OptimizeRx Names New Board Chair; Founding CEO To Retire

ROCHESTER — OptimizeRx Corp. (OTCQB:OPRX), an aggregator of pharmaceutical-sponsored services in electronic health records, appointed company director Gus D. Halas as chairman of the board, effective June 30. He will succeed retiring chairman and company founder, David Harrell.

As the company’s CEO until February of last year, Harrell created the first technology and network to automate customized copay savings and other patient support directly within doctors’ existing electronic prescribing workflow.

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Bumblebee populations higher in Detroit than in some less-urbanized areas; vacant lots could be a factor

ANN ARBOR — A new study of native bumblebee populations in southeastern Michigan cities found, surprisingly, that Detroit has more of the large-bodied bees than some surrounding, less urbanized locations.

The University of Michigan students who conducted the study suspect that the large amount of vacant or idle land in Detroit may boost the bumblebee population by providing nesting sites and flowers for food.

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Troy’s Altair Part of Swedish Challenge for America’s Cup

TROY — When a Swedish sailboat challenges for the America’s Cup next month in the Atlantic Ocean, a Troy firm’s technology will be at work in the water.

Altair says its HyperMesh, OptiStruct and Radioss software have been used in designing Artemis Racing’s sailboat daggerboards — foils that lift the boat out of the water to cut drag.

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MSU Names New Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Chair

EAST LANSING — Donald Morelli, who has been interim chair of the Michigan State University Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science for almost two years, has been named chair of the department following a national search. His appointment is effective June 1.

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Michigan Sea Grant, Wayne State Host Freshwater Research Conference

ANN ARBOR — Freshwater researchers from the Great Lakes region and around the world are gathering at Cobo Center this week for the 60th annual conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research.

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123Net Expands Fiber Network in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS — 123Net, the Southfield-based provider of network solutions, announced an expansion of its metro fiber data hub in Grand Rapids and vicinity.

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Roush Opens New Engineering Center in Troy

LIVONIA — The automotive firm Roush recently opened its first Oakland County technical center bringing expanded engineering design and development services dedicated to hybrid and electric vehicles, electric propulsion and battery systems, autonomous vehicles, advanced software development and data analytics.

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Michigan Tech Research: Solar Can Aid Military Security Affordably

HOUGHTON — Vulnerabilities in the power grid are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community has called for building up the resiliency of the grid using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization. Power production from multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security.

In a new paper published in the academic journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.094), an interdisciplinary team of engineering and energy policy experts from Michigan Technological University says the first step is to outfit military infrastructure with solar photovoltaic-powered microgrid systems. Their results found that the military needs 17 gigawatts of PV to fortify domestic bases — and that the systems are technically feasible, within current contractors’ skill sets, and economically favorable.

Additionally, the paper’s lead author, Emily Prehoda, who is finishing her PhD in energy policy at Michigan Tech, says boosting bases’ energy independence supports local communities.

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Diplomat Buys Health Information Provider

FLINT — Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced it had completed its acquisition of WRB Communications Inc., a health care service center company based in Chantilly, Va.

WRB specializes in relationship management programs for pharmaceutical manufacturers and health care service organizations.

Under the terms of the agreement, Diplomat is paying WRB $24.5 million cash and $4.5 million of Diplomat common stock. Under the terms of a two-year contingent earnout, WRB can earn an additional payout of up to $1 million based upon achievement of earnings-based targets in the 12-month periods ending May 31, 2018, and May 31, 2019. In 2016, WRB generated $15 million in revenue and $2.2 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

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Mason County Sets Broadband Initiative

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Broadband Committee has partnered with the community engagement program of the nonprofit Connected Nation to develop a plan to improve access to high speed Internet in the county.

The initial step to developing a comprehensive, county-oriented plan will consist of a short survey for agriculture producers, business organizations and owners, healthcare facilities, schools, and residents. This will help the broadband committee members understand the unique needs in Mason County.

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