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GLITR Tech Tour Hitting The Michigan Road Again

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) -- It's time again for the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report to hit the Michigan highway for the GLITR Spring Tech tour 2012.

This year's tour will be held May 10-18.

Look, we call ourselves a statewide publication around here. But since your humble narrator lives in Dearborn and works in Southfield, as a practical matter it's hard to get much past Flint or Ann Arbor to cover anything in person.

Therefore, two weeks a year, the powers that be around here kick me out of the nest and send me out to learn what's happening with Michigan technology in Mid-Michigan, West Michigan and way, way Up North.

For the fall tour, I visit Michigan's fantastic research universities, and check out the best "science projects" they have cooking that might someday turn out to be job-creating businesses.

And in the spring, I visit Michigan regional economic development agencies, and ask to check out their current coolest tech-based startups. I also stop by some old friends that I've been visiting since the first tech tour, eight years ago.

This year, I'm visiting the Eastern Upper Peninsula, then traveling to Traverse City, the Tri-Cities (Midland, Bay City and Saginaw), Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing.

So if you know of a high-tech business in any of those cities you think I ought to visit, drop me a line and pitch your idea at The industries I'm looking for are those that GLITR covers every day -- computer hardware, computer software, IT services, advanced manufacturing, automotive telematics, green technology (wind power, solar power, and green automotive powertrains), and the life sciences (including pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, medical device research and manufacturing, and medical services).\

We're also always looking for Tech Tour sponsors. If you'd like your company associated with my daily Tech Tour reports on air and on line, contact Elliot Lerner at

This year's tech tour itinerary is as follows:

* Thursday, May 10: PM - Travel to Sault Ste. Marie
* Friday, May 11: All day - Meet with companies in Sault Ste. Marie
* Saturday, May 12: Meet with companies enroute from Sault Ste. Marie to Traverse City
* Sunday, May 13: Meet with companies in Traverse City area
* Monday, May 14: AM - Meet with companies in Traverse City area; PM - Travel to Tri-Cities area (Midland-Bay City-Saginaw)
* Tuesday, May 15: AM - Meet with companies in Tri-Cities area; PM - Travel to Grand Rapids
* Wednesday, May 16: AM - Meet with companies in Grand Rapids area; PM - Travel to Kalamazoo
* Thursday, May 17: AM - Meet with companies in Kalamazoo area; PM - Travel to Lansing
* Friday, May 18: Meet with companies in Lansing area

And I can't wait to get my mitts on this year's Tech Tour Mobile. It's the sleek redesigned Focus from Ford Motor Co. that gets 37 mpg on the highway, and features the MyFord Touch high-tech infotainment system.

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