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.
ORANGE — Software provider Tangoe recently acquired privately held company ProfitLine Inc., a global provider of telecom expense-management services, for $23.5 million.
ProfitLine software is used by corporations and agencies to monitor and manage fixed and mobile telecom expenses to aid in cost control efforts. ProfitLine software is used in industries such as retail, financial, health care, automotive, energy/utilities, manufacturing, technology, travel and government.
Tangoe said it expected ProfitLine to contribute some $500,000 revenue during the fourth quarter of 2011, but predicts it will bring in between $14 million and $15 million during 2012.
PUTNAM — Camera-systems designer RemoteReality has found itself with a $1 million investment from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) and a brand new headquarters in Putnam. The company relocated from Westborough, Mass.
RemoteReality makes ultra-wide-angle camera systems for military, homeland-security and commercial applications. Its core business is with the military, selling 360-degree systems to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company has received more than $10 million in contracts from the department to date.
The cameras and video systems are used by crews in combat vehicles, Navy surface warships and submarines, and robotics operators. The devices can cover a 360-degree scene with no moving parts. The company holds five patents, as well as one patent pending, and holds exclusive worldwide patent licenses from Columbia University.
Investments director Dan Wagner will represent CII on RemoteReality’s board of directors.
STAMFORD — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) finds itself champion in another arena — the 2011 Mashable Awards — which bestowed on the wrestling empire the honors of “Digital Company of the Year,” and “Must-Follow Brand on Social Media.”
Mashable is an independent technology news source headquartered in New York City. WWE also earned four other awards for “Must-Follow” actor and athlete on social media, Game of the Year (THQ’s “WWE ‘12”), and Best Social Good Cause Campaign.
The Mashable Awards is a community-nominated voting program that honors the year’s best in Mashable’s core content areas of social media, technology, business and entertainment.
NEW HAVEN — Techie high school students will have a chance to delve into creating their own apps and learn programming skills when the iD Programming Academy camp comes to Yale University next summer.
Open to teenagers ages 13 to 18, the two-week overnight camp provides instruction on computer programming and application development. The camp has taken place on various university campuses across the country and comes to Yale for the first time in 2012.
“Our goal is to take a student’s hobby or passion and show them how they can do much more with it, and how they can even turn it into a career,” says Karen Thurm Safran, iD Tech Camps’ vice president of marketing and business development.
While there is an introductory programming course being offered, the five courses do require attendees to have some knowledge and experience in programming to get the most from the sessions.
A particular focus is on app development, with courses dedicated to iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Safran says there has been a boom in younger people developing their own apps, which has led to an increased demand in the camps. She adds that previous attendees have developed various gaming and media apps, sometimes earning a good amount of money from sales. One student, she says, developed a math program that was adopted into his school’s curriculum, while another went on to mentor other programming students in his school.
“It’s amazing what they’ve done,” she says.
Other courses include robotics engineering and coding, as well as instruction in Java. There are two two-week camp sessions that run from July 8–20, and July 22–August 3. More info can be found at internaldrive.com/programming
NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Board of Education will enlist the services of New York City-based Enertiv Inc. to monitor electricity usage at the Ross Woodward School.
Enertiv’s partnership company, AFB Construction Management, will be responsible for construction, facilities and energy management for the school system, and will use Enertiv’s data and Web-based software to manage and reduce electricity usage at the school.
AFB president and CEO Al Barbarotta says the Woodward school — located on Barnes Avenue off Foxon Boulevard — uses the most energy in the school system, and Enertiv’s monitoring software will allow for monitoring levels of every circuit in the building.
“The whole focus is on reducing consumption,” Barbarotta says. “We can’t control the price of gas and oil, but we can control how much energy we use. At Ross Woodward, we use an excessive amount, and we’re going to determine why that is.”
The system will be able to tell how much energy every appliance costs to run, and from there AFB can determine measures to regulate run times, especially for items like milk coolers, which Barbarotta says run around the clock, despite the fact that the schools get fresh milk deliveries every day.
AFB has been managing the school system’s energy consumption for the past four years, already reducing consumption by 17 million kilowatt hours in that time — a savings of $5 million.
“This is a new approach,” Barbarotta says. “Before we were looking at global things — parking lot lights, hallway lights — but now we’re getting down to every circuit. We can see what it costs to run everything in the school.”
Barbarotta hopes that data collected at Woodward can be applied to the remaining city schools to reduce energy consumption district-wide.
The Enertiv system will be up and running in about six weeks, and will be used to monitor the Woodward school for about six months, so conditions can be monitored across different seasons.
NORTH HAVEN — Healthcare products supplier Covidien will acquire Barrx Medical for $325 million to expand with new products into broader markets.
Barrx develops bipolar radiofrequency (RF) ablation devices for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus syndrome, a precancerous condition of the esophageal lining, often the result of gastro esophageal reflux disease, which can lead to adenocarcinoma, a cancer with a less than 15 percent five-year survival rate.
The acquisition of Barrx stock is expected to close by January 31. Covidien reports it does not expect an impact on its fiscal 2012 figures. The company will report the Barrx Medical business as part of its Energy product line in its Medical Devices segment.
SHELTON — Solar company Opel Technologies has secured a $5 million line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank in Newton, Mass.
A statement from the company, which has offices in Shelton and in Toronto, Canada, explains that the credit will be used to fund U.S. and foreign receivables. Silicon Valley Bank is geared toward technology and science enterprisses, as well as those in venture capital and private equity.
Opel is a manufacturer of high concentration photovoltaic solar panels and solar tracker systems for commercial, industrial and military applications. It currently has 35 patents issued and 12 pending.