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Daily Business Report-Nov. 12, 2015

Daily Business Report-Nov. 12, 2015

Northrop Grumman  Awarded $198M to Support

Navy Sub Missile Launcher Tech Program


Northrop Grumman has been awarded a potential five-year, $198 million contract to help the U.S. Navy design, engineer and assess subsystems for an underwater tactical missile launcher platform.

The Defense Department said Tuesday that Northrop will support development of a technology for the Navy to launch ballistic missiles from sea-based strategic deterrent submarines.

Northrop will also provide risk reduction and engineering services for the Navy’s initiative to integrate D5 missiles into the Common Missile Compartment of the future Ohio-class submarine replacement.

The contract has a $15.6 million base period that is slated to run through Sept. 30, 2016, and work could extend for four additional years if options are exercised.

The Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs office in Washington is the contracting activity and Northrop’s marine systems business will perform the majority of contract work in the U.S.


IRIS, an autonomous security robot by NXT Robotics, meets attendees outside Qualcomm Hall. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

IRIS, an autonomous security robot by NXT Robotics, meets attendees outside Qualcomm Hall. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

San Diego is ‘Ground Zero’

For Robot, Drone Industries

Times of San Diego

From armed Predators and Reapers patrolling over Syria to autonomous security robots roving local parking lots, San Diego has emerged as “ground zero” for robotics and drones.

That was the primary message from a forum sponsored by EvoNexus that drew 400 people Wednesday to Qualcomm Hall in Sorrento Valley.

Linden Blue, vice president of General Atomics, opened the forum by explaining how his company’s drones help protect America at a lower cost with less collateral damage than manned aircraft.

He said a Reaper drone can carry the same payload as an F-16 fighter jet but stay on target ten times longer.

This is a much better way of warfighting than the world has every known,” he said.

Charles Bergan, vice president of engineering for Qualcomm Technologies, said Qualcomm is leveraging its processors and wireless technology for industrial drones that can replace people in dangerous environments. As an example, he cited monitoring the Alaskan Pipeline.

“During the winter, nobody wants to be there. But an aircraft that can fly along…can do a better job looking for a leak than a human can.”

Over time, he said, robots will become commonplace. “If you can afford a car, you’ll probably have some service robots in your house,” he said.

Read more…

Rubio’s Acquires Eight Lime Fresh

Mexican Grill Locations in Florida

A Lime Fresh Mexican Grill in Miami.

A Lime Fresh Mexican Grill in Miami.

San Diego-based Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. is purchasing eight Lime Fresh Mexican Grill locations in Florida from Ruby Tuesday Inc. for $6.3 million.

The casual dining chain also said it is immediately closing its 11 remaining corporate-owned Lime Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants.

Rubios will convert the locations to new Rubio’s Coastal Grill restaurants, marking the company’s first expansion to the East Coast.

Ranked as the No. 1 Mexican food chain in the United States by Consumer Reports, Rubio’s Coastal Grill is known for pioneering the fish taco and for its coastal cuisine.

Located in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg and Orlando, the new restaurants are scheduled to open in spring 2016.

With the addition of the Florida market, Rubio’s Coastal Grill will own and operate more than 200 restaurants from coast to coast.


The event will address the challenges of drones

The event will address the challenges of drones

Drones and Their Impact on the Business Community

‘Perils, Pitfalls and Promises’

Corporate Directors Forum will hold a Nov. 19 program on drones and the related “perils, pitfalls and promises” the technology brings to the world of business.

The event will be helmed by drone experts Gregory S. McNeal and William O’Connor. McNeal is founder of drone safety website AirMap, an associate professor of law and public policy at Pepperdine University. O’Connor, a Morrison & Foerster partner in charge of the law firm’s UAS/Drones Group, focuses on litigation stemming from aviation accidents and product liability issues.

The event will address the challenges of drones: how to wisely move forward, taking advantage of this immense opportunity, while side-stepping the inevitable unintended consequences. Attendees will have the opportunity to delve into topics such as citizens’ rights, emerging technology, data and film collection practices, accidents, surveillance and more.

“What seemed like distant science fiction just a few years ago is here today. We’re excited to have these thought leaders discuss this fascinating new technology and the implications that come along with it,” said Linda Sweeney, executive director of Corporate Directors Forum.

The event will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Tickets range from $60 to $80, including dinner-quality hors d’oeuvres, drinks and self-parking, and can be purchased online, by calling (858) 455-7930 or by emailing

North County Business Leaders

To Address ICT Innovation Luncheon

Five North County business leaders will address the complexities and current trends in their the fields of Information, Communications Technology and Energy Innovation during a Nov. 13 luncheon sponsored by the San Diego North Economic Development Council.

The Innovation to Market Annual Business Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the California Center for the Arts.

A panel will include Rick Baldridge, president and chief operating officer, ViaSat; David Bruemmer, chief executive officer, 5D Robotics; Terry Kraft, senior vice president, General Atomics; Teresa Macklin, information security officer, Cal State University San Marcos; and Phil Jordan, executive director, Economic Advancement Research Institute. Nels Jensen, editor in chief, San Diego Business Journal, will moderate the panel.

BioDuro LLC Merges with Formex LLC

BioDuro LLC, a life sciences company, announced the merger of its U.S. operations with drug development company Formex LLC, with a 44,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in San Diego.

Under the terms of the agreement, the combined companies will operate under the corporate structure of BioDuro LLC, headquartered in San Diego. California.  The formulation and manufacturing group at Formex will continue to operate in San Diego, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of BioDuro.

BioDuro’s global operations include a 100,000-square-footg facility in Beijing, focused largely on biosimilars, synthetic, medicinal and computational chemistry, and a 92,000-square-foot facility in Shanghai.

Journalists Cut Ties to Bali Hai

In Wake of Norovirus Outbreak

Times of San Diego

Refusing to apologize or make a refund, the Shelter Island restaurant hit with a major norovirus outbreak has been served notice: It won’t host a local journalism banquet again.

The San Diego Society of Professional Journalists, which saw more than 60 people sickened in late July, has decided to find a new venue after a decade at the Bali Hai.

“As county health inspectors determined this was a foodborne illness, I spoke with Bali Hai co-owner Larry Baumann by phone and sent him a letter, asking for a full refund,” chapter president Matt Hall said Wednesday in a blog post and email to members. Hall, of The San Diego Union-Tribune and one of the illness victims, said he stressed that the requested refund of $7,122 “would not satisfy any individual’s claim against the venue should any attendee who became sick file such a claim.”

But the club didn’t hear back by phone, email or letter, and Baumann didn’t return Hall’s followup phone call, he said in Wednesday’s note.

Baumann didn’t return a voice mail message Wednesday from Times of San Diego.

However, Hall said he received a voice message from the insurance carrier for Shelter Island Inc., representing the Bali Hai, “asking for a list of people who needed medical attention and had out-of-pocket medical expenses.”

Hall said he called back to collect more information and got only voicemail.

“He didn’t return the call,” Hall wrote.

As a result, he said, the club has ended its “longstanding relationship with the Bali Hai.”


Personnel Announcements

Luna Grill Appoints VP of Marketing

Nicole Abraham

Nicole Abraham

Luna Grill, a Mediterranean-style restaurant, has appointed industry veteran Nicole Abraham as the company’s vice president of marketing.

Abraham is a board member of the California Restaurant Association and comes to Luna Grill from the Ladeki Restaurant Group, where she served as both vice president of marketing and director of marketing for the 17-unit operator.

Prior to working with Ladeki, Abraham was director of marketing and brand development for Pat & Oscar’s Restaurants. She developed campaigns to build the company’s loyalty program as well as support new store openings and a complete re-branding program throughout the company’s 19 locations.

Luna Grill was founded by Sean and Maria Pourteymour.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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