SOUTHFIELD—A portable parallel bar system to deliver physical therapy anywhere. Coding-free software that allows anyone to create smart manufacturing inspection systems. A solar-powered pleasure boat. A recycling robot that uses AI to pluck valuable items out of the waste stream.
These were the winners announced Wednesday at the second annual client awards ceremony of the Centrepolis Accelerator, the manufacturing business accelerator on the campus of Lawrence Technological University.
Winners were announced from among 20 nominees in four categories, as follows:
- Best new product commercialized: Wareologie, for the portable parallel bar system
- Best manufacturing technology: Detect-It LLC, for the inspection software
- Best cleantech company: Lilypad Labs, for the solar powered boat
- Best circular economy technology: Glacier, for the recycling robot.
“Today we celebrated the achievements of our clients who develop physical products and advanced manufacturing technologies as well as individuals that contribute to their success,” said Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator. “Although there will only a few awards provided today, this was an opportunity to recognize many of our clients’ accomplishments…products commercialized over the past year, breakthrough technologies and businesses that are committed to manufacture their products here in Michigan.”
In addition, the Accelerator presented two Lifetime Hardware Achievement Awards to John Bracknell and Richard Broo.
Bracknell is a 25-year veteran of design, prototyping, and manufacturing who has worked for General Motors, Harley Davidson, and auto suppliers, developing methodologies and processes for optimizing three-dimensional data reuse in sales, service marketing, and quality assurance. Bracknell is currently managing the Centrepolis Accelerator’s prototyping lab and consulting with its clients with design services, including physical prototypes, CAD design, augmented reality experiences and more.
Broo is an Expert-in-Residence with Centrepolis Accelerator who has more than 40 years of experience in the global composites and plastics industry, having held leadership roles in sales, marketing, product management, project management, new product development, product commercialization, and operations. He is founder and president of True North PMP Consulting, and earlier, worked for Black & Decker Automotive, Owens Corning Automotive, and General Electric Plastics. He also owned a plastics and composites engineering technical services company, InnoMark Solutions Group. Broo is a certified project management professional and is currently assisting Centrepolis clients with new product development, commercialization, and improving operational efficiencies.
The Centrepolis Accelerator, launched in 2019 by LTU and the City of Southfield, provides funding, mentoring, expertise and services to manufacturing startups and established small manufacturing enterprises. It’s one of only a handful of accelerators across the country that works with manufacturers, rather than software developers or service providers. In the past 24 months, it has helped commercialize over 100 new products, with many more in development scheduled to reach the market in the next 24 months, and the Accelerator currently has more than 300 clients. The Accelerator has 6,000 square feet of coworking space and a high-tech product prototyping lab on LTU’s campus with 3D printers, metalworking, and virtual and augmented reality equipment. The Accelerator has a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies; cleantech products (in general, those that reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and which avoid or help clean up pollution); circular economy products, which boost the use of recycled and upcycled materials; and companies owned by historically underrepresented populations. More at www.centrepolisaccelerator.com.
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, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest. 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 include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.