Daily Business Report-Oct. 16, 2014
The innovation team behind Aqua Diao, a portable solar-powered machine that extracts water from air. Courtesy Art of Science Learning
Invention Makes Water from Air
Teams Show Off Ideas to Solve Drought
Nine teams seeking innovative solutions to the California drought will share their work at a public event tonight in Balboa Park.
The event is the culmination of the yearlong Art of Science Learning incubator, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation to spark creativity in science education. San Diego is one of three cities nationwide with an incubator program to develop ideas.
The teams will show off their ideas, and the public is encouraged to learn, collaborate, invest and be inspired. The nine teams are:
• Aqua Diao — a portable solar-powered machine makes water from air.
• BeeLite — a garden water sensor provides shelter for endangered pollinators.
• Built Environment Innovation Connection — a collaborative web-based platform promotes design and engineering of water neutral construction.
• DIY EcoLab — an art-science activity kit integrates scientific inquiry with artistic expression.
• En Plein Aire — a mobile app inspires water-smart landscape designs that embody San Diego lifestyles.
• Epic Water Game — a computer game compels you to balance regional water supply and demand.
• Kate’s Place Water Innovation Center — a water-wise home and garden offer hands-on learning and participatory innovation.
• Sculptural Dew Collectors — sculptures harvest fog and dew, inspired by forms and phenomena in nature.
• Trash to Paradise — recycled trash and wetland plants filter sewage water to create irrigation water in Tijuana.
The free event is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Balboa Park Grand Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public, but advance online registration is required. Click here.
— Times of San Diego
City College Grads Among Highest-Paid
Two-Year College Graduates in Country
With a median mid-career salary of $70,900 annually, San Diego City College alumni are among the highest paid two-year college graduates in the country, according to a new report by a Seattle-based firm with the largest database of online employee compensation in the world.
San Diego City College ranks No. 2 out of 349 schools included in the report, behind the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, whose graduates earn a median mid-career salary of $71,000, says PayScale.
Mid-career salaries are defined as annual earnings after 10 years in the workforce. PayScale looked at salary data collected from graduates of public community colleges, private for-profit schools, and private not-for-profit schools.
Most popular jobs for San Diego City College alumni, according to the PayScale report, include registered nurse, maintenance engineer, legal assistant, engineering technician, and graphic designer.
San Diego City College alumni include Jim Sinegal, who co-founded Costco Wholesale Corp. in 1983; Josh Higgins, a creative director for the communication design team at Facebook who served as design director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign; Houston Astros pitching coach Brent Strom; and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Hasemyer
“The report indicates that San Diego City College is offering high-demand education programs to the community, and employers are willing to pay premium salaries to our graduates of these high-demand programs.” said Anthony Beebe, president of City College. “Our faculty is very innovative about how they teach.”
Permit Issued for San Diego’s First
Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Outlet
The first permit allowing for the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary in San Diego was approved Wednesday. David Blair was granted a conditional use permit to open A Green Alternative in a 1,400-square-foot space at 2335 Roll Drive near Brown Field in Otay Mesa.
Blair said he was exciting to be the first applicant “through the system.”
“Our plans are to set the benchmark for others to follow by providing reliable safe access to patients in the city of San Diego who suffer from serious and, in many cases, debilitating illnesses,” Blair said after Kenneth Teasley, a hearing officer for the city’s Development Services Department, approved his application.
Despite the 1994 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana outlets, some cities have banned them based on a state Supreme Court ruling that said they could.
In March, the City Council approved a set of restrictive zoning regulations that would allow up to four collectives in eight of nine City Council districts. Restrictions on distances between dispensaries and homes, schools, parks and churches preclude any from being in council President Todd Gloria’s district, which includes Downtown, Hillcrest and North Park.
“Doctor-recommended care should and now will be provided by licensed, regulated, taxpaying businesses run by responsible members of the community, not by dealers and pop-up dispensaries,” said Dan Riffle, attorney for A Green Alternative.
A Green Alternative is expected to be up and running sometime in the next couple months. The hearing officer’s decision could be overturned by the Planning Commission, which has final say over the matter. An appeal must be filed within 10 days.
— City News Service
Qualcomm to Buy CSR for $2.5 Billion in Cash
San Diego-based Qualcomm announced Wednesday it will acquire CSR, a British semiconductor company, in a deal worth $2.5 billion. CSR, which is based in Cambridge, develops chips and software for voice and music applications, automotive information and entertainment, and wireless networking.
The acquisition is subject to U.S. and other regulatory approvals and the approval of CSR’s shareholders.
“The addition of CSR’s technology leadership in Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart1 and audio processing will strengthen Qualcomm’s position in providing critical solutions that drive the rapid growth of the Internet of Everything, including business areas such as portable audio, automotive and wearable devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm.
“Combining CSR’s highly advanced offering of connectivity technologies with a strong track record of success in these areas will unlock new opportunities for growth. We look forward to working with the innovative CSR team globally and further strengthening our technology presence in Cambridge and the UK.”
— Times of San Diego
Scientists Identify Trigger for
Crucial Immune System Cell
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified the long-sought activating molecules for a rare but crucial subset of immune system cells that help rally other white blood cells to fight infection. In the process, the team also uncovered a previously unsuspected link between the mammalian immune system and the communication systems of simpler organisms such as bacteria.
The findings, published online ahead of print today by the journal Immunity, could lead to novel therapeutic approaches for diseases such as type 1 diabetes that are the result of immune system overactivity, as well as new ways to boost the effectiveness of vaccines, according to study leader Luc Teyton, a professor in TSRI’s Department of Immunology and Microbial Science.
San Diego’s Fluourishing Industrial Biotech
Sector is Backdrop for Pacific Rim Summit
With a growing industrial biotech sector that is home to more than 400 biotechnology companies, San Diego is set to host BIO’s 2014 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotech & Bioenergy. San Diego-based industrial biotechnology companies continue to deliver next generation products and innovative technology solutions, many of which will be highlighted during the programming at this year’s summit.
The 2014 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotech & Bioenergy will be held Dec. 7-9 at the Westin Gaslamp.
“Within San Diego County, more than 50,000 people are employed in the life sciences sector. The region’s industrial biotech companies are creating new economic opportunities and high-paying jobs for Californians,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president, industrial and environmental at BIO. “The 2014 Pacific Rim Summit will host many industrial biotechnology companies from the area and will showcase their milestones and achievements.”
Rincon Tribal Member Honored
Steve Stallings, a member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and a tribal council member, has been named by the Phoenix Indian Center to receive the Kent C. Ware Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership and Spirit of the Heard Awards. Awardees will be honored at the dinner on Nov. 4 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort and Villas.
Stallings, in addition to serving as a Rincon tribal council member, is the director of the Wells Fargo Native American Banking Services Gaming Group. He is also vice chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association. The Rincon Band owns Harrah’s Resort Southern California, located on the Rincon Reservation in Valley Center.
“Kent Ware was a courageous American patriot, hero, statesman, and cultural leader and it is a great honor to receive recognition in his name,” said Stallings.
Ten-Day Tijuana Innovation
Conference Begins Today
TIJUANA — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will join Mayor Jorge Astiazarán and other dignitaries today to inaugurate the largest conference on the border, Tijuana Innovadora 2014. The international event runs through Oct. 26 at the Centro Cultural Tijuana, minutes from the
border crossing. The first day of speakers will be Alejandra Lagunes, the director of digital strategy for Mexico’s president; Roberto Campa Cifrián, undersecretary of citizen participation in Mexico’s Interior Department; and Sergio Alcocer Martinez de Castro, undersecretary for North America, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.
The president of Coca-Cola Mexico, Francisco Crespo, and Enrique Beltranena Mejicano, CEO of Volaris airline, will launch another conference theme, cross-border business opportunities.
The mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, rounds out the first day’s speakers.
California Supreme Court Declines
To Hear High Speed Rail Case
The California Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the high speed rail case lets a lower appeals court ruling stand that allows the state to issue $8.6 billion in bonds to fund the project. The California High Speed Rail Authority also will not have to develop a new funding plan.
The Pacific Legal Foundation represented the plaintiffs suing to stop the bonds from being issued. The foundation’s Harold Johnson called the refusal to hear the case bad news for California taxpayers. “It’s such an expensive gambit that the court has sanctioned today,” Johnson said. “I think it’s not just really bad public policy, I think it’s wrong as matter of constitutional law.”
But Lisa Marie Alley with the High Speed Rail Authority called it a big victory. “It once again reaffirms that we’re building a modern high speed rail system that connects the state, creates jobs and complies with the law,” she said.
The project still faces other lawsuits. But Alley says these two were the most challenging to date.
— Capital Public Radio
Former UC San Diego Professor
Wins 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
William E. Moerner, one of three scientists who were named winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, first applied his Nobel Prize-winning discovery to biological problems while working in the basement of Urey Hall as a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego from 1995 to 1998.
Although he had already laid the foundations for the discovery for which he won his Nobel Prize, “single-molecule microscopy” while at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, his subsequent research and collaborations with UC San Diego biochemists and organic chemists enabled him to later apply the technique to critical problems in health and medicine after he arrived on the La Jolla campus.
Moerner worked closely with 2008 Nobel Chemistry Prize winner Roger Tsein, a professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry. The campus is also home to Mario Molina, a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 and in May was awarded the UCSD Medal, the highest honor the university bestows.
Moerner, who left UC San Diego for Stanford University in 1998, shared his Nobel Prize with Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. He is affectionately known to close friends and colleagues as “W. E.,” the first two initials of his name.
Silvergate Bank Names Branch Manager
Ted Peña has joined Silvergate Bank as vice president and manager of the Carlsbad office. Pena will be responsible for all activities of the Silvergate Bank Carlsbad branch, with a strong focus on business development. He reports to Dino D’Auria, the bank’s executive vice president and chief banking officer.
Peña spent a combined 30 years with IBM and CSI Leasing, providing technology and financial services to local companies. He a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a degree in economics.
Bike Coalition Chooses Project Coordinator
Hannah Williams has been named project coordinator for the San Diego Bike Coalition, a new position. Williams will be responsible for growing and strengthening the Bicycle Coalition’s events and managing grants throughout the county including the Regional Bike Walk Alliance and the Carlsbad Village Active Living Campaign and Education program.
Williams previously worked with the San Diego Association of Governments in transportation, focusing on the Regional Bicycle Network and Early Action Program. Williams also spent four years with the San Diego Epilepsy Foundation as development and outreach manager, facilitating its teen program and various annual events.
Tyler Kent Joins The Robert Green Company
The Robert Green Company has hired Tyler Kent as its new vice president of acquisitions and development. Kent has more than a decade of real estate development and finance experience. Kent previously was director of acquisitions and development for The Athens Group. Notable projects under his leadership include the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica; Montage Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah; and the Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills.
Kent earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco and his master’s degree from The University of Arizona. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute Urban Development Mixed-Use Council.
The Robert Green Company the developer of the Pendry San Diego Hotel, which broke ground in Downtown San Diego earlier this month.
National Funding Rehires Torrie Inouye
National Funding, a private lender of small business loans, announced the re-hire of Torrie Inouye as director of business intelligence and analysis.
Inouye will oversee all business intelligence, working with the company’s executive team to further leverage analytics in their decision-making process.
Inouye began her career at National Funding during the company’s early years, and was instrumental in the development of its marketing programs, the metrics and the analysis of growth and opportunities.
Most recently, she was staff business analyst at Intuit, where she led a team of analysts in the Turbo Tax division.