HARTFORD — Females working and studying in technology fields will be given their due by Connecticut’s technology community.
The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) announced 53 finalists for its eighth annual Women of Innovation Awards Program, which recognizes women in the state as innovators, role models and leaders in the science, engineering and technology fields. The awards include females in the workforce as well as students.
The 53 nominees are spread across eight categories, and were peer-nominated based on experience, innovation, creative thinking and problem solving, and leadership. Students were judged on inventiveness, accomplishments and academic achievement.
The 2012 nominees include those in industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, medical devices and information technology.
The Youth Innovation and Leadership category winner will receive a scholarship from Covidien Medical Devices, which has an office in North Haven.
Nominees include employees from Covidien; Mauro Sheridan Magnet School; Yale University; United Illuminating Company; Sikorsky Aircraft; Pratt & Whitney; Hopkins School; and Eli Whitney Museum.
The awards dinner will be held March 1 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, and a keynote address will be given by Alicia Abella of AT&T Labs. More information and a complete list of nominees can be found at ct.org.
ROCKY HILL — Connecticut is on the hunt for technology companies.
Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) will dole out $250 million over five years to recruit early-stage companies from other states while attracting outside investments to expand and bolster the state’s technology sector.
The plan is to give $50 million per year, half coming from CII, with the other half coming from the state. Gov. Dannell Malloy’s October 2011 jobs bill included $125 million in tech funding, which CII plans to match each year for the next five years both from its own reserves and from investment returns.
The new state funding includes:
• $4 million per year for CII’s pre-seed program for investing in new tech companies;
• $22 million annually for seed stage Series A investments to help entrepreneurs grow existing businesses;
• A $6.5 million annual loan program;
• $7 million per year for recruiting emerging tech companies nationally and internationally;
• $4 million per year to help state companies capture more Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds, and increase industry partnerships; and
• $4.8 million per year to: 1) establish three technology business accelerator hubs to provide support to startups; 2) launch a university-based proof-of-concept center; 3) create a corporate technology-transfer initiative.
NEW HAVEN — Antibiotics developer BioRelix Inc. has received a $500,000 investment from state technology authority Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII)
BioRelix is developing antibiotics using a new riboswitch drug discovery program (riboswitches are small bits of RNA that bind small molecules and control genes), which was first discovered in a Yale University laboratory.
The company’s most advanced project is creating an antibiotic to treat hospital-acquired infections, and is involved in research with a subsidiary of New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.
BioRelix has former Yale and Bayer Pharmaceuticals scientists working on the drugs, and the group has secured technology licenses for its work.
The CII investment was through its Eli Whitney Fund, and is part of a $4.24 million round of funding for the company.
NEW HAVEN — Local startup company Triplefy was spotlighted on Massachusetts High Tech’s weekly Startup Watch on January 17.
The Startup Watch highlights five companies each week, which are selected through the website’s online poll. Founded in 2011, Triplefy provides small businesses the means to offer eGift Cards.
Norwalk-based Smart Health & Fitness, which makes wireless health monitoring devices, was also listed.
ORANGE — Software developer Tangoe continued its streak of absorbing companies by acquiring Montreal-based Anomalous Networks, a designer of cloud-based Real-Time Telecom Expense Management (rTEM) software.
Anomalous creates rTEM software for smart phones, tablets and computers to help companies manage and predict costs and receipts. Tangoe creates Communications Lifecycle Management (CLM) software, which aims to handle the entire lifecycle of an enterprise’s communications.
The acquisition is expected to broaden Tangoe’s CLM coverage to include machine-to-machine communications, as well as expanding its expense-management capabilities, asset tracking and usage control to wireless devices.
The acquisition is not expected to impact 2012 revenue forecasts. Tangoe most recently acquired telecom expense management software maker ProfitLine in late 2011 for $23.5 million.
SHELTON — Medical software company Sectra has signed a multi-year deal with Nashville General Hospital at Meharry.
The Tennessee hospital enlisted the company’s software to automate workflow and increase efficiency.
Sectra creates Web-based RIS/PACS software for radiology, breast imaging and orthopaedics. The RIS/PACS systems also feature embedded speech recognition, and online image access will be used by medical staff to train students.
Sectra also will develop bi-directional interfaces from its RIS/PACS solutions to the hospital information, order management, billing, electronic medical record and lab systems, as well as a data migration of up to 170,000 patient records.
TOLLAND — Ubiquitous underwear and activewear maker Fruit of the Loom (FOTL) has picked the fruits of Gerber Technology — specifically the company’s YuniquePLM product lifecycle management software.
Fruit of the Loom will use the software to integrate its other divisions — Vanity Fair, Russell Athletic and Spalding — under one system to increase office efficiency, as well as “for the creation and communication of product tech packs,” according to a statement. FOTL already uses Gerber’s webPDM data management system.
The company employs nearly 34,000 people at 50 locations worldwide.
FARMINGTON — In return for $291 million in loans and grants from state taxpayers, Jackson Laboratory will share with the state a percentage of royalties from intellectual property it produces, according to the final agreement made public January 5.
The royalty-sharing agreement will be in addition to a promise by Bar Harbor, Me.-based Jackson Labs to create at least 300 jobs in Connecticut within ten years of the construction of its $1.1 billion personalized medicine laboratory at the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the finalized agreement during a bill signing to commemorate the deal, which was announced last year and approved by state lawmakers during the special jobs session in October.
Once the project is fully developed over 20 years, the institute is expected to employ 600 scientists and technicians in 250,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space.
In addition, as part of the public-private partnership, Jackson and the state have entered into an intellectual property (IP) sharing agreement that will give Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state's quasi public technology investment arm, ten percent of any net royalty proceeds from IP up to $3 million and 50 percent of any net royalty proceeds above $3 million starting in the tenth year and running for 15 years.
The biomedical research institution will also give preference to Connecticut residents when hiring if they meet job qualifications.
The total 20-year capital and research budget for the institute is projected to be $1.1 billion. The state is providing $291 million in forgivable loans and research grants, while the remaining funds will be raised by Jackson Labs through federal research grants, philanthropy and service income.
The facility is expected to support 6,800 permanent jobs.
Fall 2011 was quite the time to be a computer programmer or hacker in Connecticut, as two separate incidents made national news.
The most prominent case was that of 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart, a systems administrator in Torrington, who triggered a national concern over tech company Carrier IQ and its mobile phone software.
Eckhart posted a video to YouTube in late November — which has since gotten close to two million hits — in which he demonstrates Carrier IQ’s software on his HTC phone logging every keystroke, phone number, text message and Web search (even if the search was supposed to be encrypted). He also demonstrated that the software could not be turned off, and the logging of data took place even when the phone was in airplane mode.
He earned support from the Electronic Frontier Foundation advocacy group, and his revelation led to public scrutiny over Carrier IQ, including a letter sent to the company by U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), several civil lawsuits and multitudes of other YouTube videos from users sharing ways to get the software off their phones. Carrier IQ even sent a cease-and-desist letter to Eckhart, which it since retracted while giving him credit for calling attention to the issue.
“We…understand that Mr. Eckhart and other developers like him play an important role by raising questions about the complicated and technical aspects of the mobile ecosystem,” a company statement says.
The main concern is whether the data is being transmitted, stored and shared by Carrier IQ. The company has since issued several statements explaining that its software is used to collect diagnostic information, identify dropped calls and poor service, and to locate problems that affect battery performance.
Carrier IQ maintains that its software is not designed to record keystrokes, e-mail and SMS content, nor does it sell customer data to third parties. The company says the information shown being logged in Eckhart’s video was the result of debug software that was switched “on” on the handset being used.
Carrier IQ has made an 18-page document entitled “Understanding Carrier IQ Technology” available for download on its website.
Eckhart did not respond to calls for comment.
Another case involved Kevin George Poe, 24, of Manchester, an affiliate of the Anonymous hacking group, who was arrested by the FBI at the agency’s New Haven field office for waging a cyber attack against GeneSimmons.com, a website for Kiss bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons.
Poe conducted the denial-of-service attack along with members of the hacking group Anonymous over a five-day period in October 2010, using the program Low Orbit Ion Cannon to overload the site’s computer server, rendering it inaccessible.
Poe was released from custody on a $10,000 bond and ordered to appear in federal court in Los Angeles on an yet-to-be-determined date. He was charged with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. If convicted of both counts, he could face the maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.
NORTH HAVEN — A pair of medical technology companies each has received $150,000 in pre-seed funding from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII).
First is North Haven’s Queralt Inc., which develops cloud-based, real-time monitoring and management applications. The company is carrying out an asset tracking program for the New Haven public-schools system, and will install a system to monitor and control computers throughout the city’s schools.
The project will allow administrators to monitor conditions of wiring and servers, receive security updates, as well as receive information on the computers themselves.
Queralt’s CII financing will be used to hire new employees and develop business and technology strategies.
Norwalk-based mobile technology company MedAdherence likewise received $150,000 to invest in development, beta testing and attracting additional customers. MedAdherence is creating an automated communication system for physicians to monitor and remotely intervene with patients and ensure they stick to prescribed care plans.
The technology is geared toward patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma. The system can be implemented through the Internet, cell phones and text messaging.
MedAdherence has a partnership with Verizon Wireless.
SHELTON — Healthcare software and transcription company iMedX has acquired another medical transcription company, Houston-based Abacus Transcriptions Inc.
Abacus clients will have access to iMedX transcription technology through the Internet-based platform TurboScribe, as well as TurboRx, a standalone prescription program. iMedX president and CEO Venkat Sharma and the company’s current management team will lead the combined companies.
iMedX also acquired New York-based National Medical Transcription, LLC, in November.