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Daily Business Report-March 3, 2016

Daily Business Report-March 3, 2016

Chemist Toyoki Kunitake is this year’s Kyoto Prize Laureate in advanced technology. (Photo: Kyushu University)

SDSU to Host Kyoto Prize Winner

Times of San Diego

Pioneering chemist Toyoki Kunitake will come to San Diego on March 16 as part of the three-part Kyoto Prize Symposium hosted jointly by San Diego State University, UC San Diego, University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene. He will speak at SDSU at 10 a.m.

Kunitake received the 2015 Kyoto Prize — Japan’s highest private award for global achievement — in the area of “Advanced Technology.” He established molecular self-assembly as one of the key concepts in the field of chemistry, which opened new frontiers in the materials sciences.

Kunitake was the first in the world to discover that synthetic molecules could spontaneously produce bilayer membranes — a basic structure common to the biological membranes of living cells. The practical implications of his work cover an array of potential uses ranging from drug delivery systems to membranes for desalinization plants and improving the efficiency of fuel cells. Today, scientists around the globe are conducting research based on his groundbreaking discoveries.

SDSU has arranged for high school students — many from underserved areas of the region — to attend the symposium with the goal of introducing them to the university and the idea of pursuing a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

In addition to Kunitake, this year’s Kyoto Prize laureates include:

• In “Arts and Philosophy,” John Neumeier, a world-renowned choreographer, has combined traditional ballet techniques and vocabulary through bodily expression and human psychology. Neumeier will present at the USD on March 17 at 10:30 a.m.

• In “Basic Sciences,” Michel Mayor, a world-renowned astrophysicist, honored for his discovery of the first extrasolar planet orbiting a Sun-like star. Mayor will speak at the UCSD on March 16 at 3:30 p.m.



25,000 Expected at Free Science Festival

Times of San Diego

Some 25,000 science lovers are expected to converge on Petco Park Saturday for the annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.

From Star Wars to steampunk, the expo features hands-on exhibits, presentations and activities provided by 130 local businesses, corporations, and organizations from all parts of Southern California.

The event is aimed at future scientists from kindergarten to 12th grade to stimulate their interest in science, technology, engineering and math — the STEM disciplines.

The free event takes place on Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego.

It kicks off ten-day educational experience at schools and universities across San Diego County.

Presented by gene-sequencing innovator Illumina, the festival is a program of the BIOCOM Institute in partnership with UC San Diego, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego County Office of Education.


The USS Essex is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

The USS Essex is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

NASSCO Wins $157 Million

Contract to Upgrade USS Essex

General Dynamics NASSCO has won a $156.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy to upgrade the USS Essex, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

The company will provide planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications for the modernization and development of the ship’s military and technical competence.

Work is scheduled to be complete by Jun 2017 and will be performed at NASSCO’s shipyard in Barrio Logan.

USS Essex is the second model in the Wasp class of multi-use amphibious assault ships. It is designed to carry a full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, the Harrier II Jump Jets, the Air Cushion Landing Craft and several other landing craft and amphibious vehicles.


Supervisors Approve Permanent

Fee-Deferral Program for Builders

County Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to permanently let local builders and businesses delay paying traffic, park, sewer and drainage fees until their projects are finished — to boost building and the local economy.

Supervisors approved a two-year fee-deferral program in 2009 to give the local building industry, slowed dramatically by the Great Recession, a helping hand. Two-year extensions were approved in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Wednesday’s action makes the program permanent.

“This is an important program for the local economy,” said Supervisor Bill Horn, “and its permanence will allow for the continued positive impact on the construction business.”

The fee deferral applies to builders of residential tract developments and commercial projects and is a voluntary program.

County Planning and Development Services staff reported that builders have been allowed to delay paying $5.66 million in fees since the program started in April 2009.


OpTerra Energy Services

Enters San Diego Market

OpTerra Energy Services, an Oakland-based energy services company, has opened a new office in San Diego to support the region’s growing sustainability needs in both the private and public sector.

OpTerra was recently acquired by global energy player ENGIE, headquartered in Paris, France. ENGIE, which operates in the U.S. through its subsidiary GDF SUEZ, is an operator in electricity, natural gas and energy services. The new OpTerra branch will be located at 201 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite 480 in Solana Beach.

OpTerra works with private- and public-sector facilities to reduce energy consumption and energy cost, enabling customers to save money that can be redirected to address other priorities. The company works with customers in K-12, higher education, and local government institutions, as well as commercial and industrial entities in industries such as biotechnology, health care, hospitality, data centers, supermarkets, and more.

OpTerra has had projects with the San Dieguito Union High School District and the city of Solana Beach. A 2MW solar project was completed at SDUHSD with an anticipated energy savings of over $10 million for the district. OpTerra said it also reduced annual energy consumption for the city of Solana Beach by upgrading more than 500 streetlights to highly efficient LED lighting, installing a “cool roof” and a new HVAC system at City Hall — saving more than $40,000 in its first year alone.

Founded in 1822, ENGIE is present in 70 countries, employs over 150,000 people, and achieved revenues of $99.2 billion in 2014.


Wrike Software Company

Opens San Diego Office

Wrike, the Mountain View-based developer of enterprise work management software,  announced the opening of a new office in San Diego with plans to create 150 jobs over the next three years in sales and customer service.

Named as one of North America’s fastest growing companies by Deloitte in 2015, Wrike is recognized for its technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and rapid growth. The company provides innovative work management tools for digital work, including support for global and virtual teams. Wrike has millions of users and over 11,000 customers globally, including Hootsuite, AT&T, and

The city’s rich talent pool was a major factor for the company. Seth Shaw, Wrike’s chief revenue officer, says the San Diego office is a vital strategic asset to the company. “We’re thrilled to expand to San Diego and open this location as a launch pad for our growth here,” said Shaw. “We’ve been really impressed with the high caliber of talent in the region and the enthusiasm for growing professionally in a startup environment.”

Wrike officially opened its new office in La Jolla on Monday.


USD Receives 2nd Grant

To Prepare Phd Nurses

The University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science: Beyster Institute for Nursing Research is one of only 32 schools of nursing nationwide to receive a 2016 grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science selects one nursing student to receive this prestigious scholarship.

USD’s Beyster Institute for Nursing Research is partnering with Sharp Health Care in the Future of Nursing Scholars program.  Lindsey Ryan has been selected as the Robert Wood Johnson Scholar. She will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and her PhD studies this fall.

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates. Doing so will prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health, promote nurse-led science and discovery, and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses.


 Labor Task Force Cites 3 County

Businesses for Workplace Hazards

Three cabinet-making companies in San Diego County have been ordered to stop using unguarded saws that put employees at risk for serious injury, including amputation and lacerations. The order was made by Cal/OSHA inspectors on the Labor Enforcement Task Force.

Inspectors issued the safety stop orders on the unguarded table saws to M. Stanton Company and E&A Cabinets, both of San Ysidro, and Custom Carpentry Solutions of Chula Vista on Feb. 17 and 18. The employers must correct the hazardous conditions in order to put the machinery back into operation. The businesses may be cited for additional workplace safety violations once investigations are complete.

“Our focus is to protect workers and ensure that companies comply with labor and safety laws,” said task force chief Dominic Forrest. “We issue stop orders when we find hazards that require immediate action to prevent serious injury. Employers are further prohibited from continuing operations until they have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for all of their employees.”


San Diego Women's Week

San Diego Women’s Week

Women’s Week Fights Back

In its seventh year of bringing a message of empowerment to women in the region, San Diego Women’s Week features speaker Tanya Brown, a mental health advocate and author of 7 Sneaky Characters of Abuse to speak on Opening Day, March 14. Event organizers have also aligned with several local organizations who help battered women get back on track, and will be collecting like-new career wear to donate directly to victims of abuse. To learn more about the event or donating professional attire, visit

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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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