Roundup: Erie Hack, MedHealth Summit, PlanetM, DTX Detroit, WMU

Now that the holidays are over—heck, January is almost over—Michigan’s innovation hubs are hard at work. Here is a selection of recent tech news from around the state:

—Do you wonder what the deal is with driverless cars? Do you have questions as a consumer about safety, technology, or cost? The University of Michigan will host an online “teach out” about these topics, and more, pertaining to autonomous vehicles. Enrollment opens on Feb. 4, and the class will be offered on Coursera between Feb. 4-28. Taught by Mcity’s Carrie Morton and Huei Peng, the course will cover AV basics, legal questions, trust-building, AV testing, equality and accessibility, and more.

—Just before the holidays, PlanetM, the state’s mobility business development office, awarded two grants to companies to allow them to pilot their technology in Michigan.

Pittsburgh startup RoadBotics will use the grant to implement its A.I.-driven pavement inspection technology into Detroit’s roads to analyze the condition of the city’s 2,600-mile road network. Detailed road condition data is one of several criteria that Detroit will use to build a multi-year pavement management and investment strategy along with road usage and traffic safety data, the city said in a press release.

London-Based startup Humanising Autonomy, a Techstars Detroit alum, will work with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority to test its driver alert system to help predict pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road-user actions.  Meanwhile, in Grand Rapids, HAAS Alert, a Chicago-based startup, will use the grant to launch a first-in-the-nation complete citywide digital alert system to notify drivers when first responders are on the road.

—Applications are open until April 5 for the DTX Launch program, a 10-week startup accelerator open to Michigan college students and recent graduates. Attendees will get the opportunity to get paid to work on their tech startups and could potentially win a grand prize of $15,000. Two information sessions will be held for those who want to learn more on Feb. 19 and March 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at TechTown Detroit, located at 440 Burroughs in Detroit.

Arbor Biosciences, an Ann Arbor company focused on next-generation-sequencing target enrichment and synthetic biology, has a new partnership with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, an organization developing a “gold-standard reference genome for bread wheat,” Arbor said in a press release. The partnership will focus on the Chinese Spring variety of wheat.

Arbor Biosciences launched the initial myBaits Expert Wheat Exome capture panel at the International Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego. The partnership with the consortium and its members will continue as Arbor “plans to develop new iterations of the exome panel with further understanding of the genome, as well as panels specific to disease and drought resistance,” the company said.

—The 2019 MedHealth Summit, which brings together the Southeast Michigan region’s health tech community, is seeking matchmaking applications. Market-ready digital health or medical device companies interested in exploring co-development, clinical validation, and pilot opportunities with healthcare organizations and research institutions should apply by Feb. 13.

Erie Hack, a $100,000 data and engineering competition designed to generate innovative technology solutions for pressing environmental challenges in the Lake Erie Basin, is coming to Detroit. Erie Hack said in an announcement that it will empower researchers, designers, engineers, developers, and creatives around the region to build teams, develop innovations, and compete for more than $100,000 in prizes. TechTown Detroit is hosting an informational session about Erie Hack at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7. To register for the event, click here.

—Western Michigan University is working with Merit Network to offer online professional development classes to IT professionals in cybersecurity training.

The eight-week, non-credit courses draw from faculty expertise in WMU’s Haworth College of Business and College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as the Michigan Cyber Range, a virtual network environment developed by Merit Network. Participants will practice their skills on real threats without putting their own personal or business networks at risk, and will leave with a certification. More information and enrollment details can be found here.

—The Michigan Council of Women in Technology, an organization that aims to increase girls and women in the tech workforce, has named Jane Sydlowski its president for 2019. Sydlowski is founder and CEO of AMI Strategies, a software and data management company. Sydlowski replaces Rebecca Bray, who led MCWT last year.

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