Compuware Completes Covisint Spinoff

DETROIT — The Detroit software and IT services provider Covisint Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) Fridya announced the completion of the distribution of its 31,364,920 remaining shares in the secure collaboration technology provider Covisint Corp. (Nasdaq: COVS) to Compuware shareholders.

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Ann Arbor Firm Gets Orphan Drug Status For RP Treatment

ANN ARBOR — Ann Arbor-based RetroSense Therapeutics LLC said it had received “orphan drug” status from the federal Food and Drug Administration for its lead drug candidate, RST-001, intended to treat the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa.

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ESD Tech Tour Day 1: North To MTU In A Cool Ride

Greetings from Houghton, where the 2014 Engineering Society of Detroit Fall Tech Tour is under way.

Your humble narrator left Southfield about 8:30 this morning and arrived safe and sound (well, as sound as he ever is) at the Magnusson Franklin Square Inn in downtown Houghton a little after 6:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with the president, deans, professors and students at Michigan Technological University. I’ll be talking to them about how Michigan Tech is working to fill the future talent pipeline of scientists and engineers — and how Michigan Tech research is building the Michigan economy of tomorrow.

As usual, my host will be the genial Jenn Donovan, director of news and media relations at Michigan Tech. She’s a veteran newswoman and a solid PR pro who’s lucky enough to have a really easy thing to sell — an absolutely amazing high-tech university that also just happens to be situated in an outdoor lover’s paradise. (It’s also a school that lets kids from southern Michigan go away to school — and I mean really, really, REALLY away — and still pay in-state tuition. Did you know it’s farther from Detroit to Michigan Tech than it is from Detroit to Washington, D.C.? Now you do.)

My ride for this year’s Tech Tour is courtesy of Ford Motor Co., and I will admit it’s hard to be objective about it — it’s a Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid that’s almost identical to the C-MAX Hybrid of the non-plug-in variety that’s already in my driveway. (Mine doesn’t have the leather seats and serious tech toys that this top-of-the-line model has, though.) It’s built on a small car platform but rides much bigger — solid, serene, whisper-quiet. Its combination of gasoline engine and electric motor give it some serious zip, and it handles like a roller skate. There’s ample interior space for four full-grown adults. The only drawback? Those cool high-tech batteries that let you spend a lot of time on electric power even at highway speeds (and that let me get 42 mpg on the way up here) have to go somewhere, and Ford put them in the trunk. So the trunk is tiny.  You’ll get a full review later, but for now, consider it recommended — as long as you don’t need a big trunk.

The Tech Tour continues next week with visits to Saginaw Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University and Michigan State University.

And I’ll be working your ears as well as your eyes — keep an eye and an ear peeled for podcasts this week on this blog, as well.

Now it’s time for a little shut-eye before a busy Friday. Starting with Finnish breakfast at that wonder of downtown Houghton, Suomi. (That’s Finnish for “Finland.” Not terribly creative, but boy do they whip up a mean pannukakku.) (That’s Finnish for “pancake,” in the same way the French say “le pique-nique” when they picnic. Whatever, it’s delicious.)

North American International Cyber Summit Coming To Cobo

DETROIT — The state of Michigan’s Internet security event is back, and it’s bigger than ever. What’s now called the North American International Cyber Summit 2014 is the third Michigan Cyber Summit, hosted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. It’s scheduled for Monday, Nov. 17 at Cobo Center in Detroit. Continue reading North American International Cyber Summit Coming To Cobo

XanEdu Rolls Out New Corpoate Learning Content Control System

ANN ARBOR — The higher education course materials supplier XanEdu Inc. has rolled out a new product called NimbleWerks, intended as a cloud-based delivery platform for content in the corporate learning, training and development market.

XanEdu said NimbleWerx, at http://www.nimblewerx.com, provides a flexible and cost-effective way to remix content from any source and deliver the right materials on any device, at any time, while maintaining complete control.

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Pure Michigan Launches Third Annual Photo Contest

LANSING — The Pure Michigan travel effort of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is asking people around the world to share their favorite Pure Michigan photos during the Third Annual Michigan Moments Photo Contest, which launched Thursday.

Photos will be displayed in a photo gallery at michigan.org/photocontest with the winning photograph included in a 2015 Pure Michigan Travel Guide and displayed as the cover photo on the Pure Michigan Facebook page.

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The Eyes Have It: Visteon Concept Controls Car With A Glance

VAN BUREN TWP. — Two hands on the wheel, but maybe a glance of the eyes to the side once in a while to turn up the heat or turn down the stereo.

That could be part of the automotive future, according to Van Buren Township-based Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) which has unveiled an automotive cockpit concept demonstrating how drivers can select some vehicle controls through eye movement and head direction.

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DTE, MGM, DoE Install 24 EV Chargers In Casino Ramp

DETROIT — The headquarters of the Detroit utility DTE Energy and the MGM Grand Casino already share a parking ramp that spans the two landmarks on the western edge of downtown Detroit.

Now, they’re sharing green technology, too.

DTE and MGM Wednesday unveiled a set of 24 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle charging stations on the sixth floor of the parking ramp. While they’re intended for use by DTE employees who drive plug-ins, if they should happen to be available, casino guests with EVs and PHEVs are welcome to use them at any time.

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State Aid OK’d For $15.3M Investment, 273 Jobs

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Wednesday announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of two business expansion projects that are expected to generate nearly $15.3 million in investments and add up to 273 new jobs in Southeast and West Michigan.

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MSU Engineering College Adds Biomedical Engineering Department

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State University College of Engineering is getting a new academic department.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees Oct. 24, opening the door for collaborative healthcare-related research between the college and rest of campus.

The effective date for the new unit will be Jan. 1. The first courses in the new department will be offered in spring 2016.

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