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Birmingham team takes home top prize at World Robofest Championship

Almost 100 teams from lands near and far, from Hong Kong to South Africa to the state of Illinois, descended upon the campus of Lawrence Technological University for the annual World Robofest Championship. But it was a team from Birmingham, Michigan’s own Roeper School that took home this year’s top prize.

On Saturday, May 19, Lawrence Technological University (LTU) hosted the 19th annual competition on its campus. The Southfield-based school has been hosting Robofest since C.J. Chung, professor of computer science at LTU, founded the contest in 1999.

Each Robofest pits teams of students against each other as they work to build and program autonomous robots that aren’t remote controlled. Robots then must complete a series of tasks.

This year’s Robofest required the robots to complete the Autonomous Tennis Ball Challenge. Students had to program their robots to collect tennis balls off a table and deposit them in a box, all while knocking water bottles off the table.

Blood, Sweat and Gears, the team from Birmingham’s Roeper School, took home the top prize in the Senior Game division, made up of students from grades nine through twelve.

"Metro Detroit is in the automotive sector. Automotive technology is moving toward self-driving and connected vehicles. All the technologies learned in Robofest are connected to the development of future self-driving and connected vehicles," says Chung.

"This started in metro Detroit and has a strong impact on the world. Our area is leading the technology for the future by training young people first."

In the Junior Game division, made up of fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, Insele Solutions of Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, took home the gold, with teams from Aurora, Illinois, and Goyang, South Korea, as runners-up. Teams from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, and Seoul, South Korea, rounded out the top three in the senior circuit.

More than 23,000 students have participated in the World Robofest Championship since its founding in 1999.

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

Work of Troy-based engineering company featured in Canadian museum exhibit on biomimicry

A Canadian museum is showcasing innovative applications of biomimicry in vehicle design, and a Troy-based company is one of the key players involved.

The engineering firm Altair, headquartered in Troy, has several products featured in the temporary exhibition Inspiring NATURE, inspired TECHNOLOGY: Biomimicry and Transportation at the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier in Valcourt, Quebec.

A vehicle frame structure showcased in the exhibit was designed using three of the company’s products, OptiStruct, RADIOSS, and Inspire. The frame structure utilizes biomimicry in its design, a practice that emulates patterns and structures found throughout the natural world.

According to the company, Altair’s optimization technology allowed designers and engineers to use the loads and forces the product is subjected to as inputs, generating innovative material layouts. Designers and engineers used the technology to investigate structurally-efficient concepts based on biomimicry principles, using natural designs to solve human riddles.

"It is a pleasure and an honor for Altair to have been invited to collaborate with the Museum of ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier to develop the cross-Canada exhibition on innovation from nature and biomimicry," said Bob Little, managing director of Altair Engineering Canada. "Altair’s solutions for simulation-driven design and optimization are having a real impact on the ability of our customers to develop innovative new designs with greater confidence and in less time."

The exhibition will stay at the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier for a year before it travels cross-country.

"This exhibition showcases the work done by the Museum team and several partners whose collaboration has been most valuable," said Carol Pauzé, director of the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier.

"Did you know that nature rewards cooperation? As was the case with Inspiring NATURE, inspired TECHNO, it leads to amazing results."

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

Apprenticeships critical as Oakland County deals with talent shortage in skilled trades


Carlea Johnson, 17, said she fell in love with the sound of a miter saw at 15 years old.

The Pontiac High School junior’s grandfather owned a construction company. She spent a lot of time during her younger years talking about the industry with him. That inspired her to get involved in the skilled trades. Her mom and aunt were also involved in construction.

Johnson is currently enrolled in the Oakland Schools Construction Technology Apprenticeship Program – a partnership between Oakland Schools, Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 1076 in Pontiac, and the Michigan Laborers’ Training Apprenticeship Institute.

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Automation Alley receives grant to help minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) has awarded Automation Alley a year-long grant to help minority, women and veteran-owned businesses embrace Industry 4.0, the smart factory revolution characterized by the convergence of digital and physical technologies.

The grant aligns with Automation Alley's existing Industry 4.0 programs for startups, manufactures and defense companies, and will provide resources and knowledge to help these businesses grow and prosper as technology rapidly impacts industry.

"As Michigan's Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Automation Alley is passionate about ensuring our state's small and medium-sized businesses understand and have access to the tools they need to transition to an Industry 4.0 workplace. Any time we can reach more minority, women and veteran-owned businesses in the ecosystem its a win-win, and this NEI grant will help us do just that," said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley's executive director and CEO.

The grant will be used to deliver Industry 4.0 readiness assessments on corporate strategy and direction to minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. It will also cover the cost of entry to Automation Alley's Industry 4.0 events throughout the year, which includes its Tech Takeover series held weekly at its Troy Headquarters and Automation Alley's global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8, to be held this year on Nov. 14 in Detroit.

“NEI is dedicated to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship support in southeast Michigan” said Maria LaLonde, senior program officer at NEI. “We’re pleased to partner with Automation Alley to empower our region’s women, minority and veteran-led small and medium-sized businesses to prosper by preparing for Industry 4.0.”

Robotic Precision Therapy, a women-owned business based in Troy, was among the first companies to benefit from the grant funds, recently completing an Industry 4.0 assessment with Automation Alley. The company is in the business of providing the first clinical robot designed to non-surgically lengthen muscular tissue to licensed physicians and medical professionals in the rehabilitative and pain management industries.

“Automation Alley’s assessment is a phenomenal resource for the local business community. Their staff provided us with an expansive scope of valuable business insight including first customer acquisition process, consideration of other viable options in marketing and local opportunities to interact with other professionals in our field. In addition, they provided introductions for our group which have become key business connections," said Arin Rentz, COO of Robotic Precision Therapy.

For more information about this grant, or to see if your company qualifies for support, contact bedzj@automationalley.com.

Earn Personal Trainer Certification through Oakland University PACE program

This summer, Oakland University’s Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) is partnering with World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) to offer a Personal Trainer Certificate Program

“The health and fitness industry is booming, and this growth is expected to continue,” said Amy Olind, assistant director of PACE. “As a result, there are a variety of employment opportunities available for personal trainers holding a legitimate certification, and we are proud to provide the opportunity to achieve this at OU.”

Through the Personal Trainer Certificate Program, students will complete coursework that will prepare them to obtain Certified Personal Trainer – Level 1 status. Individuals with this certification help to improve overall health and fitness of clients ranging in age, health and fitness status through the development and implementation of fitness programs required for practice in the service industry in the United States.

“This program is ideal for those who are passionate about fitness and who are also looking to either change careers or earn some extra money doing what they love,” Olind said.

The cost of the course is $700 for current OU Recreation Center members (students and community), and $800 for non-members. It includes 15 hours of lecture and 15 hours of practical, hands-on training led by Erin Davidson, M.S., OU’s fitness programs and services coordinator, at OU’s on-campus recreation center (a four-month membership to the Rec Center is included in program tuition).

Additionally, included in the program cost is the opportunity for students to complete a comprehensive internship at a local fitness facility.

“W.I.T.S. is a fully accredited organization that provides a rigorous, up-to-date curriculum, and the course includes an extensive hands-on component,” Olind said. “This really caused them to stand out from their competitors, as we felt this experiential learning was a necessary piece of the training required to enter this field.”

After completing the 30-hour program, candidates receive a voucher to register with W.I.T.S. to take the written and practical examinations required to become a CPT – Level 1, and completion of the internship component allows for receipt of CPT – Level 2 status.

According to Olind, the courses will be offered twice a year, with the initial offering beginning in summer 2018 on Mondays and Wednesdays starting July 23 through Aug. 22 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

“This program is open to community members and Oakland students alike, and we look forward to helping health and fitness enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds reach their goals,” Olind said.

To receive updates about registration, sign up on the CPT Course Pre-Registration website. To learn more about the program, visit oakland.edu/pace/health-sciences/personal-trainer or contact PACE at oupace@oakland.edu.

Doctor teams with Beaumont, GVSU: Invents lifesaving cough-assist


The act of coughing may seem annoying, but for those who can no longer cough on their own because of a medical condition, it's a matter of life and death. Today, more people are surviving brain/spinal cord injuries caused by stroke and automobile accidents. Many of these individuals are unable to cough on their own, leaving them susceptible to infection and a collapsed lung.

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START HERE…FINISH HERE: Oakland University, Oakland Community College team up on digital campaign

It is Oakland University’s brand promise and the inspiration for what is believed to be Michigan’s first cobranded billboard campaign among two higher educational institutions. 
As another step in its longstanding partnership, Oakland University and Oakland Community College have teamed up to create the innovative campaign, which includes 12 digital billboards over six weeks primarily located in Oakland County, starting May 21. The two halves of the billboard merge to show student progression from OCC and OU. On the left side are the words, “START HERE” with the OCC logo; “FINISH HERE” and the OU logo are on the right side. 
The idea is to encourage prospective students to start their college career at OCC and finish it at OU.
“We are very excited to partner with Oakland University on this innovative, fresh and cost-efficient campaign,” said Theodore G. Coutilish, vice chancellor for marketing and community relations, OCC. “We both have excellent faculty, facilities and academic programs that appeal to a wide range of students.”
OU and OCC are sharing the campaign cost evenly.
“Community colleges are a vital component of higher education in our state,” said John O. Young, Oakland University vice president for communications and marketing. “Encouraging people to start or return to college is very important to our region and we are happy to be a part of this initiative with OCC.”
For more information about OU and OCC, visit oakland.edu or oaklandcc.edu, respectively. 
About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at oaklandcc.edu.

About Oakland University
 Oakland University is a doctoral, research university located on 1,443 acres of scenic land in the cities of Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills in Oakland County, Michigan. The University has 140 bachelor's degree programs and 137 graduate degree and certificate programs. Oakland is a nationally recognized public university with more than 19,000 students. Academics include the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and nearly 100 other majors housed within the College of Arts and Sciences as well as an Honors College and professional schools that include the School of Business Administration, School of Education and Human Services, School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

SME opens new world headquarters In Southfield


SME, the 86-year-old nonprofit manufacturing association, announced the relocation of its world headquarters from Dearborn to Southfield. Today marks the first day of operations in the new offices located in the Southfield Town Center.

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Wixom's Kiekert moves manufacturing operations as part of a $3M expansion


Kiekert, an automotive locking company in Wixom, is moving its manufacturing operations to a new 41,000-square-foot facility at 50695 Varsity Court in Wixom.

The company’s previous production facility on Liberty Drive in Wixom will continue to serve as its research and development center.

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Bloomfield Hills' Michigan Israel business accelerator appoints first CEO


The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA) in Bloomfield Hills announced it has appointed Sandy Selinger as its first CEO.

The organization leverages collaboration between Michigan and Israel to build technology, industry, and research. It is backed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

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Entrepreneurial competition rewards idea generation

Equipped with just three slides and four minutes, the five finalists of a school-wide business idea pitch competition, sponsored by OU’s School of Business Administration, presented their ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurial-minded professionals for the chance to win cash awards.  

Open to all OU students, the competition invited participants to submit a proposal detailing an idea for a product, service or social enterprise that would benefit the Oakland University community. From the 25 submitted proposals, judges selected five finalists who then took part in pitch development workshop to help them prepare for the last phase of the competition. 

“Hats off to the students because they had some pretty complex concepts they had to explain in a very short time,” says Gregory Doyle, manager at Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center, who served as one of the judges. Ray Gunn, MGT ‘80, president, Schechter Wealth, and Jim Roberts, CEO, Jim Roberts Enterprises, also served as judges. 

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and competition coordinator Jae Kang, Ph.D., points out that “unlike other business plan competitions, the focus of this competition was idea generation. Unfortunately, many business plans go to the trash can because they start from ill-defined ideas, or uncreative ideas. This event is designed to help the student with the initial idea.” 

Whether launching a startup or entering an established company, the problem identification and solution process is a valuable skill for any business-minded professional. 

“Developing a business idea helps you think outside of the box,” says Samantha Roberts, MKT ‘18, the $1,000 silver winner. “You have to think of potential issues and resolve them before anyone even asked. This competition helped me to be able to fully analyze a situation and come up with solutions.” Roberts’ pitch proposed PodU, a podcast-based app to connect students to lectures and class materials. 

“It was one of my best experiences at Oakland, I’ve become famous,” says Fawaz Alkhudhayr, engineering junior, who took home the $2,000 gold award. Alkhudhayr’s proposal aimed to add diverse food options on campus by introducing a middle eastern food, snack and juice truck. 

“I’m interested in taking any chance that comes my way,” says Alkhudhayr. “When you get email from your University, don’t ignore it. You should take a look, think about it. You don’t always know where your success will come from.” 

Patrick Adamus, marketing junior, captured the $500 bronze award for his idea to create an Oakland Network app, which would include sections on parking availability, professor ratings, discussion boards and petitions. 

Judges were impressed by the imagination and work that went into all the submissions and presentations by the finalists. 

“As judges, we really focused on how well thought out the idea was, the clarity of the presentation and the feasibility and approach to solve the stated problem,” says Gunn. “Alkhudhayr stood out because of his relentless passion for his idea combined with his ability to identify and address a real problem: the need for variety in food options on campus.” 

“There’s an awful lot of talent at Oakland University and I’m sure I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” says Doyle. “There were some brilliant students and I’m looking forward to next year’s competition. It was just a great experience for everybody who participated.”

Ferndale’s environmental sustainability planner position is ‘dream job’ for Erin Quetell

There's a new role in the city of Ferndale, and it's all about being green.

Erin Quetell is Ferndale’s environmental sustainability planner, a new role for the city of Ferndale. The position came out of the master plan update released in January 2017, and sustainability was one of the core principles of the update. Quetell says that's not so common when it comes to city master plans.

Ferndale, at 4 square miles with a population of 20,000 people, is limited in space, especially green, open space, Quetell says. And with the city's proximity to other communities, it’s important for it to do everything it can to better manage stormwater, conserve energy, and reduce waste.

But it's also about more than the environment.

“Although the environmental part of the triple bottom line is really important, sustainability also covers the social and economic sides of society," Quetell says. "A healthy environment creates a healthy society where a healthy economy can thrive. Improving processes in our businesses that are more efficient and sustainable lessen the impacts on the environment, creating a healthier environment for people to live. A healthy society makes better decisions and choices that relate to a healthier environment and economy. They are all interconnected.”

The environmental sustainability planner position is a “dream job,” for Quetell. “I have always wanted to work in government," she says. "I specifically went to Columbia to obtain my Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy to be able to work in government sustainability. When I saw this opening, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply. It is so important to have science-minded folks in government.”

Prior to taking on the position, she worked in the nonprofit sector with Greening of Detroit and OHM Advisors, an architecture, engineering, and planning firm.

Quetell answered a few questions about the role, Ferndale’s sustainability plans, and tips on how residents can play their part. This interview has been edited for length.

How does Ferndale stack up in terms of environmental sustainability initiatives compared to other Michigan cities and other cities nationwide?

Although sustainability is relatively new in Ferndale, I think that the community is certainly ahead of other communities in Michigan by simply having a dedicated sustainability staff member. So, for Michigan, Ferndale is a big deal. Throughout the nation, and certainly in other countries, sustainability is very much part of city management. The Midwest is always a little behind of the coasts, but we are getting there.

What are some of the environmental sustainability initiatives Ferndale is currently implementing?

Some of the items I have been working on in my short time with Ferndale include improving our Planned Natural Landscape program, where residents and community members can install native plants in their yards, compared to typical turfgrass, to help mitigate stormwater runoff and promote healthy pollinator populations. I have been working with University of Michigan Information Technology students to help create better citizen interaction with the program (i.e. better website, improved signage and communication etc.). I have also been working on Ferndale’s waste—thinking about how we can improve our recycling rates, reduce what we send off to the landfill, and how to better manage our organic waste.

There is a lot that is still under development, but I am excited about the progress we have made thus far.

Additionally, I have been looking at our energy use throughout city-owned buildings and facilities. I have been working with EcoWorks to develop a community energy management plan. I am also in the process of improving our community forestry program, which includes updating our ordinances, improving our tree purchasing program for community members, and aligning with our Urban Tree Canopy study currently underway by our consultants from Davey Tree.  

Just prior to my employment at Ferndale, the city signed on to Climate Mayors following the pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Therefore, Ferndale is committed to continue to improve energy efficiency throughout the city and mitigate deleterious emissions where ever possible.

Finally, as part of a larger effort, the new Development on Troy—the mixed-use parking development slotted for the parking lot behind Rosie O’Grady’s—will go through a certification program called Parksmart. The certification is similar to LEED, but since parking lots are a little anti-LEED, this certification allows for the development and management to occur in the most sustainable way possible. Some of the items we are looking into include high-efficiency lighting solutions, stormwater management, and improved waste management services.

What are your long-term goals for environmental sustainability efforts in the city?

I would say Ferndale looks to improve their urban canopy to meet a healthy canopy cover (generally about 40 percent), improve our recycling efforts to meet statewide goals of 30 percent municipal recycling, improve our organic waste management (i.e. kitchen waste), and work towards a separated sewer system.

Ferndale is currently a combined sewer system, which means that in heavy rain/snow events, stormwater mixes with partially or fully untreated waste water and can enter our waterways. By better managing our stormwater on site (cue those “pesky” stormwater standards we have on new development), we can alleviate the stress on our systems and improve water quality.

You have been focusing on improving waste management and recycling rates in the city. What is the current status of each and what is the goal?

Our recycling rates aren’t the greatest at the moment. We have had a range between 7-17 percent, typically hovering somewhere between 12-15 percent. Ideally, we would have a recycling rate closer to 30-35 percent. It’s a long way to go, but worth the effort. The more recycling we do as a city, the better our waste management rates.

How can residents play their part in Ferndale's environmental sustainability?

My advice to Ferndale community members is this: Think about your energy, waste, and water. Install energy efficient products, such as those with the EPA Energy Star rating, or purchase a smart thermostat. Simply installing a smart thermostat can save $145 per year in heating and cooling costs. Add efficient windows to the mix, and you could save up to an additional $400 per year. Consider composting your kitchen scraps; SOCRRA will accept kitchen waste in your weekly yard waste pickup if you don’t have your own compost pile.

If every household composted in Ferndale, collectively we could reduce overall waste and divert 150 tons or more of organic waste from the landfill. Install water efficient fixtures (think low flow toilets or aerated faucets), such as those with the EPA Water Sense rating. By switching one household toilet to a low-flow comparison (<2 gallons per flush) you can save 8,200 gallons of water per year. That’s equivalent to 200 loads of laundry. Even if it is simple upgrades like turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, or recycling just a bit more, anything and everything helps Ferndale become a more sustainable community.

High score: Lawrence Tech ranks in the top 50 for game design programs for third straight year

Video game fans take note: Lawrence Technological University's game design program has now ranked in the Top 50 of undergraduate schools for game design for the third straight year. The Princeton Review, in a reporting partnership with the PC Gamer magazine, publishes the rankings.

LTU comes in at number 34 among schools to study game design in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

According to officials from the Southfield-based private university, LTU's program is different than most because of its focus on both art and design. Lawrence Tech offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Game Software Development concentration.

"It is an honor being ranked among the best undergraduate programs in the world," Marshall "Mars" Ashton, assistant professor in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design and director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art program at the university, said in a statement. "Despite how young both the Game Art and Game Software Development programs are, we have seen an incredible amount of progress as we contribute to the field at large and the development of the Michigan game development community."

The Princeton Review created a 40-question survey to determine the rankings of 150 programs based on academic offerings, lab facilities, and more. Also taken into account are alumni achievements, like graduates' starting salaries and career achievements. They then generated and analyzed over 40 data points in academics, faculty, technology, and careers to create the rankings.

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

The rise, the fall and rebirth of Detroit Grooming is a comeback story


Detroit Grooming Co. is a story of success and setbacks, gain and loss, revival and rescue — and a whole bunch of good-looking beards. 

The Ferndale-based company sells 120 men’s grooming products that are made by hand and contain natural ingredients. It's best known for its beard oils and butters.

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Automation Alley's Technology in Industry Report reveals strengths and gaps in industry 4.0

Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, unveiled the findings of its research report on Industry 4.0 (the Fourth Industrial Revolution), today at its Technology in Industry Reveal event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. More than 300 guests were in attendance to hear the key findings of the first collaborative Industry 4.0 report of its kind in Michigan.  
The report, Harness the Power of Industry 4.0, is comprised of emerging trends, challenges, opportunities and implications for industry, and is designed to help manufacturers, educators and policy makers keep pace with rapid technological changes in Michigan and beyond. Research is centered on the eight core technologies of Industry 4.0: the Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, advanced materials and additive manufacturing, and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion. 
Key findings of Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry report, Harness the Power of Industry 4.0 include:
  • While data and information are valuable (and we have more than ever before), companies will be able to differentiate themselves by the people, tools and execution put toward utilizing that data. The promise of Big Data is not in analyzing past trends to predict potential future trends, but in analysis of what is happening now to determine today’s next steps: real-time intelligence.
  • Industry 4.0 is bringing tremendous change in ways that can’t yet be fully comprehended, but the companies who can adopt a new mindset and new skillsets within their organizations are likely to find the greatest success. While some jobs will be eliminated by Industry 4.0, it’s more important to note that new and different types of work will emerge. For companies, re-skilling and upskilling strategies will be critical if they are to find the talent they need to deliver the work of the future. In order to navigate the chaos and identify and capitalize on the disruptive opportunities associated with Industry 4.0, we must create a culture of dynamic thinkers across all levels of society.
  • Domestic and foreign adoption of Industry 4.0 will not be identical or on the same timeline. Companies with multinational operations should not attempt a one-size-fits-all approach. Between 2015 and 2018, approximately 1.3 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. That growth will be led by China and Europe, with North America a distant third.Manufacturing execution systems are critical for a transformation to Industry 4.0. Industries in Germany and Japan have been very successful in implementing these systems; however, American industries are behind. While large OEMs and major Tier 1 suppliers may accept the digital transformation, many Tier 2, Tier 3 and small manufacturing entities are struggling with the technological changes of Industry 4.0.
  • Automation will reshape the workforce and the smart factory floor but the people factor will remain the greatest asset -and greatest hindrance- to success. In addition to technical knowhow, 21st Century skills need to leverage the disruption of Industry 4.0 and innovate in new ways. The report outlines three types of skill sets future workers must embrace.
  • Discerning Skills, meaning conceptual and futuristic thinking
  • People Skills, including teamwork and understanding others
  • Purposeful Skills, which involve self-starting and continuous learning
“Last year was the first time we tackled the topic of Industry 4.0 in our Technology Report, surveying national and regional technology and manufacturing leaders to gauge whether they were ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley’s executive director and CEO. “What we found from that initial survey in 2017 was that most executives either lacked awareness of Industry 4.0 altogether or were experiencing barriers to adoption. That was truly the impetus towards our own Industry 4.0 evolution and the reason the 2018 report is so robust.”  
For the first time in the 11-year history of Automation Alley’s annual Technology in Industry Report, this year’s research was compiled and analyzed by a collaborative team of academic and corporate partners who embrace the dynamics of Industry 4.0: University of Detroit Mercy, with Dr. David Pistrui serving as overall academic lead researcher; Central Michigan University; Baker College; Oakland University; Lawrence Technological University; Oakland Community College; Macomb Community College; Ford Motor Company; Comau; Eaton; Fanuc; Siemens PLM; TTI Success Insights; Plante Moran; RSM and The Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN).  
“It’s fitting that academia, industry and the nonprofit sector collaborated on this report, because an important take-away from the findings is that Industry 4.0 readiness will require academic institutions to collaborate with industry and policy makers to realign and reform education around the needs of the marketplace,” Kelly said. “We appreciate the combined research efforts of our academic partners and corporate leaders in creating a report we believe offers critical considerations for next steps in Industry 4.0 implementation.” 
To purchase the report, visit automationalley.com/techreport.
About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association and Michigan's Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan's economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs and services in business growth, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.
Our Mission
The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically during a time of rapid technological change.
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