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Research is improving medical imaging scans for better patient care

Medical imaging systems make it possible for health care professionals to see processes within the body so they can diagnose, monitor or treat medical problems. It’s a growing industry — one market research company is forecasting growth from $30.2 billion in 2013 to $49 billion in 2020.  

Oakland University researcher Jing Tang, Ph.D., ABSNM, and her small team in the Biomedical Imaging Laboratory in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, are part of the imaging revolution that is improving diagnosis and treatment. 

Dr. Tang, assistant professor in the department and director of the imaging laboratory, leads research designed to improve medical image reconstruction, evaluation, and analysis techniques. More specifically, Dr. Tang, two graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher are working on algorithms that, when incorporated into equipment software, will improve the images generated by certain imaging systems. 

Dr. Tang’s current research, funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, involves data from the emerging and cutting-edge hybrid PET/MRI (positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging) biomedical imaging system. PET imaging, she says, measures functional information in the body, while MRI imaging provides anatomical information with better soft tissue contrast than a computer tomography (CT) — scan. 

The hybrid imaging system is relatively new, having received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2011. The technology is used primarily for oncology, neurology and cardiology applications. 

“Whether the two systems are used sequentially or simultaneously, the hybrid PET/MRI system gives physicians more detailed and thorough information than a single system scan,” Dr. Tang says. “Most prefer simultaneous scans, but even with both options in place, there are more technical difficulties to overcome,” she adds. 

The brain PET image from a patient radiotracer (11C-DPA-713) study reconstructed using (a) the conventional reconstruction method and (b) the newly developed reconstruction method incorporating the anatomical information from (c) the corresponding MR image. The new method demonstrates its potential in clinical quantitative PET imaging. 11C-DPA-713 is a promising radiotracer for evaluating translocator protein (TSPO) binding with PET. TSPO can serve as a marker of neuro-inflammation. 
Collaborating with OUWB School of Medicine 
Dr. Tang’s research into how to improve the images generated by the hybrid imaging systems involves close collaboration with Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine physicians. 

“They are our real-world connections,” Dr. Tang says. “They tell us what kind of image problems they would like us to solve and we develop algorithms to address them. For example, a doctor might say there are artifacts in certain areas of the images, and ask us to find a solution to that problem.” 

The work involves determining how to overcome obstacles involved with forming the image as well as how to make the most of the integrated data generated by both imaging methods — PET and MRI. 

“The images generated by the data collected in the scans are already very good,” Dr. Tang notes, “but there’s room for improvement. For example, organ movement and signal loss when traveling through the body both have an impact on the resulting image that physicians study. How can we overcome those issues?” 

The goal, she says, is to use modern techniques to extract more information from the data to create even higher quality images. The work could, ultimately, contribute to providing patients with personalized medicine. 

“The better the image, the better able physicians will be to see what’s going on and decide on the best, most targeted treatment,” she says. 

Sharing developments 
The research results will eventually get translated into code that will be incorporated into medical imaging equipment software. 

More immediately, the team’s research results are shared in medical specialty conference papers and presentations. For example, team members made two presentations at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in June, including “Anatomy-assisted direct 4D parametric image reconstruction for dynamic cardiac PET imaging.” 

Dr. Tang also received funding through the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants in Engineering to reach and engage historically under-represented minority students. Working with undergraduate students, she created and presented to Detroit-area high school students the “I See You” workshop on biomedical imaging. 

“We want to interest underrepresented students, including young women, in engineering careers in general but also in biomedical engineering and biomedical imaging careers specifically,”
Dr. Tang says. “We’ve recently been able to collaborate with the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, so we have a greater variety of presenters and presentations.” 

Providing better patient care 
As Dr. Tang continues her research to improve the images generated by hybrid PET/MRI technology, she remains focused on her end goal: Better care for patients. 

“For me, it’s not about publishing high-profile papers or moving up through the ranks in academia, although that’s all good. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the well-being of people throughout the world,” Dr. Tang says. 

In fact, it is why she chose medical imaging over offers in other fields that included the oil industry. 

“Improving health care is what’s in my heart,” she says. “My lab’s contribution right now is tiny, but we’re doing things that will help.” 

Walsh College receives designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

Walsh College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense (CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), underscoring its commitment to the quality undergraduate and graduate information technology (IT) degree programs valued by students and employers alike.

The goal of the NSA CAE-CD program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the U.S.  The Walsh College designation is effective through the 2021 academic year.

Walsh, one of five colleges or universities in Michigan to receive the designation, offers four IT degrees: Bachelor of Science in IT, Master of Science in IT, Master of Science in IT Leadership (MSITL), and a dual Master of Business Administration (MBA)/MSITL degree.  A concentration in cybersecurity for the graduate-level programs is planned for early 2016.

Courses in all of these programs were mapped to the stringent NSA requirements.  They meet a core set of cyber-defense knowledge units.   

“This important designation recognizes the academic strength of our IT programs and of our faculty,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College.  “Information technology and cybersecurity are critical to business success for employers and to career success for IT students.” 

CAE-CD institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. government as well as opportunities for recognition for their role in securing the nation’s information systems.  Students graduating from the Walsh College IT programs receive a special letter indicating that they have graduated from an approved NSA/CAE-CD program.

Walsh College was one of the first schools in Michigan to receive the previous designation of Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.  It remains committed to preparing its students to understanding and manage cybersecurity threats and challenges.

“While the CAE-CD certification process was difficult, Walsh College met the stringent requirements based on its new programs, its faculty, and its involvement with the community,” said Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., lead professor, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Walsh College, and director of its Center for Cybersecurity Leadership (CCL).  “We are proud to have earned this important recognition and designation.”

In addition to ensuring that its programs meet the NSA CAE/CD requirements, Walsh College has also mapped its courses and programs to align with two other external standards: Department of Defense (DoD) 8570 and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) NICE Framework.

To support its efforts in providing leadership in cybersecurity education, Walsh established the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership (CCL).  The CCL, one of four Walsh College research centers, was established through collaboration between the Management and Information Technology Departments of Walsh College with strong support from business, military, and government leaders.

Classes for the Winter 2016 semester at Walsh College begin Monday, January 4, 2016.  Potential students can meet with an advisor by contacting admissions@walshcollege.edu or 248-823-1610.  Dr. Ciaramitaro may be contacted for additional information at bciara2@walshcolelge.edu.

For additional information on Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu.  

Reasons why impact of culture on international operations matters

Culture drives the way professionals relate to each other, and impacts performance when doing business internationally. Sam Yankelevitch, CEO, Xpress Lingo Solutions, describes the importance of understanding the impact of culture on doing business internationally in his new Audio Interview, “Impact of Culture on International Operations.”

In the 17- minute interview, produced by GlobalBusinessProfessor.com and GlobalAutoIndustry.com, Yankelevitch presents reasons why understanding culture is important and offers examples of situations where misunderstanding cultures can create problems.
Yankelevitch will be facilitating the workshop “MEXICO: Bridging Cultures in Automotive Supply Chain Management to Drive Performance” in person at Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy, MI on February 19 from 8:00 am – 12:30 pm, as well as in Greenville, South Carolina, on February 12. The half-day workshops will present methodologies for incorporating lean concepts such as standard work, PDCA, root cause analysis and A3 thinking to improve intercultural communication. Participants in the seminar will learn how to avoid misunderstandings and reduce waste rooted in language, culture and distance. To register for the seminar to be held at Automation Alley, click here. To register for the seminar in Greenville, South Carolina, click here.
Yankelevitch is an author, entrepreneur, and seasoned business leader and for more than 30 years has interacted with Mexican manufacturers and distributors in automotive supply chain operations.  He is the author of Lean Potion #9 - Communication: The Next Lean Frontier and Lean Communication: Applications for Continuous Process Improvement, which offer solutions for waste in global supply chains.
GlobalAutoIndustry.com and GlobalBusinessProfessor.com 
GlobalAutoIndustry.com is the leading global business intelligence source for the automotive industry, connecting the worldwide auto supplier industry with the resources to effectively do business globally. Through the web site, www.GlobalAutoIndustry.com, auto supplier executives can find insight, solutions and strategies focused on doing business in the world's top automotive markets.

GlobalBusinessProfessor.com is the leading online education company helping corporate professionals and business school students learn practical, up-to-date international business skills. GlobalBusinessProfessor.com offerings include On-Demand Seminars from practicing experts around the world, Audio Interviews, online courses, reports, studies and international business eJournals.

OCC Sign Language Interpreter program receives national accreditation

Oakland Community College’s Sign Language Interpreting program has been awarded national accreditation for its Associate Degree program by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE).

The accreditation comes at an important time as Michigan faces a significant sign language interpreter shortage – one of the most severe shortages seen in decades according to the Deaf Community Advocacy Network. The shortage is, in part, due to rules put in place last year to protect the Deaf, calling for interpreters in hospitals, schools, courts and law offices, and requires passage of certification exams. Currently for every one graduate, there are three jobs that go unfilled.

OCC’s program was judged by the CCIE under the same standards as a four-year program including curriculum design, rigor, research requirements and 300 hours of mandated practicum experience. Starting in January 2016, there is moratorium on accreditation of associate degree programs. OCC’s accreditation is approved for 10 years, the maximum available.

There are currently five Sign Language Interpreter (SLI) degree programs across the state including three associate and two bachelor degree programs. OCC’s program is noted for its nationally credentialed faculty, “highly active” student body and diversity of its program and students.

“One of the key factors that distinguishes our program from others – and, is also an accreditation requirement – is our small class sizes,” said Kelly Flores, program coordinator of OCC’s Sign Language Interpreter Program. “Students get more one-on-one time with the faculty which is proven to enhance learning.”

OCC’s SLI classes are limited to 15 students per class; program academic classes are limited to 20 students and interpreting classes max out at 12 students. The program takes 2½ to three years to complete. There are approximately 20 students who graduate each year as American Sign Language (ASL)-English interpreters for all consumers.

A practice profession with a code of conduct, rigorous course study and outside practical experience.
OCC began offering sign language courses in the early 2000s while a local community interpreter secured a grant to launch a full program. Consultants helped develop curriculum and, in 2004, the College began offering second and third year courses. In 2006, the program graduated its first cohort.

Today, the total number of students taking an introductory SLI class is approximately1200-1300 students per year. Some of the American Sign Language courses can be used to fulfill a general education degree humanities requirement. The program gets much smaller with less than 5% of students starting second year classes in advance language and interpreting. 

A small field, based on relationships.
OCC’s program has more deaf faculty than hearing instructors and promotes a very diverse adjunct and student base to match the greater metro area. Language immersion starts from day one and the students "eat, sleep and breath” the language to become fluent in the process. OCC Highland Lakes Art, Design, and Humanities Department Chair Joanne Forbes is currently the only deaf department chairperson in any Michigan college or university.

Anyone who wants to be a part of the Deaf community is expected to use their talents and serve within it for their full career. Faculty model this by supervising interpreters for interns, serving on various boards and associations and volunteering for various causes. Students follow in the footsteps of their OCC instructors interpreting at community outreach centers, Little League, “Deaf Arts Festival” at Arts Beats and Eats, conferences and signing and Deaf club events. They are also very active in Sign Club, mentoring programs, preparation for certification examinations, and professional development activities.

Staunch supporters, active recruiters.
During the accreditation process, the commissioners commented stakeholder attendance was the highest they’ve seen. People attended multiple sessions wearing different hats; many community members and graduates came to participate as well showing outstanding community support.

A point of pride is program faculty diversity at over 30% and, as a result, students have tremendous opportunity to interact with individuals who possess a broad range of language styles. In addition, students are presented with courses that enhance their knowledge and appreciation of multicultural features of society.

The final award noted the College’s Sign Language Interpreting Program “consistently demonstrated complete and seamless support from the president on down….stated again and again by community members, students, adjunct faculty, and full time program faculty.”

About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College is committed to providing academic and developmental experiences that allows each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve. It offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields and university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. More than a million students have enrolled in the college since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit oaklandcc.edu.

LTU Collaboratory Customer to Cash program application deadline Feb, 1

The LTU Collaboratory will hold the nine-week Customer to Cash program starting in February 2016. Start-up and second-stage entrepreneurs, innovators and business owners are encouraged to apply.
The Customers to Cash program is designed to serve established companies with new products to launch in new or existing markets; innovators with new technologies to sell; entrepreneurs with fresh business ideas to start up and grow; tinkerers with product ideas and prototypes to test with real customers; and college students with new product ideas to validate with customers.
Every team in the program can receive a prototyping stipend and can qualify for additional seed funding. Prizes totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the top teams.
Each team is matched with an industry mentor for individual assistance and can qualify for a year of additional professional mentoring. 
Go to www.ltu.edu/C2C to apply by the Feb. 1 deadline. There is no charge to participate in this program, which is offered by the LTU Collaboratory.
“If you’re ready to really advance your innovation, to truly understand who will buy your product and what kind of business you can build, then this is the program for you,” said Tex Criqui, Director, LTU Collaboratory and team leader of the C2C program. “We are offering this nine-week program on Saturdays so that busy working professionals, faculty and students can advance their ideas and innovations.”
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. The Brookings Institution ranks Lawrence Tech fifth nationwide for boosting graduates’ earning power, PayScale lists it in the nation’s top 10 percent of universities for graduates’ salaries, and U.S. News and World Report places 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 in Southfield, Michigan, include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Oakland University and Wayne State University officials sign affiliation agreement

Leaders from Oakland University and Wayne State University today signed an affiliation agreement that will allow students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years. 
Traditionally, earning a bachelor’s degree followed by a law degree would total seven years. With this agreement, students will transfer 30 credits from courses at Wayne State University Law School back to Oakland University to meet bachelor’s degree requirements.
To apply, Oakland University students must have completed a minimum of 75 credits in an approved undergraduate degree. The bachelor of integrative studies is the first program approved for the partnership. It is expected that the list of majors at Oakland eligible for the partnership will expand as the program moves forward.
Students also must take the Law School Admission Test and meet all other Wayne Law admissions requirements. During the fourth (senior) year at Oakland, students will attend Wayne Law and will begin with the first two semesters of credits at Wayne Law (30 credits) transferring back to Oakland for completion of the bachelor’s degree.
For more information about the partnership, current and prospective Oakland students can contact David Lau at 248-370-3229 or lau@oakland.edu. For more information about Wayne Law, contact Wayne Law Admissions at 313-577-3937 or lawinquire@wayne.edu.


Detroit Country Day chemistry teacher earns $150K grant


For her work teaching complex organic chemistry concepts to students through an innovative mobile app game, Detroit Country Day School Upper School teacher Julia Winter has earned a $150,000 grant for Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Science Foundation.

Read more.

Global IT launches "Veterans Information Security Initiative"

In an effort to address the growing need for cybersecurity professionals in Michigan, Global Information Technology has created an Information Security training program aimed specifically to help Military Veterans gain entry to information technology jobs. The “Veterans Information Security Initiative” specifically aids unemployed veterans who are seeking education and have an interest in pursuing employment in the technology field. The training can be acquired with the Post 9-11 GI Bill, and job placement assistance is provided to each veteran on an individual level.

“We have created an Information Technology training course that will enable Veterans to obtain a certification as a Certified Ethical Hacker, Cisco Certified Network Associate, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and in COMP TIA Security +,” said Director Manish Modi. “Another positive aspect to our program is that the course begins with an A+ Certification, which can help veterans begin work quickly with placement into entry level roles such as Computer Repair and Help Desk Support.”

The State of Michigan has been ramping up cybersecurity awareness programs in collaboration with private industry recently.  In an effort to combat the 2.5 million daily cyber-attacks on government infrastructure, Governor Rick Snyder spearheaded the creation of the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps, a group of trained cyber experts who volunteer as contractors to the State Of Michigan should the Governor declare a state of emergency due to a security breach.

“We're a big state so we probably get attacked more than other states just because of the size of our state, but I'm proud to say we're a leader in helping to address security issues so we want to continue that path,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said in while addressing the crowd at a cybersecurity event held annually in Ann Arbor. “I don't think most organizations are really fully prepared to respond if they had an attack happen to them. The smaller ones we can manage, but if we had a big one or one that affects sectors of our economy, we are not prepared for that.”

In addition to providing accelerated IT training in Information Security, Programming, Computer Support, Networking, and Development; Global Information Technology also has made considerable strides in job placement efforts.

“I am currently running at a 90 percent success rate for Veterans that I work with here at the school and truly feel we have a world-class job placement center,” said Global Information Technology Technical Placement Manager Jason Chapman. “Sure, we do open up lots of opportunities for veterans to begin working directly for our various partners in the IT industry, but I also make sure that they create a professional online footprint, are exposed to expert career coaches, become involved in the IT networking community, and are prepared to navigate the new job market.”

To make an appointment with a VA Certified Career Counselor at Global Information Technology, Veterans are encouraged to call 248-557-2480 extension 109.

Oakland County Parks now accepting applications for 2016 summer jobs

It may still be cold outside, but now is the time to start thinking about 2016 summer employment opportunities at Oakland County Parks.

Applications are currently being accepted for the following summer positions: Seasonal Program Specialist, Parks & Recreation Program Leader, Parks Helper, Lifeguard, Food Service Worker, Parks & Recreation Attendant and Seasonal Laborer.

“These employment positions are a great way for college students, senior citizens, high school students age 16 and older and others who enjoy working outdoors to learn from industry experts and gain valuable work experience in a team-oriented atmosphere,” Executive Officer Dan Stencil said.

Seasonal employees work varied shifts, including weekends, evenings and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Work locations include campgrounds, dog parks, day-use facilities, nature centers, golf courses and waterparks. Flexible schedules are available and training is offered for all positions.
To view job descriptions, salary ranges and application requirements and qualifications, visit DestinationOakland.com or apply online at OakGov.com/jobs. For more information, call 248-858-0530.

For information on Oakland County Parks events, visit DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

LTU receives in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software

Lawrence Technological University has received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software with a commercial value of $210 million.
In-kind grants are contributions of goods and services, in this case software providing LTU students access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, high-tech electronics and many more.
Graduates with this type of software training are highly recruited candidates for advanced technology jobs.
The in-kind grant was provided by the Siemens PLM Software’s academic program that delivers PLM software for schools at every academic level. Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services.
LTU President Virinder Moudgil said the Siemens grant gives LTU students the opportunity to become conversant with software products that companies worldwide depend on to design some of today’s most sophisticated products.
“By using the same technology in the classroom that is used by companies all over the world to develop a wide variety of products, our students gain important real-world experience during their studies that will serve them well after graduation,” Moudgil said. “A Lawrence Tech education has been distinguished by providing industry-standard software for many years. We are delighted to have the latest version of Siemens PLM Software to aid the scholarly and research experiences of our students and faculty.”
The Siemens PLM Software in-kind grant for LTU includes:
•           NX™ software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE).
•           Teamcenter® portfolio, the world’s most widely used digital lifecycle management software.
•           Tecnomatix® portfolio, the industry-leading digital manufacturing software.
“Siemens PLM Software is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of highly trained and highly qualified engineers and technologists. Our academic partnership with LTU encourages students to pursue careers that will revitalize manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world,” said Dora Smith, global director, Academic Partner Program, Siemens PLM Software.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. The Brookings Institution ranks Lawrence Tech fifth nationwide for boosting graduates’ earning power, PayScale lists it in the nation’s top 10 percent of universities for graduates’ salaries, and U.S. News and World Report places 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 102-acre campus in Southfield, Michigan, include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Pontiac students learning computer coding from professionals


Third and fourth grade students at WHRC Elementary in the Pontiac School District may soon discover if the next Bill Gates sits among them, thanks to instructional classes in computer coding provided by IT professionals from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services.

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Valeo named a Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovator

Valeo was named a Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovator today, recognizing its achievements as one of the world’s most innovative companies. The program, an initiative of the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters, honors the 100 corporations and institutions around the world that are at the heart of innovation as measured by a series of proprietary patent-related metrics. The full report is available at http://www.stateofinnovation.com.
The Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovator methodology is based on four principle criteria: overall patent volume, patent application-to-grant success rate, global reach of the portfolio, and patent influence as evidenced by citations. This objective formula identifies the companies around the world that are discovering new inventions, protecting them from infringers and commercializing them.
“R&D is an absolute priority for Valeo. This award recognizes the strategic importance of innovation within the Group and highlights the daily efforts of our teams, without whom none of this would be possible. Thanks to these teams, Valeo is innovating and inventing the cars of tomorrow, bothin terms of CO2 emissions reduction and autonomous vehicles. This strategy has made us the world’s fastest growing world-class automotive supplier,” commented Valeo Chief Executive Officer Jacques Aschenbroich.
The Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovator peer-reviewed methodology was executed using Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index® (DWPI), Derwent Patents Citations Index™, Quadrilateral Patent Index™, and Thomson Innovation®, its IP and intelligence collaboration platform.
“In today’s hypercompetitive global marketplace, innovation is much more than just having great ideas. True innovation occurs when individuals and companies harness the power and insight to bring ideas to life,” said Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science. “This is the potent formula we measure with our Top 100 Global Innovators program. The institutions on this year’s list represent the current vanguard in innovation by pioneering new breakthroughs and organizing their businesses to make these discoveries a reality.”
Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators:

·         Now in its fifth year, the program has annually outperformed leading financial indices, serving as a trustworthy investment resource and a testament to increased R&D funding, global patent filing and new market development, resulting in greater revenue and enhanced regional economic activity.
·         The 2015 Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators outperformed the MSCI World Index in revenue by 6.01 percentage points, employment by 4.09 percentage points, and market-cap-weighted R&D spending by 1.86 percentage points.
·        Together, the 2015 Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators generated more than $429 trillion in revenue and invested more than $20 trillion in R&D (local currency) in 2014.
·    The 2015 Top 100 Thomson Reuters Global Innovators hail from three continents and comprise eleven countries. Just two countries comprise 75 percent of the list: Japan and the US, making them the true innovation hubs of the world.
·         The Automotive sector has its largest representation on the Top 100 Global Innovator list ever, a 233 percent increase since the inception of the program.

To view the full list and report on the Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovator program, go to http://www.stateofinnovation.com.
Valeo is an automotive supplier, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2014, the Group generated sales of €12.7 billion and invested over 10% of its original equipment sales in research and development. Valeo has 135 plants, 16 research centers, 35 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employs 82,700 people in 30 countries worldwide.
Valeo is listed on the Paris stock exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index.
For more information about the Valeo Group and its activities, please visit our website, www.valeo.com.

Troy branding agency launches new marketing support for startups


The partners behind the branding company Alchemy in Troy have created a new enterprise, called Tadpole. The company will focus on helping startups launch their brand effectively in metro Detroit.

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Slingshot Cloud Services opens data center in Royal Oak

IT company Slingshot Cloud Services is opening in Royal Oak this month with two guiding principals: simplicity and affordability.

"We offer (IT) infrastructure as a service," says Vincent Barrett, CEO of Birmingham Capital. "We believe IT doesn’t have to be hard."

Birmingham Capital is launching Slingshot Cloud Services after buying the cloud-computing assets from Munger Capital. Those assets are now part of its newly re-launched class-3 data center in Royal Oak where about a dozen people work on any given day.

"It's probably one of the top five nicest data centers in Oakland County," Barrett says. "We have a group of the best engineers helping us out here."

Slingshot Cloud Services offers private or hybrid cloud software solutions to growing businesses, specifically targeting companies in the manufacturing, financial, and healthcare sectors. Barrett is optimistic about hitting its goal of generating more than $1 million in revenue in its first year because it acquired the cloud-computing infrastructure so cheaply that it can undercut its competitors prices significantly.

"Every dollar we make is profit," Barrett says. "There is nobody’s price I can't beat."

Source: Vincent Barrett, CEO of Birmingham Capital
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Baker College online computer science program ranked in nation's top 20

Baker College is named as offering one of the nation’s top 20 best online bachelor’s computer science programs by TheBestSchools.org, an independent organization that provides information and resources about colleges and careers.

Programs were selected based on their quality, types of courses provided, strength of faculty and school awards, rankings and reputation.

“Baker College Online strives to provide the best programs, so we are gratified by this recognition,” said Jill Langen, Ph.D., Baker College Online/Center for Graduate Studies president. “The demand for computer science graduates is expected to remain high. The availability of our 100 percent online program is making this award-winning training accessible to students interested in computer science careers.”

The curriculum is based on guidance from industry professionals and updated continuously to prepare students for 21stcentury jobs.

Through classwork, hands-on training and field-based educational experience, students gain skills in software development, Internet communications, network and database administration, along with foundational knowledge in computer science.

To better ensure student success, first-time online students take an introductory course that provides information about campus services, college technology, policies and procedures, and learning and study strategies.

Baker College Online is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which assures that credits earned are recognized and meet high standards of educational quality.

One of the jobs for which the computer science program prepares graduates is software development. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers earned an average annual wage of $99,530 in 2014, and employment is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

For more information about Baker College’s online and graduate studies programs, contact Chuck Gurden in the admissions office at 800.469.3165 or adm-ol@baker.edu, or visit www.baker.edu.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves more than 23,000 students on multiple campuses and online. Baker grants certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 150 programs across diverse academic fields, including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. An impressive 97 percent of available graduates are employed. Every Baker graduate receives Lifetime Employment Assistance—free and forever. Baker is a pioneer in distance education and offers students the option of completing a degree 100 percent online, without ever visiting a campus. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.
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