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Michigan’s Tech Revolution

Past revolutions and future change

When we think of Michigan, we can find ourselves thinking of cars churning off production lines or records revolving on turntables, belting out the sweet Tamla Motown sounds. However, that image is a Michigan of the past. The state has its feet firmly planted towards the future these days – it is tech driving the change.

Silicon Valley is losing its shine

While Michigan has not turned its back on what made it famous in the past, the tech revolution happening there is noteworthy. While we might immediately conjure up Silicon Valley when talking of tech revolutions, California could be regarded as old hat these days. However, other states in America are challenging the sunshine state for its crown. Somewhere like Michigan has plenty to tempt would-be entrepreneurs and global tech companies alike.

Everything is in its favour

Michigan has the advantage of attractive real estate prices and stunning scenery. Employers can offer their talent a more comfortable work/life balance than that on offer elsewhere. Many people are finding Silicon Valley unaffordable. Tech industries require talent clusters, and Michigan is becoming one such cluster. This is a direct result of government programs put in place to attract the tech industry and is in no small part due to Michigan’s Technological University.

Tech for all areas

Technology now employs around  80,000 workers in Michigan. As tech jobs are some of the most lucrative out there, this is good for the state’s economy. Many of the companies working there are concentrated in computer systems design services and customer computer programming. However, tech literally drives much of the innovation we see in the state.

Still driving forward

Michigan is home to the largest network of roads where self-driving car technology is being trialled and perfected. Michigan has not lost its connection with the automotive industry. Business Facilities magazine ranked it first in state rankings for “Automotive Manufacturing Strength”.  The state accounts for 68% of all the US’s spend on research and design in the automotive industry. It is at the forefront of innovation in autonomous engineering. The state says it is writing the future of mobility and pioneering a new way forward.

Work/play balance

The workforce enjoys an excellent quality of life. Michigan has great leisure opportunities for all seasons. Those who love outdoor life have an enormous choice of activities, from skiing and snowboarding to snorkelling and snowboarding. For those who like to get their adrenaline fix indoors, Michigan is one of only six US states with legal online casinos. Details of thousands of online slots and table games can be found at Time2play. Revellers will also be delighted to know that the state that brought the world Motown still has an excellent night-time economy on offer.

Semiconductors are key

Another area of technological revolution in Michigan is the semiconductor sector. Michigan is one of the top states in the US for semiconductor manufacturing. The industry contributes $4.6 billion to the gross revenue of the state. In addition, the production of semiconductors in the state is closely linked to the automotive industry. In 2020 alone, the motor sector purchased nearly $35 million in products and services from semiconductor companies in the state.

Michigan is a leader in semiconductor research and design testing. Companies here include Hemlock Semiconductor and KLA. In addition, the University of Michigan is the top institute globally for semiconductor training.

Power to the people

Michigan has impressive assets to attract companies to set up in the state. The biggest asset is its people. The state has the highest concentration of engineers and a friendly business climate. The universities have a pipeline of fully trained up tech graduates. In addition, the state offers an unparalleled quality of life. Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google have all set up operations here. In addition, there are homegrown startups like Orbion Space Technology and Duo Security.

MEDC Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President Josh Hundt says that the state is committed to partnerships with technology companies. He added,

“The strongest evidence for a state’s commitment to building its technology industry rests with companies that are actively seeking to do business there”.

Leading in cybersecurity

Now more than ever, cybersecurity is vital to governments and institutions. Michigan industries are leading in this sector too. The state is developing innovative solutions to help protect systems and people statewide, nationally and internationally. The state has a Cyber Range project. Cyber Range is the US’s most extensive unclassified range and provides training for students and practitioners to combat dangerous cyber threats. Virtual hubs are located throughout the state, offering over 40 industry-recognized certifications and workshops, developing the next generation of fully trained cybersecurity experts.

Arts and Culture

Tech is also driving much of the art and cultural development here. Music has never been far from what makes Michigan unique, and this tradition continues today. Students at Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance can study for a BA in Performing Arts Technology. The qualification prepares them for a career in music production, recording or performance. This is the training ground for future sound engineers who will take up jobs in creative industries, including live theatre, video games and music.