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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


December 5, 2014

San Diego’s tech community was celebrated on Thursday at CONNECT’s 27th Most Innovative New Products awards. Eight awards were given to outstanding companies representing the best of our innovation economy. Two individuals were honored with the newly renamed Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award.

The winner in the Aerospace and Security Technologies category was CyberFlow Analytics for FlowScape. FlowScape continuously analyzes billions of unstructured application and network traffic flows and applies machine learning algorithms to provide real-time actionable intelligence for anomalous behavior.

In the Communications and IT category the winner was Cubic for its NextBus Fleet Management Application, a modular, mobile gateway for connecting passengers and public transit managers to valuable real-time travel and operations information.

The award for Diagnostics and Research Tools went to Organovo’s exVive3D Liver model – functional 3D liver tissue constructs consisting of multiple primary human cell types which are found in native human liver. Organovo uses proprietary 3D bioprinting technology intended to improve preclinical drug discovery programs.

RockMyRun developed by Rock My World took the award in the Mobile Apps category. The app takes biometric data from smartphones and fitness wearable devices and then adjusts the music you’re listening to so that it matches your body, leading to increased enjoyment and improvement in performance.

In the Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Devices category Topera won for the topera 3d electrophysiologic mapping system which identifies the mechanisms that sustain atrial fibrillation in arrhythmia patients. By helping physicians visualize and localize these precise sources the topera system provides essential information for better patient outcomes.

CloudBeds won in the Software category. CloudBeds is an operating system for hotels where properties can manage their operations easily through online tools and distribute real-time room inventory to consumers and travel agents worldwide. This increases a property’s revenue while lowering its costs using learning algorithms that optimize a property’s room prices, availability and back-office tasks.

Pictured: Electrozyme's sensor

The Sports and Active Lifestyle Technologies award was claimed by Electrozyme (pictured) for the world’s first personal hydration monitor capable of assessing fluid and electrolyte loss in a non-invasive, real-time fashion. The wearable product indicates when it is time to rehydrate and also how much and with what to rehydrate.

The Solatube SkyVault Series won the Sustainability award. It employs advanced optics to deliver maximum daylight with minimal heat gain in large spaces with high, open ceilings. Modular components let designers spread light evenly, enhance light capture or control focus with one system.

The Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Life Science Innovation was given to Denny Sanford. Sanford’s philanthropic support for San Diego’s life science research community, particularly in the area of regenerative medicine, has enabled San Diego to become a worldwide leader in stem cell research and clinical development. Malin Burnham accepted the award on Sanford’s behalf and spoke eloquently about his friend and colleague and how he “puts his money where his mind is.”

The Duane Roth Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation was given to Robert Sullivan, dean of UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management. Although Sullivan was unaware that he was receiving the award he quickly reacted with graciousness and praise for the San Diego community and its steadfast support for the development of a world-class business school. Bloomberg Businessweek recently ranked the Rady School first in the United States in Intellectual Capital, which is a quality measure of faculty research.

More than 600 people gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the 25 finalist companies and congratulate the winners.

August 8, 2013
 Some have asked us to issue a formal statement on behalf of EDC celebrating the life of our dear friend Duane Roth. We believe that CONNECT, BIOCOM and others have already done so quite beautifully. So in a less formal fashion, I would like to share the following thoughts and reflections...
To try to write down what Duane Roth meant to San Diego Regional EDC, and our entire binational economic development community, is next to impossible. 
As most of you know, Duane was a longtime board member. He was our past chair. He was our partner on countless projects and our constant supporter behind the scenes. He was an incredible thinker. He was a visionary in the truest sense of the word. He was our motivator, our agitator and our confidant. But above all, he was our friend.
For me personally, having the opportunity to work so closely with Duane for the past 19 months has turned out to be a greater blessing than I could have ever imagined. Looking back, it seems as if Duane and I were doing something together just about every day.
We spoke on countless panels together--telling the story of our traded economies. We worked to create a collaborative economic development agenda for our organizations and our region. We planned meetings together. We supported each other's grant writing and fundraising efforts. We traveled together and lobbied together. And along the way, we spent a lot of time talking about our work, our economy and our community.
Duane changed the way we think and talk about San Diego. His personality and professional will made us bigger, stronger and better. He believed we were great and he made sure the world knew that. He used his influence to open doors, his intellect to create opportunities and his determination to earn broad-reaching respect and admiration. 
Duane always went about everything he did with a sense of importance and urgency. At times, none of us could move fast enough for him. In hindsight, it's almost as if he knew that he had very little time to waste. 
Like many, I will spend the days ahead thinking about what role I can play in carrying on his legacy. I will take the messages that I have heard him share with so many and ensure that I continue to share them with everyone I can. I will do my very best to see through the projects we started together and I will constantly try to do for others what Duane did for me. 
On Saturday, when I first learned that Duane had passed away, I immediately thought of a quote from John Steinbeck that I have always loved. It reads:
"It is so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone." 
As dark as it may seem today, I can't help but think of how lucky we all are for having shared this remarkable light.
I will never forget Duane.  I will never forget what he shared with me and what he taught me. And in saying goodbye, I can only think of the words of the Irish Blessing I learned as a child: "...until we meet again, may God always hold you in the palm of His hand."
With deep sorrow and enduring hope, 
April 8, 2013

As an inveterate reader of the New York Times (online 24/6 and thick, wonderful print copy on Sunday) I was thrilled when I saw the Travel section was going to highlight San Diego in one of their “36 Hours in …” profiles.

Imagine my dismay when from the very first sentence I felt like the writer was describing a bad cartoon, poorly illustrated and lacking a solid punch line. Why should this matter to an economic development professional? Because not only is San Diego's convention and visitor industry the third largest industry in San Diego, it is also one of the ways we attract talent.  As one of the top 10 visitor and meeting destinations in the U.S., with more than 30 million visitors a year, it is no surprise that many of San Diego's knowledge workers first visited the region as a tourist or convention delegate.

So you can imagine that sentences that start with “If San Diego has an identity at all…” and a comparison to the movie Pleasantville (where two teens are sucked into their television into a black and white 1950's world which they slowly transform into color) would set a local’s teeth on edge.

I’d love to hear from the biotech entrepreneurs and the wireless communications wizards if that’s how they saw San Diego when They Came Here. And by the way, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which is mentioned in the article, is across the street from some of the most advanced medical research facilities in the world. Believe me, the researchers love running the beach and the trails at lunch – year round.

Set aside for the moment whether the characterization is true or not (it’s not) and think about whether this kind of description would make you want to visit any location. Even Sioux Falls, South Dakota would want to be described in a more flattering way.

San Diego’s tech community has a reputation as open and welcoming and that’s one reason we’re successful at attracting the best and the brightest to work in our diverse technology clusters that range from defense to sports innovation, life sciences and clean tech.

Maybe it’s part of the California culture but it’s more than just “easy, breezy Southern California casualness.”

December 10, 2012

Jeff Harris of TrellisWare Technologies shows off his Cheetah CUB Mobile Ad Hoc Networking unit. (Photo courtesy of CONNECT)

CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Products Awards celebrated 25 years of well-deserved recognition for San Diego companies on Friday. MIP has survived numerous economic cycles including the juggernaut and the great recession. Throughout its long run, the awards have remained relevant and fresh; changing with the times (and technology) and still coveted by companies big and small. In future posts, Big Picture San Diego will profile the winning companies listed below and also some of the finalist companies that are also very watchable.

The winners this year:

Action and Sport Technologies: PEAR Sports for PEAR Square One
PEAR Square One acts as a personal trainer, delivering real-time coaching and feedback while users listen to music. Users can then view results, track progress, and share performance with friends post-workout.

Aerospace and Security Technologies: Cubic Defense Application for DCID-TALON
DCID (Dismounted Combat Identification) is a rifle-mounted laser system that allows users to instantly identify their friends in the fog of war, using a technology that modulates reflected laser energy with a secure "Friend" code when interrogated.

Clean Technology: Atlantis Technologies for RDI desalination system
The Radial Deionizing super capacitor technology platform (RDI) system can desalinate industrial waste water from oil, gas, and mining operations for 40 – 70 percent less cost than state-of-the-art technologies.

Communications & IT: TrellisWare Technologies for Cheetah CUB
TrellisWare's TW-400 'CUB' unit is the world's smallest and most capable Tactical Mobile Ad-Hoc Network (T-MANET) product – an all-in-one transmitter/receiver/relay offering multi-channel push to talk voice, IP data and streaming video services, and position location services.

Hardware and General Technology: Logic PD for DM3730 Torpedo + Wireless System on Module (SOM)
The ultra-compact DM3730 Torpedo + Wireless SOM is an ideal off-the-shelf solution for applications in markets where network connectivity is required and space is at a premium, including point-of-care medical products to handheld communication devices.

Life Sciences — Diagnostics and Research Tools: Life Technologies for Ion Proton Sequencer
The Ion Proton™ System is a high-throughput bench-top sequencing system that will enable the $1000 genome. The system utilizes semiconductor technology to sequence DNA and RNA bases in a massively paralleled manner.

Life Sciences — Medical Products: Amylin Pharmaceuticals for BYDUREON®
BYDUREON® is the first once-weekly medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. Biodegradable microspheres provide controlled release of the medicine into the body throughout the week, working whenever blood sugar levels are elevated.

Software: Independa, Inc. for Independa Integrated CloudCare
The CloudCare platform for caregivers enables the elderly to continue living at the residence of their choice longer, more safely and more comfortably. Independa’s "Senior TV," enabling critical yet easy to use care management through the viewer's TV.

Mobile Apps: LIA: Liberated Intelligence for LIA
LIA is an enterprise mobile sales enablement platform. Its innovation utilizes a combination of cloud computing power, mobile device capability, and proprietary sales enablement software to replace outdated legacy tools.

Congratulations to the 2012 Most Innovative New Products Awards winners!