The Eureka Index: Metro Detroit’s most innovative companies

I was the lead editor and sole writer for this project, a ranking of intellectual property-heavy companies in Southeast Michigan, with a full complement of editorial coverage. I coordinated the project with our vendor, a patent research firm in Chicago.

Automotive suppliers and life sciences companies led the pack in this year’s Eureka Index, Crain’s annual focus on innovative companies.

Many are well known, but some are more under the radar. Take, for example, Integrated Sensing Systems Inc., which is working on microelectronic implants for monitoring heart functions.

What also can be seen is the important task of protecting ongoing work at established businesses. Such is the case of Specialty Vehicle Acquisition Corp., which has carried on the tradition of the former ASC Inc.

For the index, Ocean Tomo LLC, a Chicago-based patent research company, analyzes patents awarded in 2014 to organizations in Southeast Michigan. For the purposes of this index, Southeast Michigan covers Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, St. Clair and Genesee counties.

In all, 103 local organizations in Southeast Michigan were granted at least three patents, the minimum needed for consideration. Collectively, they were granted 3,957 patents, up from 3,872 in 2013.

 Total patent awards in the U.S. last year topped 326,033, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, up from 302,948 in 2013.

Video: How the companies are selected

Individual stories:

Auto, life science companies top patent rankings in Southeast Michigan

Omni MedSci Inc.: Tech innovator likes to ‘play where the puck is going to be’

MI4Spine LLC: Spine is backbone of Bloomfield Hills business

Integrated Sensing Systems Inc.: Ypsilanti electronic equipment company makes impact at micro level

How to write a solid patent: Innovators offer tips

See the full section at