Daily Business Report — July 8, 2014
Biotech Convention Gave San Diego $56M Boost
So 2,500 biotech CEOs gathered in San Diego for nearly a week. What’s the bottom line? Besides the world attention for keynote speakers Hillary Clinton and Sir Richard Branson, you get an economic infusion topping $50 million.
The four-day BIO International Convention ending June 26 “was expected to bring more than $56.3 million to San Diego’s regional economy,” a spokeswoman for the event said Monday. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the San Diego Convention Center event drew 15,667 people from all 50 states and some 70 nations, said Paige Nordeen, the local spokeswoman.
“This year’s BIO International Convention brought to San Diego leaders in industry, government and academia to help further the promise of biotechnology,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood.
“From our outstanding keynote speakers, to the record number of partnering meetings, the 2014 Convention was a resounding success. This event continues to provide biotech leaders with the opportunity to showcase the best of our industry.”
Besides Virgin Group leader Branson and Former Secretary of State Clinton, more than 800 speakers and 160 sessions addressed the latest business opportunities, breakthroughs in medicine, diagnostics, the environment, energy production and food and agriculture.
Session highlights have been posted at BIO’s news site: www.biotech-now.org/#
— Times of San Diego
Airport Parking Plaza Given Go-Ahead
The board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has voted to direct staff to start construction of a long-awaited parking plaza adjacent to Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field.
“Our need for more close-in parking is clear,” said Airport Authority President/CEO Thella F. Bowens. “Our single lowest customer satisfaction rating is for availability of parking. Building this plaza will enhance customer service, especially for the business traveler for whom convenient, close-in parking is a priority.”
Although the recent expansion of Terminal 2 added 10 new gates, it did not add any parking capacity. The current plan is to build a three-story parking structure with 3,000 spaces.
The parking plaza is also expected to have environmental benefits, by reducing total vehicle trips for passengers who park on site vs. being dropped off and picked up. And Smart Parking Technology will allow parkers to reserve spaces and pay before leaving, reducing circulating and idling times.
Another consideration is phasing during the anticipated replacement of Terminal 1 as part of the Airport Development Plan. While multi-year construction takes place, parking in front of Terminal 1 will be lost. The parking plaza will help offset that loss during construction. Also proposed as part of the ADP is a future on-airport roadway that would take airport traffic off of Harbor Drive.
ViaSat Signs Pioneering Agreement With Eutelsat
ViaSat Inc. and Paris-based Eutelsat have entered a pioneering agreement that will enable service access and roaming on each other’s high-capacity satellite network. This is the first interconnection agreement between high throughput satellites, and will allow Eutelsat and ViaSat customers to roam between North America, Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.
“This formalizes another step towards covering the high traffic areas of the world with the fastest, most affordable mobile broadband satellite connectivity,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. “Extending our long-standing relationship with Eutelsat enables us to provide the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi available on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Realtors Group to Hold Workshops
On Drought and Home Fire Safety
The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR will host “Plan, Prepare, Prevent,” a free workshop for Realtors and homeowners on drought and home fire safety from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. Attendees will learn fire prevention and safety information to share with their clients. Speakers will include: Rick Sitta, chief, Heartland Fire and Rescue; Mona Freeles, emergency preparedness coordinator, Heartland Fire and Rescue; Jim Redman, chief, El Cajon Police Department; and Ann Baldridge, education coordinator, Fire Safe Council of San Diego County. Topics will include information on how to protect property and defensible space, evacuation preparedness, homeowner vegetation management programs and community resources. For more information, visit www.psar.org.
NuVasive Names Executive Vice President
Carol Cox has been named executive vice president of strategy and corporate communications for NuVasive, a medical device company. In this newly created role, Cox will be responsible for leading NuVasive’s short- and long-term business strategies, as well as creating and managing a centralized communications function to ensure global alignment of messaging and the leveraging of assets across the key areas of corporate communications, investor relations, and public affairs. Previously, Cox served as senior vice president of external affairs for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.
EvoNexus Incubator Expands to Orange County
CommNexus is expanding its business incubator program, EvoNexus, to Orange County. CommNexus began the incubator program in mid-2009 with its original space located in Sorrento Valley. A few years later, The Irvine Company provided EvoNexus with commercial office space to expand to Downtown San Diego and University City. The Irvine Company has now made space available for a third EvoNexus location at University Research Park, near UC Irvine. The space is about the same size as the EvoNexus space in Downtown San Diego, with room to house 15 to 20 startups. Companies selected for the EvoNexus program get rent-free space for as long as two years, depending on their progress, along with access to EvoNexus programs and mentors.
Family Health Centers Awarded $900,000 Grant
Family Health Centers of San Diego was awarded a $900,000 federal grant, part of $83.4 million handed out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help train resident physicians. The grants, funded by the Affordable Care Act, were provided to 60 health centers that will provide training for resident physicians during the 2014-15 academic year.
Residents will be trained in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, geriatrics, and general dentistry, according to HHS.
The nonprofit Family Health Centers of San Diego operates 18 primary care clinics, six dental clinics and four behavioral health clinics in central and southern San Diego County, serving uninsured and low-income patients.
Peter Beetham Takes Helm at Cibus Global
Peter Beetham, senior vice president of Cibus Global, a San Diego-based gene editing company, has been named head of the company, succeeding Keith Walker, who is retiring. Beetham, developer of the Rapid Trait Development System, and Walker founded the company in 2001.
Beetham received his Ph.D. from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and has led the development of Cibus’ core technologies in gene editing that have driven the company’s expansion to more than 100 employees with more than 70 scientists. Prior to co-founding Cibus in 2001, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, where he pioneered the early work that led to Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System.
Walker’s career in the food and agriculture technology industry spans more than 40 years. Since co-founding Cibus, Walker has overseen the research of new, patented trait tools, as well as the growth of Cibus’ business initiatives, including global expansion with satellite offices in locations such as Minnesota and the Netherlands.
Greg Gocal, the current vice president of research at Cibus has been promoted to senior vice president of research and development.
North County Cities Seek Identity
Establishing an identity is a primary goal for the five North County cities along the Highway 78 corridor: Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido. They’ve decided working together to attract businesses and jobs is likely to be more effective than competing with each other.
Market research carried out for a consortium of five cities suggests there are plenty of different ideas about what exactly makes up San Diego’s North County. Does it include everything north of Highway 52? Is it the nine cities north of the city of San Diego? How about the unincorporated areas east of Interstate 15?
The cities commissioned a company, North Star Destination Strategies, to design them a common brand. North Star began with a survey. What they found was that only 30 or 40 percent of those questioned see Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe or Poway as in North County, whereas more than 90 percent think of the five cities along the 78 corridor as North County.
Goodwill Opening New Store in Lake Murray Area
Goodwill Industries of San Diego County will open a new retail store and donation center in the Lake Murray neighborhood of La Mesa on Thursday, creating 28 new jobs. “We love this community, and when this space became available we jumped on it” said Beth Forsberg, VP of operations.
The store at 6127 Lake Murray Blvd. will officially open on Thursday with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m.
The new location will be one of Goodwill’s free electronics recycling centers. In addition to accepting donations of clean reusable clothing and household items seven days a week, the center will also accept computers, televisions, cell phones and other consumer electronics (working or not) at no charge.
The new store is the second opened in the La Mesa area in three years and the 28th in San Diego County. Goodwill said it hired 19 full-time and nine part-time employees to staff the new location.
— Times of San Diego
Cal State San Marcos Opens
Off-Campus Speech Clinic
California State University San Marcos opened a unique off-campus speech and language clinic Monday to treat community members and provide training for students in its popular speech-language pathology major.
Janet Powell, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sercices, said the 1,700-square-foot clinic in San Marcos will offer students “a meaningful, real-world experience” while serving the community.
With a significant shortage of qualified speech-language pathologists in the public schools, the university made this a priority,” Powell said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Clinic Director Kristen Nahrstedt said the clinic expects to serve 80 patients annually who are suffering from speech disorders. Treatment typically takes 60 hours over a period of time and is free to community members.
The clinic, located at 135 Vallecitos De Oro, will be open fives days a week during the summer and two days a week during the academic year. Previously students worked out of a converted dorm room.
“We’re trying to provide a high-quality educational experience for the students and also reaching out to the community,” Nahrstedt said.
The university has nearly 75 students enrolled in its Master of Arts in Education with Communicative Sciences Disorders Option.
— Times of San Diego