Transportation tech races ahead in the Midwest

Happy Friday afternoon, readers. Have you thought about how you’re going to get around this weekend? You might use technology that emerged right here in the Midwest, where transportation and mobility tech is an increasingly hot sector. We start today’s tech headlines with some transportation tidbits.

Dennis Schroeder / NREL


***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition is hiring a Manager of Community Engagement and Equity. Join the team to play a leadership role in developing an equitable and diverse Midwestern coalition to advance affordable homes and businesses that are free of climate change-causing air pollution.***

🤖 ROBOTS: University of Michigan researchers used principles from the origami art form to guide their development of new microbots. The tiny robots have a plethora of medical, environmental, and infrastructure applications.

Microbot at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus. Image credit: Robert Coelius/University of Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing

🏃 ACCELERATOR: Cincinnati-based Flywheel social impact startup accelerator is creating a new program called SustainableCincy for early-stage, sustainability-focused startups, reports Cincy Inno.


  • The U.S. Department of Energy is providing a collective $97 million to 33 projects that improve performance and cut costs for bioeconomy technologies: biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts from biomass and waste resources.

  • A graduate student at Milwaukee’s Marquette University is one of the researchers selected for an investment fellowship from Virginia-based Molecular Sciences Software Institute, reports Wisconsin Inno. His goal is to release a software package for molecular modeling entrepreneurs, which could have energy applications. Projects at Purdue University and the University of Chicago also were chosen.

💻 VIRTUAL EVENT: The inaugural virtual summit will take place September 8-10. It aims to match Midwest startup founders with venture capital and angel investors.

Which Midwest tech entrepreneurs or thought leaders should I feature in Centered? Reach out with news tips, press releases, and feedback via email to or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter @centereddottech.

Centered is a publication of the Energy News Network, in partnership with the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation and mHUB.