Detroit Expansions, Tumor Sequencing, and More Local Innovation News

Here’s a look at innovation news from around Michigan:

Avomeen Analytical Services, a research and chemical testing lab based in Ann Arbor, was recently acquired by High Street Capital. The terms were not disclosed.

The 22-person company, which launched in 2010, does R&D and chemical analysis for customers in a variety of sectors, including pharma, manufacturing, and consumer products. According to Avomeen, the acquisition by High Street Capital allows the company to keep its team while leveraging marketing capabilities and business opportunities not previously available to the company. In a statement, Avomeen CEO Shri Thanedar said the company plans to double in size in the next five years.

Quantcast, the New York-based digital marketing company, has expanded its office in Detroit in an effort to capture more automotive business. “The expanded Detroit team will work closely with our partners in the automotive industry to provide…marketing solutions powered by Quantcast’s…technology and consumer insights to help them do what is most essential to their business: sell more cars,” Keith Lorizio, vice president of North American sales for Quantcast, said in a statement.

—Sixteen high school girls took home $2,775 combined in prizes last month in the Michigan Council of Women in Technology‘s annual girls’ website design competition. At the culmination of the three-month program, winners were identified on Dec. 3 during “finals day” at Blue Care Network’s auditorium in Southfield.

During the event, 24 finalists demonstrated their websites to a panel of IT executives serving as judges, who evaluated each presentation and the sites’ clarity, functionality, graphic appeal, user-friendly navigation, and innovation. The competition is one of MCWT’s initiatives aimed at bolstering the number of women in Michigan’s IT community. This year, 146 teams made up of a combined 179 young women across 32 Michigan high schools competed.

—Ann Arbor’s Strata Oncology has officially launched the Strata Trial, the company’s initiative to provide free tumor sequencing and clinical-trial matching to 100,000 advanced cancer patients nationwide. The aim is to offer advanced precision medicine to patients as well as to give pharmaceutical companies patient data to shorten the path to the development of treatments. The first two medical centers to participate are the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Additional clinical partnerships are expected to be announced in the coming months.

—Comcast announced this week that it has completed a two-year, $8.3 million expansion of its high-speed broadband network, according to an e-mail announcement. The project added more than 70 miles of fiber capable of delivering speeds up to 100 Gigabits-per-second to 1,260 buildings across the state, including in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. The project marks Comcast’s single largest concentrated fiber expansion in Michigan, according to the report.

—This week at CES, AT&T announced it has partnered with the American Center for Mobility on the development of autonomous cars in Ypsilanti Township. According to the agreement, AT&T will be the center’s exclusive cellular network provider through 2020, allowing AT&T to explore and test connected and automated vehicle technologies. AT&T will in turn provide the center with the network resources and Internet of Things infrastructure necessary to further advance driverless technologies.

Arctaris Michigan Partners, an asset management firm that concentrates on investing in economic development projects in underserved markets, has hired Jason Sanders to be its managing director and business development partner. Areas of focus for Sanders will include investor and government relations, as well as banking relationships.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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