan residents have broadband internet access
The state is dotted with emerging industry hubs, each the focus of a network of high-tech suppliers and customers. On the Lake Huron side, Dow Chemical, Hemlock Semiconductor and Energy Conversion Devices anchor Saginaw Solar Valley companies at work converting sunlight to an alternative energy source. In West Michigan, Medical Mile/Medical Main Street are self-contained villages advancing life science research, medical education and delivery of services to rival the nation’s best while Grand Rapids has the largest and most respected plastics technology program in the country.
The new mobility industry taking shape in West and Southeast Michigan has six major facilities, plus ancillaries, researching, developing and manufacturing advanced battery technology to fuel electric and hybrid vehicles. Along an arc from Ann Arbor, Oakland County and Lansing to Grand Rapids, software developers write the code to power electronics, industrial machinery and equipment, measurement and control.
The state’s network of 15 tax-advantaged SmartZones, now in their 10th year, incubate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs. Focused on recognized clusters of new and emerging businesses, they direct resources to commercializing ideas, patents and other opportunities. Accelerators such as NextEnergy and Detroit’s Wayne State University-based Techtown bridge startups from incubator to commercialization. In Oakland County, Automation Alley has invested $5 million to seed 25 technology startups.
The state’s major research universities all have active and robust commercial and intellectual property development and technology transfer programs. Their effectiveness has been multiplied with the formation of the University Research Corridor, an alliance boosting collaboration at all levels among faculty, staff and students at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, each with different missions and strengths but supporting the others as partners rather than rivals.
When Michigan State University mounted its successful effort to beat Illinois in the national competition to house a $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, it was backed and aided by Wayne State and the University of Michigan. On average, the URC received 126 patents and 122 licenses annually between 2002 and 2007, and helped cultivate an average of 15 start-up companies annually.