Food innovation | Making farming easier | Detroit Center for Innovation

Food solutions Innovator of the Year

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Food solutions company SpartanNash has been named 2021 Midwest Innovator of the Year by The Shelby Report, a leading grocery industry publication. The Shelby Report’s five-page spread on SpartanNash highlights several of the ways the Fortune 400 company has innovated throughout 2021.

Using tech to make farming easier

PITTSBURGH—More news on the agritech front: A startup in Pittsburgh is using technology to make farming easier. Fifth Season operates an indoor, vertical farm that uses AI software, robots, and LED lights to control the environment inside its produce farm. The arrangement means there’s virtually no human contact with the crops.

New design for thermal actuators

RALEIGH, NC—Researchers from North Carolina State University have come up with a new design for thermal actuators, which can be used to create rapid movement in soft robotic devices. Actuators are the parts of a device that create motion by converting energy into work.

The Detroit Center for Innovation

ANN ARBOR, MI—The University of Michigan, Olympia Development of Michigan in Detroit, and Related Cos. in New York City announced that the Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI) will be built in The District Detroit. The Center will be anchored by an estimated $250 million, 200,000-square-foot, world-class research and education center. The University of Michigan will operate the research and education center, which is expected to be accompanied by a technology incubator.