Friday, September 22, 2000
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Honors Area Organizations Michigan Economic Development Corporation officials commended several Washtenaw County organizations recently for their commercialization of technology developed at Michigan universities and important venture capital investments at the Michigan Investment and Commercialization Success Celebration.At the ceremony, awards were distributed in four areas of commercialization success: venture capital, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and information technology.In each of the categories, one organization was recognized for its outstanding achievement in the field.Twenty-nine organizations from throughout the state were honored. Nine Washtenaw County organizations were honored in each of the four categories, including two local organizations recognized as outstanding achievers. “The Washtenaw County winners exemplify the benefits of transferring technology developed at our universities to successful commercialization efforts,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“Commercialization success in these important industries is key to helping the state develop into a national leader in the technology-driven economy.”In the venture capital category, EDF Ventures of Ann Arbor was named the outstanding achiever.This company was selected for its focus on Michigan based companies.In 1999, EDF invested $4.2 million in start-up companies.This year, the company has already invested $5.9 million.EDF has played a key role in the growth of some up and coming companies like Think & Do Software, Innovative IT Solutions, Centromine and Auxein Corporation.Other local winners in the venture capital category all based in Ann Arbor include: White Pines Ventures LLC, Avalon Investments, Tullis-Dickerson and Company and Arbor Partners.The outstanding achiever in the information technology category was Ann Arbor’s Interlink Networks.Spun out of MERIT and University of Michigan, Interlink Networks provides the three A’s to the e-commerce world, authentication, authorization and accounting functions.With 20 employees and $5 million raised from companies, like Siemens and Nokia, Interlink Networks is staged to grow at the rate of 300 percent over the next year.The other local winner in information technology was Soar Technology, which is also based in Ann Arbor.Two other local companies were recognized for their commercialization successes in advanced manufacturing and life sciences.Ypsilanti’s Integrated Sensing Systems was recognized in both the life sciences and advanced manufacturing categories and Health Media, Inc. of Ann Arbor was a winner in the life sciences field. “These award prove the Washtenaw County companies’ commercialization leadership.We hope their success will help to encourage further partnerships between Michigan universities and businesses,” Rothwell said.