Water Quality Monitoring On Your Smartphone From UP Firm

LAKE LINDEN, Mich. — A biotech company in the Upper Peninsula is offering a portable, handheld device to test for agricultural nutrient runoff in soil and water for just $270.

NECi Superior Enzymes developed the device in conjunction with Michigan Technological University and Joshua M. Pearce, who holds assistant professorships in both materials science and engineering and computer science and engineering at the university. Pearce is also a 3D printing expert, and the photometer is manufactured on a 3D printer.

The company also got off the ground with government research grants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the firm a Small Business Innovation Research grant in 2011 to develop the portable soil phosphate test kit. More recently, the National Science Foundation awarded Superior Enzymes and MTU a $225,000 grant in 2014 to develop the photometer using open-source technology.

The $270 device includes the portable photometer and a 10-pack of test reagents. The handheld photometer measures the amount of nitrate or phosphate in a sample by measuring the light that is passed through the sample, following a simple enzyme reaction.

“We developed an accurate, reliable test method that works in laboratory settings. Then we simplified the method so that anyone can do it. We believe users should have confidence that their results actually mean something,” said Ellen R. Campbell, CEO of NECi Superior Enzymes.

The product was developed in response to a serious concern over agricultural nutrients fouling water. Algal blooms in Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico are caused by excess nutrients in those waters.

Nitrates and phosphates are essential for plant and soil health. Fertilizers rich in these nutrients increase crop yield and ensure food security. The problem comes when excess nutrients run off agricultural fields into local watersheds. This wastes valuable crop nutrients, contributes to harmful algal blooms, and causes unmanageable levels of nitrate at drinking water processing plants.

Learn more about NECi’s biotechnology tools anyone can use at http://www.nitrate.com.

State Aid OKd For Projects To Generate 956 Jobs, $201M Investment

LANSING – Projects expected to generate more than $201 million in total investment and create up to 956 jobs in Michigan gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

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AT&T Upgrades Mackinac Island Coverage For Conference

DETROIT — AT&T Inc. announced it has upgraded its 4G LTE network on Mackinac Island to once again boost network coverage at two renowned Mackinac Island hotels, just in time for attendees of the 2016 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference.

The company has upgraded the network at the Grand Hotel and Chippewa Hotel, giving guests who are AT&T customers faster, more reliable wireless service.

In 2015, AT&T added a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the Grand Hotel and the strategically placed antennas distributed the company’s wireless network coverage to both hotels.

With upgraded 4G LTE service, conference-goers will see better service when reporting news from the conference, posting to social media or texting family and friends.

AT&T last week announced it had invested $1.65 billion between January 2013 and December 2015 in its Michigan wireless and wireline networks.

For more information on AT&T wireless service visit the coverage map at https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html.

Healthcare Under Attack — 89% Of Organizations Had Data Breaches

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City security consultants Ponemon Institute released its Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on the Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, showing that once again criminal attacks are the leading causes of data breach in healthcare.

The study, sponosred by Portland, Ore.-based ID Experts, also showed that mistakes — unintentional employee actions, third-party snafus, and stolen computer devices — are cited as the cause of other data breaches.

The findings indicate that many healthcare organizations and their third parties (business associates or BAs) are negligent in the handling of sensitive patient information. They also lack the budget, people resources, and expertise to manage data breaches caused by employee negligence and evolving cyber threats, including the newest threat cited for 2016: ransomware.

To learn more about the study, visit  http://www2.idexpertscorp.com/ponemon2016 for a free copy.

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Scrum Master Training Coming To Farmington Hills

FARMINGTON HILLS — Michigan Technology Services will hold its next Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) class in Farmington Hills June 20 and 21.

Michigan Technology Services is a local company, with a physical presence in Farmington Hills. It offers instructor-led Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) training, as well as other Agile and Scrum courses, through a partnership with the only Scrum Alliance authorized Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) based in Michigan.

MTS’ Chet Hendrickson has a quarter century’s experience in information technology and software development. He has been active in Agile software development since its beginning. Chet was the first signatory of the Agile Manifesto.

Scrum is not just for programmers. Project managers, business analysts, technical writers, QA staff, testers — as well as developers — have all found value in this instruction.

Call (248) 489-0408 for information about Agile courses, and visit http://michigancomputertraining.com for details about enrolling in the June CSM class.

The course is $1,295, with an early bird price of $995 through June 2. It covers training and examinations.

Great Lakes Angels Sets Workshop On Valuing Early Stage Companies

FARMINGTON HILLS — Great Lakes Angels is hosting a workshop on “Valuation of Early Stage Companies,” an Angel Resource Institute (ARI) education program on angel investing, at UHY Advisors, 27725 Stansbury Boulevard, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, on Tuesday, June 14.

This workshop is open to entrepreneurs, investors and consultants.

Valuation is probably the most important question an investor and entrepreneur will ask and answer before executing an investment. The answer often leads to the life or death of a deal. The determination of the value of a company is as much an art as it is science. Mastering both takes experience and knowledge.

“Valuation of Early Stage Companies” is designed to present several key methodologies that many experienced angel investors have found as fundamental in approaching this critical task. They include
* Risk Factor Summation Method
* Venture Capital Method
* Scorecard Method.

The keynote speaker and program leader is Bob Okabe, a board member of the Angel Resource Institute and managing director of Chicago-based business consultants RPX Group LLC. Over the last decade, Okabe has been actively involved with early stage enterprises on multiple levels. As an angel investor he co-founded the Prairie Angels and has made eleven investments with three positive returns of capital.

RPX Group, http://www.rpxgroup.com, is a consulting firm assisting universities, research institutions, and corporations with spinning out some of their innovative technologies as startup companies.

Visit http://www.glangels.org to register or for more information about this educational opportunity.

ARI, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit that focuses on delivering education on proven best practices in angel investing to both entrepreneurs and investor, as well as delivering the most robust data trends in angel investing. ARI’s commitment to producing premier education and research is rooted in its relationship with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which originally developed ARI. For more on ARI’s education programs, contact Jessi Freitag at jessi@angelresource.org.

GLA’s mission is to organize and mentor angel investors and provide a forum for them to grow in knowledge and wealth and foster more of the same — to help invest in entrepreneurial companies in the region. GLA meetings typically feature several presentations on potential deals, high-level content and quality speakers and panelists on key issues of angel investing. Current angel investors and high net worth potential angel” can meet in a confidential and educational environment to discover opportunities for mutual areas of investment. Experts can be identified and shared to assist in due diligence on technologies outside the individual’s own comfort zone and help transition investors into new exciting technologies for the growth of companies in the Region and their own personal portfolio.

Bay City Western Students Analyze Sports Physics In Saginaw Valley, Dow Corning Initiative

BAY CITY — Jarret Deming is a natural with a tennis racquet in his grip. But until recently, he never considered how it could empower him to better understand physics.

On a brisk morning — temperatures below 40 degrees — the 17-year-old junior at Bay City Western High School doesn’t appear fazed by the cold as he swings at the tennis ball. Deming is a natural, after all.

But this year he is getting a little help on his tennis posture and follow through. That support isn’t coming from a coach or a teammate or even a how-to video. It’s happening in Deming’s third hour physics class, where science, sports and technology are colliding thanks to a community partnership aimed at improving K-12 education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

“I enjoy this more than sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher talk,” said Deming, who spent class time mapping out and analyzing the physics of his tennis form.

The lesson plan comes from Lisa Welch, a teacher participating in her second year in the Dow Corning Foundation – Saginaw Valley State University STEM Community Partnership.

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Tour three of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses June 4

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture will have a rare opportunity to tour the only three Usonian houses he designed in the Detroit area on Saturday, June 4, four days before the renowned architect’s 149th birthday.

The Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck House and the Melvyn Maxwell Smith House are in Bloomfield Hills, and the Dorothy H. Turkel House is in the Palmer Woods section of Detroit.

The event, which costs $150 per person, includes a guided tour of each home, transportation in a luxury motor coach between the homes, and a hearty hors d’oeuvres reception at Lawrence Technological University’s campus in Southfield. Participants should arrive at the campus at 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield by 11:30 a.m. for registration. The tour begins at noon. Tour buses will return to Lawrence Tech by 5 p.m. for the reception.

Wright began designing Usonian houses during the Great Depression in the 1930s. His goal was to create houses with a unique North American identity that would be affordable for middle-class families. Usonian houses are typically small, single-story buildings constructed of native materials, featuring flat roofs, and natural heating and cooling. The Affleck House was built in 1941 and donated to Lawrence Tech in 1978 as a teaching resource for the University’s College of Architecture and Design. The Turkel House was built in 1955 based on Wright’s book, “The Natural House.” The Smith house, built in 1946, features natural cooling and radiant heating through hot water pipes installed in the floor slab. Wright visited the house several times, calling it “my little gem.”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit restoration projects at LTU’s Affleck House, as well as restoration of the Smith House, now owned by the Maxwell and Sara Stein Smith Foundation. $75 of the ticket may be tax deductible; consult your tax professional. To register, call LTU at (248) 204-2303 or go to https://www.lawrencetech.net/FLWBirthdayBash.

Lawrence Technological University, http://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.

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M2 TechCast Looks At New Wireless, Data Products

ROYAL OAK — The weekly M2 TechCast podcast will take its usual look at high tech from a Michigan perspective Monday, May 23 at 3 p.m. Eastern time — but from a new location.

Like the rest of the podcasts in the ever-growing PodcastDetroit.com network, the M2 TechCast will now be broadcasting from Podcast Detroit’s spiffy new studios on 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak.

Monday’s show will feature a look at high-speed portable wireless internet products from MetroWireless, as well as the new digital products from Comcast Business.

The show will also feature segments on what’s up with the business networking group Motor City Connect, and the latest on an Ann Arbor boot camp that will teach non-techie business folks that need to create a mobile app the basics of app development, including how to talk to programmers.

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Mike Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News, http://www.mitechnews.com, and Matt Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Tech. Both have been covering high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years. The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet at 3 p.m. Eastern time Mondays at http://www.podcastdetroit.com. Past podcasts are available on demand at http://www.podcastdetroit.com/mi-tech-cast.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 30 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 300,000 listeners a week.

Wearable technology could help detect health risks, depression

EAST LANSING — It may be small, so small it’s hardly noticeable, but it could someday save lives.

“It” is wearable technology that can monitor a person’s eating, drinking, coughing, and social habits, and that’s information a health care provider could find useful when treating someone dealing with obesity, diabetes, asthma, or depression.

This next generation of wearable technology, known as “HeadScan,” is being developed by a team of engineers at Michigan State University in collaboration with researchers at Bell Labs. Unlike existing technology, it’s radio-based, which means it’s less intrusive, better able to protect one’s privacy, and more comfortable to wear.

The primary focus of this emerging technology is on health care.

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