CONNECT eNews - February 24, 2012
Qualcomm CEO to keynote CONNECT VC Rock Stars summit
Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm's chief executive, will be the closing keynote speaker at the March 29 CONNECT/Xconomy Rock Stars of Innovation summit. Jacobs will wrap up a day of presentations by top VCs from across the US, the star companies they are backing and three of San Diego’s leading researchers, Eric Topol, Larry Smarr and John Reed. Join us for this rare chance to see a true architect for innovation discuss what revolutionary breakthroughs are on the horizon, forcing us to rethink the way we currently communicate.
CONNECT Innovation Institute presents key policy recommendations to revive U.S. production and prosperity at Brookings Institute Forum in D.C.
A range of strategic recommendations including incentivizing the growth of contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) in the U.S., removing regulatory financing barriers and adjusting tax policies to make capital more readily available for investment in production, and increasing specialized industry-designed regional training schemes were unveiled yesterday at a Brookings Institution program in Washington D.C. by the CONNECT Innovation Institute research team. The recommendations were made to a standing room audience of 300+ including representatives from many of the nation's leading media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NPR/Marketplace, AP, Reuters and Gannett. The recommendations are the result of research undertaken by the Innovation Institute over the past eighteen months, funded by the Waitt Foundation to create jobs and revive U.S. prosperity. The presentation team included Dan Breznitz, associate professor, College of Management and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Peter Cowhey, Chair of the CONNECT Innovation Institute and dean of UC San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and former chairman, Qualcomm.
CONNECT associate director featured speaker at the SD North Chamber of Commerce State of the Region address
Steve Hoey was one of three featured speakers who addressed local business leaders at the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce 2012 State of the Region luncheon held on February 15 at the StoneRidge Country Club in Poway. The annual State of the Region Luncheon provides the business community with an overview of current economic indicators in San Diego and Covering three major topics: Healthcare, Innovation and Jobs; speakers will give a snapshot of where San Diego is poised today and highlight their expectations for the future. In his talk, Hoey discussed innovation as an economic driver of the overall San Diego economy. Mary Ann Barnes, Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente San Diego spoke on developments in healthcare and San Diego Business Journal President and Publisher Randy Frisch discussed the San Diego's employment outlook and challenges facing the region.
J&J conducting innovation experiment; hosts Connect with CONNECT – March 6
Janssen Healthcare Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson’s new incubator housing diverse biotech startups developing drug innovations, is a prime local example of how global drug companies are working to foster local scientific research and biotech talent. As featured on the cover of this week’s San Diego Business Journal, Diego Miralles, head of Janssen Healthcare Innovation’s business unit, is hopeful that the Innovation Center will be a viable alternative to expensive Big Pharma R&D – a challenge that drug companies around the world are facing. The startups are under no obligation to partner with Johnson & Johnson; the only collective hope is that the outcome will include valuable drug innovation.
Janssen Labs’ new innovation center will host Connect with CONNECT in its beautiful outdoor courtyard on March 6. Over 500 business leaders will be networking and exploring San Diego's most innovative industries, and will have a chance to tour the incubator.
CONNECT board member uses skillset to self-quantify; speaks at Rock Stars of Innovation summit
Larry Smarr, founding director of Calit2 is on a quest to quantify everything about his health, and through this he has become the poster man for the future of medical strategy. For the past decade, Smarr has gathered as much data as he can about his body; then has used that information to improve his health, accomplishing something few people have had the opportunity to do--he helped diagnose the development of a chronic disease in his body. "My particular story is a good example of an early victory," he says. "I'm not saying we need to get rid of doctors. But imagine if you go in to the doctor and little widgets have been recording data to the cloud and the doctor can look at it. That's going to be a vastly more productive visit. There'll be a liberating effect on them." Cardiologist Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Translational Science Institute down the street from Calit2, is a proponent of the self-quantification movement, saying "My colleagues have a doctors-know-best attitude. Individuals like Larry have much more invested here, and they're going to put in time and resources to gather as much information as possible. Those clinicians who have the plasticity to adapt to this will be better doctors in the future."
Smarr, along with Topol and John Reed, head of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, will be speaking together on this topic and joining Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs and others at the upcoming Rock Stars of Innovation summit on March 29.
ecoATM business model paves way for e-cycling | San Diego Business Journal
Helping people get rid of old wireless devices is becoming a popular business plan. San Diego-based ecoATM, a CONNECT MIP winner and Springboard graduate, has a kiosk for people wanting to recycle their wireless phones. Following in ecoATM's footsteps, is a company called Totem, which buys back tired smartphones and tablet computers.
Extrabux generating loads of extra bucks for its members
CONNECT Springboard graduate, Extrabux, a company that enables online shoppers to find the best price on any product, and offers exclusive coupons and cash back from online retailers, said today it has generated more than $1M in cash back for its members. Extrabux CEO Jeff Nobb attributes nearly 25 percent of the $1M to the recent holiday shopping season.
New Federal funding opportunities just announced!
Silver lining of continued decline in VC funding: startups; angels
Though there are less sources to tap and fewer dollars aimed at startups, “we’re on track for 2011 to be the biggest startup year since before the recession began,” said Steve Hoey, associate director of business creation and development at CONNECT, about the recently released Q311 CONNECT Innovation Report. Entrepreneurs, particularly in the software arena (the leader in startups because it’s the most economical to launch), are realizing that many venture funds are constrained because the institutional investors of those funds aren’t allocating as much. “The bright spot is angel funds, where some investors have money to invest but are being more cautious about where they put their money,” said Stanley Kim, serial entrepreneur, CONNECT EIR and CEO of Azzembly Inc., a startup that piggybacks on the Groupon business model.
Amylin's drug gets positive marks in Europe | The Daily Transcript
A European medical group has given a thumbs-up for Amylin Pharmaceuticals' drug for adults with Type 2 diabetes. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a positive opinion for the expanded use of BYETTA as an add-on therapy to basal insulin. The decision is now referred for final action to the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the EU.
Battelle's submersible imaging device passes major milestone
Battelle, the world's largest independent research and development organization, recently completed a successful long-term deployment of an imaging technology device that has potential uses for characterizing and combating microscopic plankton. Battelle scientists teamed with Fluid Imaging Technologies (FIT) to design and build the Submersible FlowCAM®, a device featuring patent-pending technology that enables it to collect high-quality planktonic species images and abundance data without operator intervention for more than five weeks. Taking as many as 22 digital photos per second, the Submersible FlowCAM® can identify and measure the abundance of many types of microscopic plankton and other water organisms and particles in oceans, lakes, reservoirs and streams, and then rapidly transmits that data to scientists.
Fabiani & Company celebrates eighth anniversary
In celebration of its 8th anniversary, Fabiani & Company conducted an internal audit to determine the value it has brought to its clients. The audit revealed that its Bio-Life Sciences practice has helped clients achieved over $239M in non-dilutive financing in the past 8 years. Further, the team has charged its clients less than $20M for their services, thereby creating a return on investment of almost 12 to 1. Fabiani & Company's Bio-Life Sciences Team is proud of its clients' achievements and of its role in helping some of the most successful start-up biotech companies in the U.S. and Canada.
General Atomics has successful demo of new Due Regard Radar
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI) announced the successful demonstration of an early prototype of its Due Regard Radar on a manned aircraft. The Due Regard Radar is a company-funded system that supports GA-ASI's overall radar-based airborne sense-and-avoid architecture. "The successful demonstration of our Due Regard Radar represents a major milestone in the development of the company's airborne sense-and-avoid radar architecture," said Linden Blue, president, Reconnaissance Systems Group, GA-ASI. "Equipping a highly reliable Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) with this capability will expand its capacity to operate routinely in domestic and international airspace, ensuring its interoperability with civilian air traffic and airspace rules and regulations." Following the completion of manned flight tests, testing will begin on unmanned aircraft.
Molecular Response announces agreement with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals
Molecular Response (MRL), a privately held molecular diagnostic services company and leader in the identification of target populations for high value therapeutics, announced an agreement with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotech company developing novel therapeutics that could provide important alternatives for the treatment of cancer. This agreement expands the company's successful pilot program to develop unique patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDX) through the use of MRL's proprietary "living" cell bank of primary tumor cells. Under the terms of the agreement, the collaboration will deliver molecularly characterized PDX models for multiple cancer indications.
Outsource Manufacturing discusses San Diego's answer to Obama Administration's Insourcing Initiative
In an effort to create more jobs in the U.S., the White House recently announced a series of measures in support of its Insourcing Initiative to encourage companies to keep their factories in the United States rather than relocating abroad. Outsource Manufacturing, one of San Diego's premier manufacturing companies and sponsor of CONNECT's Nearsourcing Initiative, was featured in the article, and CEO Ted Fogliani shared how important it is to encourage U.S. manufactures to look for partners at home before going abroad. "When you look at the full cost of doing business abroad, U.S. factories can compete on price, delivery and quality. People would be surprised to learn how many things we still manufacture in the U.S.," said Fogliani. CONNECT's Nearsourcing Initiative's purpose is to educate our region's entrepreneurs and emerging businesses on the benefits of contracting with local manufacturers, including reduced time to market, increased innovation and decreased costs.
Qualcomm expands Gobi modem brand; opens registration for Uplinq 2012
On Thursday, Qualcomm announced the expansion of its Gobi modem brand, the industry-standard for 3G and 4G LTE notebooks and tablets. Qualcomm's Gobi modem chipsets, of which more than 250 million have been shipped as of the end of 2011, provide connectivity to consumer and enterprise devices globally. "This is an exciting time for wireless technology," said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm.
Qualcomm announced Wednesday that registration for the Uplinq 2012 developers conference is now open. Uplinq is the annual mobile conference that allows attendees to view the latest innovations from Qualcomm and its partners, across multiple leading platforms, as well as providing mobile developers technical education and fostering vital business connections. A pre-conference Mobile CodeFest and Hackathon event will be held June 26, while the conference will run June 26-27 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
ROTH to feature 130 healthcare companies at annual conference
On Wednesday, ROTH announced the Healthcare Track at its 24th Annual Growth Stock Conference will feature over 130 biotechnology, healthcare services, medical device and pharmaceutical companies. John W. Chambers, ROTH managing director and head of healthcare investment banking, commented, "This year's ROTH conference is taking place at a particularly interesting time period for the healthcare industry. We are witnessing increasing transaction volume in the financing markets coupled with a significant rise in the pace of consolidation activity. At this event, investors will have the opportunity to interact with over 130 innovative healthcare growth companies to better understand the value drivers each represent."
Beyster pledges $15M for engineering fellowship program at alma mater
SAIC founder J. Robert Beyster, member of the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, gave the University of Michigan's engineering school a gift of $15M. At least $9M of the gift is to be used to fund a fellowship program for up to 10 doctoral students in the engineering department each year. In a statement from his alma mater last week, Beyster hope his gift will help keep the United States at the forefront of global innovation and competitiveness.
Salk Nobel Laureate and pioneering cancer researcher dies at 97
Renato Dulbecco, founding Salk faculty member, Nobel Prize winner and world-renowned cancer researcher passed away February 19 at his home in La Jolla, just two days shy of his 98th birthday. His landmark studies into the genetic nature of cancer garnered him the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, of which he shared with two former students. In 1986, Dulbecco challenged the scientific community to sequence and catalog all human genes giving intellectual birth to the 12-year worldwide Human Genome Project.
Seasoned veteran named medical director of new Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute
Heart health programs at Scripps and Kaiser Permanente will combine to form the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute run by newly elected Paul Teristein, chief of cardiology at Scripps and stent expert. Teirstein is a well-known cardiologist who has trained at such institutes as Harvard, Stanford and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been a major factor in helping grow the number of cardio catheterization labs and doctors since he joined in the late 1980s. The new state-of-the-art center in La Jolla, planned to open in 2015, will allow for more than 3,000 procedures and house more than 100 patients.
Sunrise Powerlink 76 percent complete
SDG&E construction crews are making remarkable progress on the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink. Held to the most stringent environmental restrictions of any electric transmission line ever constructed in California, the company is dedicated to minimizing impact associated with the Powerlink construction and has adopted numerous measures to protect the environment. To date, the projected is reported to be 76 percent complete, and is scheduled to begin delivering 1,000 megawatts of clean, reliable energy to the San Diego region later this year.
UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences stresses need for medical research funding; SIO research spurs new climate initiative; Calit2 uses competition to further its mission; three faculty members named Sloan Foundation Research Fellows
David Brenner, CONNECT board member and vice chancellor for health sciences at UC San Diego, recently penned an opinion piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune stressing the importance of medical research funding. In it, Brenner notes medical research is the beginning of hope for millions of Americans and their families, yet the joint congressional supercommittee has proposed $1.2 trillion in mandatory cuts, half from defense and half from domestic programs, including medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cuts of this significance will drastically slow the speed at which discoveries from research labs are translated into patient treatments, as well as slow our nation's economic growth, leading to fewer product launches and fewer job opportunities.
Decades of research by distinguished climate scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) may now serve as the scientific underpinning of new initiative. Announced this week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed a new initiative to limit emissions of soot, methane, halocarbons and other short-lived global warming agents as a means to provide an immediate impact to slow the rate of human-caused climate change.
Calit2 launched the InterDigital Innovation Challenge (I˛C), an engineering competition that aims to discover breakthroughs in wireless technology. Ramesh Rao, director of the UC San Diego division of Calit2 and I˛C challenge chair, referred to the competition as "a fresh approach to stimulating innovation in wireless." The I˛C will enable Calit2 to further its mission and strategic plan to extend its influence and reach into innovations in wireless technology in academia and industry.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation named UC San Diego faculty members, Nathan C. Gianneschi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Alireza Salehi Golsefidy, assistant professor of mathematics; and Roger P. Levy, assistant professor of linguistics, recipients of its prestigious research fellowship, given to promising young scholars at the early stage of their research careers. They were among 126 individuals from 51 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.
Vertex Stays in HepC Game, as All-Oral Combo Passes Small Study | Xconomy
Vertex Pharmaceuticals released some preliminary results from a small Hep C study of 46 patients who were given a combination of three oral pills - Vertex’s telaprevir, its experimental drug VX-222 and standard ribavirin as their first form of treatment. The study found that 83 percent of the patients had undetectable amounts of the liver-damaging virus after 12 weeks of therapy on the three-pill combo regimen. While patients aren’t considered cured until 24 weeks have passed with undetectable amounts of the virus in the blood, past studies have shown that 12-week measurements are typically predictive of what researchers can expect to see at 24 weeks.
Volcano reports increased sales, projects continued growth
Volcano Corporation, a San Diego-based medical device company, reported a revenue increase in the fourth-quarter of 14 percent over the year earlier. Further, as the company continues to gain market share, it is projecting 2012 revenues to increase approximately 15 percent over last year. Volcano makes and sells products that help doctors diagnose coronary and vascular disease and perform medical procedures, such as the Eagle Eye Platinum Catheter, a finalist for CONNECT’s 2010 Most Innovative New Product Award.
Wells Fargo survey shows increase in optimism for small businesses
According to the most recent index survey by Wells Fargo, America's small-business owners are the most optimistic they've been since July 2008. "January's increase in optimism signals that small-business owners are seeing a brighter future," said Doug Case, Wells Fargo's small-business segment manager. "While this economy still presents challenges for many business owners, we are encouraged by expectations for improved revenues, financial situation and cash flow, which have the potential to drive job growth." The survey found that 49 percent expect their revenue to rise, up from 37 percent in the fourth quarter.
The Lares Institute launches Information Security Survey
Cyber-security is a critical issue that all companies must address. Some of the biggest challenges they face is how to understand what steps are appropriate and reasonable given emerging cyber threats, and what their risk profile is relative to their size and exposure to threats. The Lares Institute, a think tank under the direction of Andrew Serwin, founding chair of the Privacy, Security & Information Management Practice at Foley & Lardner, recently launched an Information Security Survey to help companies understand this important and complex issue. The goal of the survey is to provide companies answers to these important questions, building upon the Institute's groundbreaking work on the Demographics of Privacy, Social Media Use and Damages in Privacy Litigation. Results of the Survey will be posted later this year.
Licensing Executives Society presents Masters Class: Principles and Practice
In San Diego on March 26-29 LES will present a global curriculum-based program that teaches the business of intellectual property and licensing in a way that is both interesting and engaging. The course is designed so you can learn from leaders in the licensing world as well as your own peers. Whether transitioning into a licensing role or looking to supplement current experience, this course will provide the core knowledge needed to succeed in any day-to-day licensing function.
Xconomy's Timmerman wins national journalism award | Xconomy
Xconomy's national biotech editor, Luke Timmerman, has won a national award for column-writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. It's the first national journalism award for Xconomy, which was founded in 2007 and now operates a six-city network of news sites focused on business innovation. The award is for Timmerman's weekly BioBeat column, which he started writing a year ago to give an analytical take on life sciences news and trends. Judges looked at five different columns, three from dates selected at random by the organization, to determine the winners.
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CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies in the San Diego region and is widely regarded as one of the world's most successful organizations linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of innovative products in high tech and life sciences. The program has been modeled in more than 50 regions around the world. CONNECT has been recognized by Time, Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines and in 2011 won the national State Science and Technology Institute's 2011 Excellence in Tech Based Economic Development Award for Building Entrepreneurial Capacity. In 2010 CONNECT was the recipient of the Innovation in Economic Development Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for creation of Regional Innovation Clusters. CONNECT manages the San Diego, Imperial Valley, Inland SoCal Innovation Hub (iHub) designated by the state of California Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development in 2010. Key to our success has been the unique "culture of collaboration" between research organizations, capital sources, professional service providers and the established industries.