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GE makes it clear plans to construct a new GE really don’t include Connecticut.

GE to Locate Large Tech Operations in Providence and Atlanta 

When GE began looking at other locations the company reportedly looked at Atlanta and Providence as potential locations before choosing Boston for its new headquarters.

Now the company has announced that it will open “research” facilities in both cities. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that GE will be placing its global Digital 

Operations Center in the Atlanta. Deal said that the new facility would bring 250 jobs to the city.

Chris Drumgoole, vice president and chief technology officer for GE told WGCL-TV that “GE is excited to leverage the top talent in Atlanta and the inclusive business environment across the state to deliver innovation through IT services and operations across GE.” The newly created jobs are expected to include positions in system administration and engineering, full-stack operations and engineering and service desk professionals.

Citing the creativity of Brown University, G has apparently overlooked the much larger and diverse southern Connecticut Universities student bodies in choosing Providence for a new GE Digital Division. Rhode Island Democratic Governor said 

“They’re going to start with 100 jobs and move to several hundred jobs in the years to come, all high-wage, high-skill, advanced economy jobs.”

 GE Digital spokeswoman Amy Sarosiek said one of the chief reasons for the move is to tap into the talent at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, adding “its really about talent.”

shovelNEW HAVEN: Backed by $16 million of private investment and an $8 million investment by the state a tech center development in the old Connecticut Transit building at 470 James Street, took another step forward with a groundbreaking in early June. The site was heavily polluted by years as the bus hub which closed in 2010, the state failed at finding a developer in 2012 and has now remediated the site.

subseaimageTech Start-Up Runs Afoul of Grant Process From National Science Foundation

MASNFIELD: Founded by researchers from UConn, Aquatic Sensor Network Technology [AquaSeNT] is a “marine sensor and communication” technology company and was recognized as a Connecticut Technology CouncilTech Company to Watch” in 2010 and 2011.

The company and five of its employees  [three UConn faculty] entered into a settlement in May with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut and the National Science Foundation [NSF].  

While the company had to pay $400,000 to the government as part of the civil settlement, officials denied the government’s allegations and did not admit guilt, nor did the government retract their claims that the company misused federal grant funds and misrepresented itself on applications for funding. 


ROCKY HILL — Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state’s quasi-public technology-investment arm, has announced that Bio-Techne, a Minnesota company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of biotechnology products and clinical calibrators and controls, had completed its acquisition of a CII portfolio company, Wallingford-based CyVek.

Terms of the deal included a reported $60 million in cash as well as other financial considerations.

Since 2010 CII has invested approximately $2 million in CyVek and expects a return of approximately three times that amount.

“The investment in CyVek helped generate a return for Connecticut Innovations and create jobs — two things that are core to our mission,” said David Wurzer, CII’s executive vice president and chief investment officer. “CyVek’s primary operations will remain in Connecticut, which will have a positive economic impact on the state, and the return from this acquisition will allow CII to invest in other innovative companies.”

“The acquisition of a young startup company by a reputed worldwide industry leader like Bio-Techne is exciting, impressive and a testament to the value of what we have created,” said Per Hellsund, president and CEO of CyVek.

CyVek was founded in 2010 by Hellsund and Kevin Didden, who engaged team members from CyVera, a successful startup company that was sold to Illumina in 2005. In 2014, CyVek was the recipient of the Connecticut Business Champions award for innovation as well as the Frost & Sullivan award for innovation.

Serial entrepreneur Didden, who served as board chairman at CyVek, sits on the board of directors of CiDRA, and is the former chairman of CyVera. He has worked with CII since 1997. Together Didden and CII have attracted more than $200 million of out-of-state equity funding to Connecticut.

“Our long-standing relationship with Connecticut Innovations has helped to grow nearly 300 high-tech jobs in Connecticut and has generated healthy returns for our companies and for the state,” said Didden. “This is the fourth business we’ve built and sold with the assistance of CII and I look forward to continuing our relationship and serving as a resource for other Connecticut entrepreneurs.”

 STRATFORD — The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy have ordered 102 helicopters from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The Defense Department awarded $772 million for 41 UH-60M helicopters and 23 HH-60M helicopters for the Army, and $535.3 million for eight MH-60S helicopters and 29 MH-60R helicopters for the Navy.

The work will be performed in Stratford, where Sikorsky is headquartered.

The contract awards are a continuation of an overall $8.4 billion contract, according to a statement from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal's office.

The Navy had earlier planned to cancel the purchase of the 29 MH-60R helicopters next fiscal year, which elicited a protest from Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He argued it would hurt military readiness and would have resulted in a $250 million contract termination charge to the government, according to a statement.

 Datto is still the fastest-growing technology company in Connecticut.

The Norwalk-based data-backup and disaster-recovery provider was named the overall winner of the Marcum Tech Top 40 for the second consecutive year. The annual event honors the 40 fastest growing technology companies in the state, narrowing down winners in six categories: Software, New Media/Internet/Telecom, Life Sciences, Energy/Environmental Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing and IT Services.

Datto was the overall winner as well as the winner in the IT Services category, posting overall revenue growth of 1,436 percent since 2010.

Middlebury-based global payment service iSend, which allows people living or working abroad to send bill payments and gift cards to family members back home, took top honors in the New Media/Internet/Telecom category, also for the second year in a row, with 675 percent revenue growth over four years.

Other winners included Revolution Lighting Technologies (Stamford, Advanced Manufacturing), FuelCell Energy (Danbury, Energy/Environmental), Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Cheshire, Life Sciences), and Square 9 Softworks (New Haven, Software), which beat out 13 other companies in the running with 448 percent four-year revenue growth.

For consideration for the Marcum Tech Top 40, companies must have at least $3 million in annual revenue and demonstrate growth over the previous four years. The Top 40 is a joint effort from the Connecticut Technology Council and investment firm Marcum, LLP.

Other area companies that made the Top 40 include: APS Technology (Advanced Manufacturing, Wallingford), Proton OnSite (Energy/Environmental, Wallingford), Cervalis (IT Services, Shelton), Bio-Med Devices (Life Sciences, Guilford), HealthPlanOne (New Media, Shelton), Reality Interactive (New Media, Middletown), Clarity Software Solutions (Software, Madison), Core Informatics (Software, Branford), Fitlinxx (Software, Shelton), Higher One (Software, New Haven) and Tangoe (Software, Orange).

 HAMDEN — A Quinnipiac University professor has been honored for a paper of her own.

Computer information systems professor Wendy Ceccucci shared a win for “Best Conference Pedagogy Paper” at the International Association for Computer Information Systems conference in October, for a research paper co-written with professors from James Madison University, Merrimack College, Penn State and Appalachian State universities.

The paper, “Does Personality Play a Role In Computer Information Systems Course Performance?” measured the possible influence of Jungian personality traits as a factor in student success in computer information systems courses. Of the Meyers-Briggs personality types — extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving — the researchers found that thinking-type students performed better than the feeling types, and judging-type personalities did better than perceivers.

The paper was co-written by S.E. Kruck (JMU), Patricia Sendall (Merrimack), Alan Peslak (Penn State) and Scott Hunsinger (Appalachian State). Ceccucci has been on the Quinnipiac faculty since 1995.

 WEST HAVEN — The University of New Haven is partnering with San Francisco-based Galvanize for an accredited master’s degree program in data science.

Galvanize has a series of innovation co-working/educational campuses in Colorado and San Francisco. The one-year Master of Engineering in Big Data program will launch in January 2015 in San Francisco, and is now accepting applications via GalvanizeU.com.

Galvanize has previously offered a six-month learn-to-code program, but the accelerated master’s program, developed over the past two years, will give students access to skills, mentors and employers in the data science field.

Students will have to complete 30 credit hours covering statistics, machine learning, computer science, practical coding abilities and real-world projects. The course is targeting recent graduates in engineering, mathematics, computers science and other technical fields, and is also open to those looking to expand their skill sets.

The courses will be delivered in San Francisco by faculty appointed by UNH. The university will be granting the master’s degrees.

 BRANFORD — Connecticut’s bioscience industry has a new player.

A new genomics research facility of the New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is setting up shop in Branford, projecting to create 142 new jobs over the next five years.

The state of Connecticut is supporting Icahn’s 16,500-square-foot facility with a $9.5 million loan administered by the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). That loan could be forgiven by up to $7.25 million if the company hits its job-creation target.

The Branford facility will continue DNA testing, research and clinical tests for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Genomic medicine analyzes sequencing of individual DNA, RNA, blood, tumor and other samples to more accurately define a patient’s condition, leading to more specific and presumably more helpful treatments.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was founded in New York City in 1963.

 NORWALK — According to the gods of Google, Norwalk is Connecticut’s “digital capital.”

The city won the 2014 eCities Award from Google, given to the “strongest online business community” in each state, where businesses are using the Internet to grow and improve local economies.

The online portal for the searching of land deeds and public records at the Norwalk Town Clerk’s office was one of the main reasons the city was chosen as an innovative and technologically advanced capital.

Google partnered with independent research firm Ipsos MORI to analyze the online strength of small businesses in cities nationwide, conferring eCity status on those with the highest scores. Ipsos used population size and AdWords data to narrow down the top five cities in each state before measuring the online presences of small and mid-sized companies in each area.

 BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s online presence has gotten a facelift, with a newly re-designed website at brbc.org as part of a marketing campaign highlighting the region’s business community.

The new site features modern design with links to information for members, networking opportunities and resources. New features include a Member Spotlight Video section, currently showcasing three companies (Two Roads Brewing of Stratford, Bridgeport’s Schwerdtle Stamp Co. and the Trumbull Marriott).

The site was designed by Trumbull firm Website Republic, working in conjunction with members of the Business Council’s marketing committee.