Daily Business Report — July 28, 2014
Qualcomm Institute headquarters in Atkinson Hall on UC San Diego campus
Qualcomm Institute Announces Grants to Build
Clusters in Brain, Medical and Robotic Research
The Qualcomm Institute at the UC San Diego has given the green light to 35 new projects that are part of the institute’s Calit2 Strategic Research Opportunities program. Each one-year seed grant is worth up to $50,000 in support for researchers in areas of critical interest to the research mission of the institute — and the university. (The Qualcomm Institute is the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Calit2.)
The new projects were selected from a field of 70 proposals put forward by eligible professors and research scientists. The 35 projects were awarded grants valued at more than $1,673,000.
“Reviewers were impressed with the quality of this year’s proposals, which were largely responsive to the areas where we want to take the institute in the next couple of years,” said Qualcomm Institute director Ramesh Rao, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering. “In particular, the funded projects will allow us to participate actively in campus-wide brain, medical and robotics research initiatives. We look at it as a down-payment, because our researchers will be able to leverage these investments and compete for larger federal grants that are needed to advance the state of the art in these important areas.”
Most of the funding for the CSRO program was earmarked from private support received by the Qualcomm Institute, notably from Qualcomm, Inc., the Qualcomm Foundation, and The Legler Benbough Foundation.
Among the 35 winning proposals, at least 10 are directly related to brain research — reflecting the importance that the institute places on the newly-established campus Center for Brain Activity Mapping.
SDSU to Start Building New Basketball Facility
San Diego State University will break ground Aug. 27 on its basketball practice facility, which will be named after major donor Jeff Jacobs, the university announced Friday.
The $14.5 million Jeff Jacobs JAM Center, which will provide practice space for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, will also honor donors Hal and Debby Jacobs, Steve and Lisa Altman and Jim Morris — the first letters of their last names making up the JAM acronym.
It will contain two full-length courts, eight baskets, locker rooms, film rooms, team lounges, an athletic training room and coaches’ locker rooms.
“This performance center is a testament to the incredible job (men’s coach) Steve Fisher has done,” said Jeff Jacobs, a former Qualcomm executive and vice chairman of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.. “I am very proud to contribute with my brother Hal and great friends Steve Altman and Jim Morris to play a small part in ensuring that the Aztec basketball program remains prominent on the national stage and a very attractive entertainment option for the San Diego community.”
The Aztec men put together a 31-5 record in the 2013-14 season, won the Mountain West regular season championship and advanced to the “Sweet 16″ of the NCAA Tournament.
The Manna Charitable Foundation and the Walter and Betty Zable Foundation were also major contributors to the project. SDSU said about $2 million still needs to be raised, but no state funds will be used to construct the building.
— City News Service
Two Female Marine
Selected for Navy
Blue Angels Team
Women are breaking new ground — in the air — making history on the newly chosen 2015 Blue Angels team.
Blue Angels Public Affairs Officer Navy Lt. j.g. Amber Lynn Daniel,
33, of Ramona, told the Baltimore Sun that for the first time in the team’s storied past, two female Marine Corps officers have been selected to be members of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron at the same time.
One of those women, Marine Capt. Katie Higgins, 27, will be a C-130 Demonstration Pilot — making her the first-ever female pilot on the Blue Angels demonstration team, according to Flying magazine.
The other female Marine Corps officer is Capt. Corrie Mays, 34. She is assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) 225 (VMFA(AW)-225) at MCAS Miramar. Mays will serve as the team’s events coordination officer.
City to Consider Restrictions on E-Cigarettes
A package of proposed regulations for vapor inhalers — also known as electronic cigarettes — will be considered by the San Diego City Council today. The two measures would regulate retail sales of the battery-operated devices and restrict their use. They would generally conform to restrictions on tobacco products.
“Our goal here is to provide some sensible restrictions on these so that adults are able to utilize these safely in places that are not around kids, and that kids under the age of 18 do not have access to these, and also give our local law enforcement the ability to enforce state law regarding the sale to minors,” Councilman Mark Kersey told the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee last month.
Deputy City Attorney Linda Peter said the proposed retailing ordinance would require store owners who sell e-cigarettes to obtain a police permit; prohibit sales of the devices, vaping juice and other paraphernalia through vending machines; and restrict advertisements or promotions that are visible in public areas.
Deputy City Attorney Ken So told committee members that the use of vapor inhalers would be prohibited in the same types of places where people aren’t allowed to smoke — such as restaurants, theaters, sports facilities, parks and beaches.
— City News Service
Cubic Awarded $4.1 Million from U.S. Army
Cubic Corp. was awarded $4.1 million from the U.S. Army for its Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Tactical Vehicle Systems (I-MILES TVS). Under the deal, Cubic will be adding laser-based training gear with sensors and electronics to U.S. Army vehicles for force-on-force combat training exercises. The system also has a weapon simulation and casualty assessment accuracy feature for vehicles and fixed structures.
Port of San Diego CEO Ousted
CEO Wayne Darbeau was ousted Friday as CEO of the Port of San Diego by the Board of Port Commissioners. John Bolduc, the agency’s vice president of public safety, will be the acting CEO. A port-issued statement said Darbeau was placed on paid administrative leave through the end of this year, at which point he will no longer be employed.
Darbeau, who has held the job for about four years, got in hot water when he sent an email to Sharon Bernie-Cloward, the president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, asking if its members could help in his son’s search for a summer job. He withdrew the request when the message became public.
It was later reported that Darbeau’s son and his best friend had obtained a summer job with Pasha Automotive, a major port tenant, two years ago.
The tenants’ group is made up of hotels, restaurants and other businesses on port land that are affected by decisions by the port’s commissioners and executive staff.
In response to criticism about using his position to help his family, Darbeau, 61, said he was acting like most parents when he reached out to “professional and personal networks” to help find his son a job.
In a statement, the commissioners lauded Darbeau for streamlining operations and improving finances and said parting ways was the best way to build on Darbeau’s legacy.
— City News Service
Press Club Finds New Home
The San Diego Press Club has found a new home at the Spreckels Building at 121 Broadway, Suite 640, in Downtown San Diego. Occupying 800 square feet, the new offices are comprised of three spacious rooms for the management of the club, plus board and committee meetings. “Our ‘Nuts & Bolts’ professional development workshops can be held here, and even the occasional happy hour or social event,” said Terry Williams, club executive director.
Club hours are yet to be determined. The club phone number (619) 231-4340, remains the same.
New President Appointed for Civic San Diego
The former head of the defunct Southeastern Development Corp. was appointed Friday by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to be the new president of Civic San Diego, which handles major development projects for the city.
Reese Jarrett was with the real estate firm E. Smith and Co., was a partner in Carter Reese & Associates and served as the SEDC president in the 1980s.
The SEDC, a city organization that worked on projects in southeastern San Diego, went out of business when the state phased out redevelopment agencies. Its functions were turned over to Civic San Diego, a city-owned nonprofit created to work on projects in the post-redevelopment era.
Jarrett said he wants to continue Civic San Diego’s work in Downtown, but he also wants to expand the agency’s efforts into other neighborhoods to create jobs and retail space.
Jarrett replaces Jeff Graham, who resigned in March to take a job in the private sector. A spokesman for Civic San Diego said Jarrett’s compensation package has not yet been determined. Graham’s annual salary range was $175,000 to $225,000.
— City News Service
SD Sport Innovators Accepting Springboard Applicants
SD Sport Innovators is accepting applications for Springboard 2.0 — a no-cost, four-month intensive business accelerator program that pairs entrepreneurs with industry veterans for hands-on mentoring. Class 5 will run from Aug. 1 through Sept. 7. The program is for sports and active lifestyle startups.
To date, more than 40 companies have graduated from the Springboard program since it became a standalone program from Connect in 2011. Recent graduates include Intelly Surf, Ground-Based Nutrition, FITzee Foods, GrassAds Inc. and Lunatec.
The mentoring group includes more than 50 industry veterans and experts who volunteer their time to help gude the up-and-coming sports and active lifestyle companies become sustainable businesses.
To apply for the program, click here.