DANBURY — Power plant manufacturer FuelCell Energy Inc. was given a $3 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop ways to use its Direct Fuel Cell (DFC) technology to separate carbon dioxide from the emissions of its existing coal-fired power plants.
FuelCell Energy’s (FCE) carbonate fuel cell technology separates CO2 during the power generation process, and the separation technology has been seen as a viable method of cleaning up harmful emissions from factories and refineries.
The federally funded three-year project will involve design, cost analysis and long-term testing of a multi-kilowatt DFC stack. If tests show that 90 percent of the CO2 from coal-fired power plant emissions can be captured within cost estimates, a DFC installation may take place at an existing coal power plant.
Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are goals, since coal is widely used all over the world as an energy source. DFC power plants emit few pollutants since they operate with no combustion.
FCE has more than 80 DFC clean power plants operational in more than 50 locations worldwide.
SHELTON — Medical transcription firm iMedX Inc. has acquired another transcription firm: Port Washington, N.Y.’s National Medical Transcription, LLC.
NMT focused on medical transcription systems as well, and its customers will be incorporated into iMedX, which says the buyout will expand its customer base in the mid-Atlantic region.
The company has acquired ten other companies in the medical transcription field since March 2008, the most recent being FORE Transcriptions USA Inc. in October 2010.
The recent buyout came before iMedX raised $950,000 in a recent equity funding round. It raised $2.5 million in January.
iMedX makes TurboScribe, TurboRecord, TurboRx and TurboFlow medical transcription software.
EAST HARTFORD — AdhereTx Corp., a startup medical informatics company, has relocated to the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology incubator, and secured $150,000 in financing from Connecticut Innovations Inc.’s (CII) Pre-Seed Fund.
AdhereTx exclusively licenses its technology from the University of Connecticut, and provides Web-based solutions for patient data collection and automated medication management in patients with chronic diseases. Its goal is to give medical examiners a more streamlined and comprehensive view of a patient’s history as well as to make things easier for the patients to track their medications.
CII’s $4 million Pre-Seed Fund supports the formation of new technology companies in Connecticut.
CII also awarded $150,000 to Canton’s iDevices, LLC, which makes devices that wirelessly connect to computers and mobile devices. Its lead product is iGrill, a cooking thermometer and app for Apple products, which allows users to monitor cooking temperatures on their iPods, iPhones or iPads from up to 200 feet away.
HARTFORD — A mobile phone app for the small talk-impaired was the winning idea at Startup Weekend Hartford in September.
The proposed app, SmallTalk, would give conversation starters to people at conferences and networking events by collecting information on attendees from their social networking profiles. The app would then be distributed to people before the event.
The winning team consisted of Eric Rogers of Hartford, Drew Evarts of West Hartford, Bristol’s Mike Szubka, Chris Czarnowski of Columbia, North Havener Ryan Rose and Igor Anisimov of Waterford.
Eighty entrepreneurs spent the weekend pitching ideas and then formed teams around the best of those to try turning them into startups. While hundreds of Startup Weekends have been held worldwide, this was the first to be held in Connecticut, and was sponsored by the MetroHartford Alliance’s Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs, and presented by Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas.
A Startup Weekend New Haven will take place November 11-13 at the Grove, 71 Orange Street.
STORRS — The University of Connecticut is implementing a new computer program to protect personal data on their networks from identity thieves.
The program, Identity Finder, is used by many universities to scan websites, file servers and networks to find unsecured data such as Social Security numbers and credit card information.
It will be installed throughout the university, and employees will be required to do so on their own computers.
MIDDLEFIELD — Zygo Corp. has been awarded a $9 million contract with the University of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the chip-making association Sematech.
The company, which supplies optical metrology instruments and optical systems, will develop extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography optics to be incorporated into the next generation Micro-Exposure Tool (MET-5) at CNSE’s NanoTech Complex.
The MET-5 program will aid researchers in extending semiconductor lithography resolution capability to less than 16 nanometers. Development and production will take place over 22 months at Zygo’s Extreme Precision Optics operation in Richmond, Calif.
UNCASVILLE — The Connecticut Technology Council will hold its 2011 IT Summit at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center on Saturday, November 29.
The event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature keynote addresses, topical discussions, presentations and networking opportunities.
Gene Alvarez, vice president of Gartner Research will provide a keynote address in the morning, while Chuck Pagano, executive vice president of technology at ESPN, will speak in the afternoon.
Morning and afternoon sessions will feature discussions on “Big Data,” social media, IT leadership, cloud application development, workplace technology and CIO leadership.
EAST HARTFORD — The Connecticut Technology Council seeks nominees for its Marcum Tech Top 40 awards program. To be eligible companies need to have been in business for at least four years and have minimum fourth-year revenues of at least $3 million. Forty companies will be presented in six technology verticals with one overall winner in each of six categories: software, IT Services, new media/Internet/telecom, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and energy/environmental technology (including green technologies). The 2011 Tech Top 40 Awards Gala & Technology Showcase will take place September 27 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. Visit ct.org for particulars.
New iPhone app matches ‘lazy’ with ‘unemployed’
AirRun, a new iPhone app that is described by its creator as “perfect for New Haven residents who are either lazy or unemployed,” launched last month with support for New Haven and other Connecticut cities.
The creation of an eponymous Chicago tech firm, AirRun is the first of a new generation of social media applications that enable peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce. The company compares it to Napster, allowed perfect strangers to exchange music online. That was a P2P music service. This is a P2P commerce service.
The idea is that if you want anything, you hop on your iPhone and place a request via AirRun. Maybe you want somebody to bring you a Snickers bar. Maybe you want somebody to come and mow your lawn. In addition to defining the task, you also note how much you are willing to pay for somebody to perform the service for you.
In AirRun parlance, you are a Seeker — a person who is seeking somebody to do something for them. Once your request is posted, anybody in your area who wants to do the job for the price you've offered can let you know that they are willing and ready to do it. Those folks are called Runners — they make money by running errands or doing similar chores.
It's all localized — a New Haven Seeker's jobs are seen only by New Haven Runners. The service uses the advanced geolocation features of the iPhone to facilitate local commerce between and among individuals. In the past, you needed to know somebody who you could call to do something for you. Now, you just put an AirRun request out and it magically happens as soon as you select a Runner.
The company touts the rather dizzying variety of person-to-person (P2P) ecommerce tasks that people have requested via AirRun. Some recent AirRun requests from around the country: “Get in line for me at the DMV”; “Beginners Ukulele Lesson”; “Help me get rid of snakes”; “Change grandma's diaper”; “Help Me Get a Date with Kobe Bryant”; and “Come to Our Office and Sing Happy Birthday to Kim.”
With the service just transitioning from an early beta program to being up and running in New Haven, the trick for AirRun now is to attract a critical mass of local Seekers and Runners.
By matching up lazy Seekers (some prefer to call themselves "efficient" or "time-constrained") with unemployed Runners, the founders believe they may kill two birds with one stone. “It's early days for P2P commerce,” says AirRun spokesperson Andrew Cross, “but there's huge potential for this new way of doing business and for AirRun's location-based community job hub.”
Learn more about the service at airrun.com.
STAMFORD — Institutional equity research, sales and trading firm MKM Partners has named Daniel Berenbaum as new executive director in its equity research department to cover semiconductor companies. He will be based in MKM’s Stamford headquarters.
Berenbaum has followed the semiconductor industry since 2006, having recently served as director of research at Auriga USA. He also has worked in technical and management roles at Applied Materials and spent five years as a nuclear power trained surface line officer for the U.S. Navy. He has published several technical papers and holds a U.S. patent.
SHELTON — Medical technology company Sectra will deliver its Web-based RIS (Radiology Information Systems) to Suffolk MRI of Smithtown, N.Y. to “increase efficiency and service to radiology patients and referrers.”
The RIS will be integrated in Suffolk’s existing Sectra PAC machines providing embedded voice recognition to speed up report turnaround time while reducing paper use and manual processes. The RIS will also bring online ordering and report access for referring physicians.
“[Sectra] spent a lot of time onsite learning how we do things, and determined that we can reduce our workflow steps from 48 to 20 by utilizing their RIS,” Suffolk chief technologist and PAC RIS administrator Frederick Severino said.
Sectra will also develop a bi-directional interface from its RIS to Suffolk MRI’s billing system, and it also will migrate seven years of data from the PAC machines into the RIS.