Daily Business Report-Oct. 3, 2017
Crops that rose and fell during 2016
San Diego County’s Agricultural
Crop Sees Growth After 2-Year Decline
After two years of decline, the production value of San Diego County’s agricultural crop grew to $1.75 billion, an increase of 2.63 percent from the previous year, according to the latest Crop Report, which covers the 2016 growing season.
Total production values were led, as they have been for the last decade, by ornamental trees and shrubs like crepe myrtles and bottle brushes, indoor plants like bromeliads and dracaenas, and garden flowers like marigolds and snapdragons.
Other highlights from the Crop Report:
- Avocados, the county’s best known crop, rallied in value even though the number of acres planted was the lowest in five years.
- Oranges appeared in the top 10 crops for the first time since 2008, while lemon and lime values declined.
- Eggs and tomato values continued to decline.
- Cactuses and succulents continued a two-year jump in production value, from roughly $43 million in 2014 to nearly $83 million in the new report.
The Crop Report is a yearly snapshot of an industry that has been an important staple of San Diego County’s total economy, but one that has faced challenges, including the state’s historic multi-year drought that ended in January, the cost of water, fires, freezes, pests and diseases.
Despite those challenges, total agriculture production values have grown more than they have fallen, increasing in six of the last 10 years, and by 19.4 percent from 2006 to 2016, from $1.46 billion to $1.746 billion.
In addition to releasing the 2016 Crop Report Monday, the county’s Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures released a new “multiplier” formula showing that the complete value of agriculture to the county’s economy in 2016 was $2.95 billion.
The multiplier included the roughly $1.75 billion in direct economic output from agricultural production, but also included indirect and induced “ripple” effects created by agriculture — how many jobs the industry created and how much money its businesses and employees spent into the broader economy.
General Atomics Acquires Syntronics
for Railgun Weapons System Testing
General Atomics announced Monday that it has acquired Virginia-based Syntronics LLC, a developer and manufacturer of custom electro-mechanical technologies including projectile and missile guidance systems, in-flight and ground based shock resistant instrumentation and related software technologies. All will become part of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group.
“We’ve worked with the Syntronics team for the past four years to develop the Guidance Electronics Unit and other ruggedized electronics for our railgun hypersonic projectiles,” said Scott Forney, president. “Their level of experience designing and manufacturing sophisticated electronics and telemetry packages that can withstand high G forces and environments has helped us make significant progress in advancing and testing our railgun weapon systems. We look forward to bringing the team on board to support our pursuit of conventionally-launched and railgun-launched hypervelocity projectiles. The technology also has applicability for missile systems.”
The acquisition expands the company’s presence in Virginia and establishes an office in the city of Fredericksburg, approximately 30 miles from Dahlgren, home of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and the Naval Directed Energy Office.
College District Hires Marine Corps Veteran
to Lead its Military Education Program
The San Diego Community College District has hired Marine Corps veteran and contracting expert Josh Pohribnak as director of its Military Education Program, which provides instruction for more than 7,000 service personnel at military bases in three states.
Pohribnak enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1998, starting his military career within supply administration and transitioned into contracting as a contract specialist and contracting officer. He served at Camp Pendleton, in Iraq and Okinawa, and at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia. Since May of 2012, Pohribnak has been a subcontracting team lead in San Diego for CACI International Inc., a multinational professional services and information technology defense contractor that works with the military, the Department of Homeland Security, intelligence agencies, and other arms of the federal government.
“I’m extremely ecstatic for this opportunity and I’m excited to start working to help the District expand its Military Education program,” said Pohribnak, a resident of San Ysidro.
Pohribnak’s expertise in military contracting is well suited for his new job, which includes coordinating all contract instruction with the military, managing contracts with multiple federal agencies and industry partners, acting as the chief negotiator on all military and government contracts, and collaborating with the military education and training community on contemporary educational opportunities for military personnel.
Northrop Grumman Kicks Off
National Manufacturing Day Celebrations
Northrop Grumman Corporation on Monday kicked off a week-long celebration across the company to recognize its thousands of manufacturing employees and highlight its advanced, innovative manufacturing capabilities. The celebrations lead up to National Manufacturing Day on Friday.
Northrop Grumman has extensive operations in San Diego, where it designs remotely piloted aircraft.
The National Association of Manufacturer’s (NAM) celebrates Manufacturing Day annually to inspire the next generation of manufacturing workers, educate communities about career opportunities and highlight the important impact of manufacturing on the U.S. economy. NAM’s theme for 2017 is, “Inspiring the next generation of manufacturers.”
“Manufacturing is an integral part of our ability to meet our customers’ challenges,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Northrop Grumman. “A strong manufacturing workforce is fundamental to the growth of the aerospace and defense industry, and to our nation’s economic prosperity.”
Northrop Grumman is one of more than 1,500 companies opening its doors for Manufacturing Day; hosting more than 75 events across 25 of its locations. Events held at these sites will include manufacturing employee competitions and celebrations, school and community tours and advanced manufacturing demonstrations.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, approximately two million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled because of the current skills gap. Northrop Grumman is addressing the manufacturing skills gap through numerous school and university partnerships across the country, designed to develop the next generation of manufacturers.
General Atomics Wins $163.2 Million
Contract for MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drone Work
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in Poway has been awarded a
$163.2 million modification contract from the Department of Defense for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle extended range supplemental production hardware. Work will be performed in Poway with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2020. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Awarded $44.8M
Contract to Continue Army System
The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman a potential $44.8 million contract modification to extend the ceiling value and period of performance under the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Integrated Battle Command System contract. The Defense Department said the company will continue support for the second phase of IBCS engineering and manufacturing effort through Feb. 28, 2018.
IBCS is a command-and-control system designed to help combatant commanders and air defenders obtain a single view of battlespace and make decisions. The Army obligated $20,420,000 at the time of modification award from the service branch’s fiscal 2016 and 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds. — ExecutiveBiz
Kryptowire and Qualcomm Team Gets
Department of Homeland Security Contract
Kryptowire and Qualcomm’s cybersecurity business have received a $1.8 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology directorate to demonstrate a framework that seeks to validate and protect third-party mobile applications and services. The team will test Qualcomm’s Mission-Critical-Grade Security Layer framework that employs the Snapdragon Mobile Security Platform with Kryptowire’s military-grade application security testing platform, Kryptowire said.
Qualcomm’s technologies business developed the hardware-anchored MCGSL approach in efforts to help reduce false positive security events and uncover advanced persistent threats in mobile devices.
Kryptowire CEO Angelos Stavrou said the framework is designed to extend application behavior, device health and user authentication monitoring methods from the Snapdragon platform to Kryptowire’s mobile security products.
Both companies seek to help DHS address sophisticated threats on commercial mobile devices through the project.
UC San Diego Launches
Online Tutoring Program
A UC San Diego professor has launched an online tutoring program providing personalized instruction to students on ACT, SAT, math and college preparation courses.
Founded by Jennifer Winward, Ph.D., a private tutor with more than 18 years of experience, Winward Academy incorporates research-based techniques that she says promote effective learning and build confidence for life.
“With other online learning programs, if you make a mistake, you don’t receive a meaningful explanation of what you did wrong. If you do, it’s a five-paragraph essay, and nobody wants to read that. They want to be shown,” Winward said. “For the first time, people can learn online and experience what it’s like to work with a private tutor, at a fraction of the cost.”
Winward Academy’s unique features maximize learning and retention. They include supportive feedback and step-by-step, video-based explanations on over 5,000 practice questions, a personalized Mistake Bank that saves users’ mistakes with hints they write to themselves, and handouts that accompany each video lesson. All promote student engagement and facilitate a more active learning process.
Costs range from a $24 fee for a single lesson to $499. Tutoring costs are shown on the Winward Academy website. Click here.
New Research Reveals Pathways
for Anti-Aging Therapies
Two new studies led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) could guide future therapies to improve health and lifespan. Together, the studies in animal models shed light on how reducing calorie intake directly influences lifespan by also reducing body temperature. Importantly, the researchers also identified a molecule that responds to lower body temperatures to regulate lifespan in fruit flies, giving scientists a target for future pharmaceuticals that may increase longevity.
“This exciting discovery demonstrated that the main biochemical pathway that regulates aging acts by lowering body temperature. ,” said TSRI Professor Bruno Conti, who led the first study.
New Master’s Degree Will Train
Professionals for Drug Development Career
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego now offers a Master of Science in Drug Development and Product Management. This is the pharmacy school’s first master’s degree program. The program is intended for experienced professionals to gain managerial and regulatory knowledge required to lead all aspects of the drug development process, from discovery to clinical application in managed markets.
The program is now accepting applications at ddpm.ucsd.edu. The deadline is March 14, 2018. The first class of 24 students will enter the program in Fall 2018.
New Cal State San Marcos Program
to Propel Students to Postgraduate Work
First-generation college students at Cal State San Marcos from underrepresented communities who are interested in pursuing graduate work will soon have numerous support services to help them reach their goal, thanks to a federal grant of more than $1 million.
The Department of Education grant, the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is named after the late physicist and astronaut Ronald Erwin McNair, who died during the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion on Jan. 28, 1986. Grants are awarded to colleges and universities to prepare undergraduates from low-income, first-generation, or other underrepresented communities for graduate school regardless of their field of study.
Zodiak Pool Systems Acquires
Outdoor Fire Pit Manufacturer
Vista-based Zodiak Pool Systems, a manufacturer of automatic pool cleaners, pool equipment and connected pool solutions, has acquired California-based Grand Effects and its portfolio of custom outdoor fire pits and water combination features.
Grand Effects specializes in fire and water features for pools and spas, working with pool builders seeking additions to their customers’ poolscapes. Grand Effects’ fire feature products include bowls, pits, tables and torches, while its water feature products include bowls, scuppers and plantiers.
“Grand Effects enhances our premium product offering to Zodiac customers and gives them added options to create an incredible backyard experience for pool owners,” said Troy Franzen, managing director at Zodiac. “It’s a great fit because our customers expect top-of-the-line innovative products, and that’s exactly what Grand Effects delivers.”
Kevin Doud, founder of Grand Effects, will remain with Zodiac as senior vice president of the Grand Effects business.
Mission Brewery Launches
Stock Purchase Program
In honor of its 10th anniversary, Mission Brewery has launched a stock purchase campaign through WeFunder, an online application platform that connects investors to publicly and privately held companies. The program gives the public the opportunity to purchase shares of Mission Brewery during a two-month window.
The WeFunder platform calculates how much unaccredited investors can invest annually based on net worth and income. If community members are eligible and decide to invest in Mission Brewery, they can select the green button “Invest” and sign the contract, all online. The minimum investment is $200 and the opportunity to invest is open online for two months only. Once the investment goal of $1 million is reached, the opportunity will be closed and hopeful investors will be put on a waiting list.