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LIFT: Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow

LIFT: Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
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Innovation Detroit

July 6, 2016

Innovation in Detroit, and at LIFT in particular, were the focal point of a visit from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in June for the Open for Innovation Detroit: Mobility event.

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visits Lift headquarters in Detroit, Friday, June 3, 2016. © Gary Malerba for Lift

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visits Lift headquarters in Detroit, Friday, June 3, 2016. © Gary Malerba for Lift

Secretary Pritzker, with U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence and Sander Levin, visited LIFT to meet with local entrepreneurs and see some of the technology they are developing. She also held a roundtable discussion with LIFT leadership, LIFT members and partners, along with other local startup companies and government agencies to discuss innovation and any challenges entrepreneurs are facing, as well as the importance of the work being done by LIFT and the other institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

“We have to keep investing in innovation,” Pritzker said. “And that is exactly what the NNMIs do.”

“I am excited about what is happening right here at LIFT, because it leads to collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said Dingell.

Secretary Pritzker was provided demos by:

  • SPLT, an enterprise-first ridesharing platform that connects employees within organizations to share their commute
  • SkySpecs, which develops and produces autonomous aerial vehicles for commercial and industrial use to safely reach and inspect tall or otherwise hard-to-reach structures, such as bridge and tall wind turbines
  • Spatial, which mines and aggregates location-tagged, social media data to provide granular, hyperlocal demographic patterns and trends
  • HAAS, a safety alert system that warns drivers of an emergency run in their area.

LIFT members and partners participating in the roundtable included: Jay Solomond from Grede; Mike Coast from MMTC; E.J. Long from Quality Metalcraft; and Johnnie Deloach from the Office of Naval Research.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for us to show off and discuss not only the innovative work being done by our members and partners, but also the energy and entrepreneurship that is right here in Detroit,” said Larry Brown, LIFT executive director.

After visiting LIFT, Secretary Pritzker continued her trip with a visit to MCity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.