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390 Emerging Technology Articles | Page: | Show All

Green data center at former Bucks County steel mill could create up to 1,100 jobs

On the banks of the Delaware River, a green data center is set to rise from the remains of an old steel mill. David Crocker, CEO of Steel Orca LLC, says that while demand for data centers is growing at about 18 percent per year, supply is growing at only 5 percent every year. With many older data centers becoming obsolete in the face of new technology and increased power requirements, Steel Orca's goal is to build the greenest data center in the world, powered entirely by renewable energy sources. "Three to five percent of all energy generated in the United States goes into data centers. You can appreciate that data centers have a responsibility to be as efficient as possible," says Crocker.

As power density increases, so do cooling requirements. Steel Orca's planned center near Fairless Hills in Bucks County will require 100 megawatts of power, with an ultimate goal of 300,000 square feet of 'white space,' the term coined to describe the area where the servers are located, with a total footprint of 730,000 square feet.

The data center is in now the planning stage. HP has signed on to lead the design and construction team, with help from GE, Gilbane Construction and Villanova University Professor Alphonso Ortega. Ideas in the works include a triple failsafe power system, river water as a cooling mechanism, solar panels and and wind turbine generation.

Crocker terms the future center "a source of technological renaissance in the Delaware Valley," eventually creating 1,100 jobs in Bucks County. Steel Orca has completed a first round of funding with more than 50 investors, and Crocker projects that the first phase of the center, with at least 50,000 square feet of white space, will go online in the second quarter of 2012.

Source: David Crocker, Steel Orca
Writer: Sue Spolan

Do you know where your drugs are? Exton's Absorption Systems has the answer

Maybe you take a couple of different prescription medications. If you don't now, chances are that as you get older, you will. And the interaction between drugs can be a wild card. That's where Absorption Systems rides in like a pharmaceutical cavalry. Based in Exton, the privately held company is a pioneer in the field of pharmacokinetics. As CEO Patrick Dentinger explains, there are two areas of preclinical drug research: pharmacodynamics, or what a drug does to your body, and pharmacokinetics, which is what your body does to the drug. The latter is Absorption Systems' specialty. "The FDA has gotten tougher in trying to understand what a drug does when it hits your body," says Dentinger. The company researches the path that singular and multiple meds take through the body.

In a series of buildings filled with lab coated technicians and millions of dollars of equipment, Absorption Systems is big pharma's first stop on the way to developing a drug that will eventually go to market, perhaps a decade down the line. Many compounds don't even make it out of the research phase, and Dentinger reports that most of the time, pharmaceutical clients do not share the purpose of the proposed drug, just the chemical compound.

Once a compound is submitted to Absorption System's lab, it goes through rigorous testing involving human tissue to simulate the interaction. Absorption Systems grows intestine, liver and skin cells, and out of a scene from the classic Woody Allen film Sleeper, the company has even used human noses (harvested from cadavers) to measure the way a molecule does or doesn't get into a body.

"The industry has changed in general," explains Dentinger, who describes formerly high walls of privacy surrounding pharmaceutical research crumbling in recent years with outsourcing to biotech startups and contract research organizations (CROs) like Absorption.

While Dentinger, whose sole partner is Ismael Hidalgo, does not disclose details of the privately held company's revenue, Absorption Systems is certainly growing, with over 200 customers and 115 employees, a satellite lab in San Diego and direct interaction with the FDA. The company hopes its future proprietary data collection technology can revolutionize the way all scientific research is documented and potentially create a spinoff company.

Source: Patrick Dentinger, Absorption Systems
Writer: Sue Spolan

Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel announce historic partnership

Sixteen tons of dinosaur bones. Let's start in a lab somewhere in the vast reaches of the Academy of Natural Sciences. Drexel University paleontology professor Kenneth Lacovara has been using the Academy's research facilities for over a decade.

The Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University have announced that they are joining forces. Pending approval of both boards, the Parkway stalwart will henceforth be known as The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Drexel will take over management of the Academy's $61 million endowment. It is an innovative strategy that could set a standard for institutional partnerships nationwide, says Gary Steuer, head of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy for the City of Philadelphia. Compared to its West Philadelphia neighbor Penn, Drexel has not had signature cultural facilities, adds Steuer.

In what Lacovara terms a win all around, leveraging scientific assets at both institutions, students and faculty at Drexel will have access to one of the greatest science collections, rated top-10 worldwide, and the museum will have access to Drexel's growing Media Arts and Design school to enhance exhibit design. Lacovara points to grad student Evan Boucher who digitally reconstructed and animated a 65 million year-old crocodile whose bones were discovered right across the Delaware in Sewell, N.J.

The Academy is "much more than a place for school trips," says Steuer, who views the Drexel/ANSP partnership as marrying a 19th century museum with forward thinking technological creativity.

Source: Ken Lacovara, PhD, Drexel University; Gary Steuer, City of Philadelphia
Writer: Sue Spolan

Lights, Camera, Ice Cream: Little Baby's rides into East Kensington

It's mobile punk rock ice cream with the cutest darn name. Little Baby's is pedaling into Philadelphia, courtesy of three guys who approach the creamery craft like a rousing cymbal crash. Little Baby's makes its debut on May 21, when the fledgling company rolls out its custom built multimedia tricycle at The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a fitting location for what is sure to be a steampunk delivery system complete with music, lights and an ingenious regulatory-compliant system that provides hot running water, created by local sculptor Jordan Griska.

Little Baby's flavor roster reads more like a set list for a show, with options that include Earl Grey Sriracha, Balsamic Banana and Cardamom Caramel. And that makes sense, since co-founders Pete Angevine, Martin Brown and Jeffrey Ziga are musicians and artists, not formally trained chefs.

"It's been mind over matter," says Angevine, who is also a drummer. "It's a strange, engaging, intriguing kind of fun."

Based in East Kensington, Little Baby's is already generating buzz, with articles in Zagat's, Meal Ticket and Thrillist. The fledgling outfit has a loose agreement with Pizza Brain, which will provide storage for Little Baby's full offering of twelve to fifteen flavors. At any given time, the Little Baby's trike will offer 6 of those flavors on a rotating basis. Little Baby's will also set up at private parties and events, tricycle optional. And Angevine reports that Green Aisle Grocery, on East Passyunk Avenue, will carry the frozen confection if you need your fix and the trike's not out and about. For up to the minute info on Little Baby's whereabouts, check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: Pete Angevine, Little Baby's Ice Cream
Writer: Sue Spolan

New Philly HQ for medical device firm Echo Therapeutics, hiring 25

Medical device company Echo Therapeutics has set up corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, and plans to hire 25 employees in the next year, according to CEO Patrick Mooney. The company is developing two devices, Prelude and Symphony, which offer a painless alternative to both blood glucose monitoring and drug delivery. The company has just announced the appointment of a CFO, creating a third member of the management team.

Life as a diabetic involves the sight of one's own blood, and a little bit of discomfort every time the needle pierces skin. Now imagine that part of the equation removed, replaced with a needle-free mechanism that can test blood sugar levels transdermally. Echo's Synmphony device gathers information transdermally and transmits it wirelessly.

"The tip looks like a little thimble, and there's a microprocessor inside the device that calculates the level of resistance. The thimble spins, removing dead skin. You don't feel anything, but it stops when it gets to live skin. Now you are literally on top of blood vessels and nerve endings, just microns away from live tissue," explains Mooney, a former surgeon who left medicine to work on Wall Street, and is now marrying his two career paths at the helm of the life sciences startup.

Echo's other device is a transdermal drug delivery system. The Prelude also takes advantage of that exact spot at the juncture of dead and live tissue to get drugs to the body without needles. Right now, the Prelude is being tested with lidocaine, a numbing agent, but the possibilities are vast.

The technology for the Prelude and Symphony was developed at MIT in Massachusetts by Dr. Bob Langer, and the manufacturing side of the business will remain in the Boston area. "I am from Philadelphia originally," says Pat Mooney of the corporate move to this area. "Philadelphia is in a great spot for biotech." Mooney calls the city a sweet spot for his pre-revenue company, citing the proximity of major pharmaceuticals, money managers in New York City, regulators in Washington, DC, and labs in Boston. Echo has just released its first quarter results, showing positive numbers across the board.

Source: Patrick Mooney, MD, Echo Therapeutics
Writer: Sue Spolan

Business leaders name area's top tech companies at PACT Enterprise Awards

It was like swimming in a sea of money. On May 4, The Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies hosted the 18th Annual Enterprise Awards. About a thousand business leaders and executives attended. Beginning with a VIP reception, the kudos flowed as easily as the cocktails, while down the hall a larger food and drink fest filled with tuxedo and evening gown clad representatives from Philadelphia's top law and finance firms, who networked with the area's best and brightest entrepreneurs and incubators.

Out of 27 nominees, these are the results: the Life Sciences Startup Company award went to CareKinesis, Philly's top Technology Startup Company of 2011 is Monetate, an eCommerce leader that runs websites for Urban Outfitters and QVC; the area's Emerging Life Sciences Company was NuPathe, which works on branded therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system; SevOne was named Emerging Technology Company, following a 2009 PACT award for Tech Startup, and this year's award for a MedTech Pioneering Company was sewn up by medical device provider Teleflex.

The award for MedTech Product Innovation went to Siemens Healthcare. The venerated Morgan Lewis attorney Stephen M. Goodman received the Legend Award for his many years assisting entrepreneurs; the IT Innovator Award of Excellence went to Lockheed Martin, Information Systems & Global Solutions Defense, based in Maryland but with offices in King of Prussia. The Investment Deal of the Year went to Safeguard Scientifics for the acquisition of Clarient Inc., formerly in Safeguard's portfolio, purchased by GE Healthcare for $144 million. "It was a spectacular dinner," says attorney Michael Heller, one of the evening's presenters and Chair of Business Law at Cozen O'Connor. "It was wonderful to see such a terrific turnout among the venture capital community. The region is more active today than it was a year ago, and there's more excitement in the air regarding the VC community."

PACT judges named James Walker of Octagon Research Solutions Technology CEO of the Year; Life Sciences Company of the Year was Health Advocate, and ICG Commerce beat out HTH Worldwide and Qlik Tech to win Technology Company of the Year.

Prior to the event, three CleanTech Companies to Watch were named: ElectroPetroleum, NovaThermal Energy, and Viridity Energy. Video of the entire event is available here.

Source: Michael Heller, Cozen O'Connor; PACT Enterprise Awards
Writer: Sue Spolan

Photo : Attorney Stephen M. Goodman

Port 127 game designers create an engaging ride in Hipster City

There's a new smartphone game in town, literally. If you've had enough of the aggravated avians, get on your virtual two wheeler and pedal over to Hipster City Cycle. And unlike Angry Birds, Hipster City has a narrative. "You start out living in Center City with a job as a paralegal," explains Port 127's design and coding team leader Michael Highland. "The goal is to blow all of your savings partying with friends and buying bike parts. As you move from neighborhood to neighborhood, the rent gets cheaper. We're turning the normal game progression around so that in Hipster City, you do something and get less." The final goal is to turn Binky McKee into a penniless cycling legend.

Highland sees Hipster City as more of an art piece, with an original throwback 16 bit soundtrack and very basic graphics that do a remarkably good job depicting the details of Philly neighborhoods. Graphic designer Keith McKnight faithfully recreated the orange tables at Pat's King of Steaks in South Philly, and in West Philly, you ride past hipster/student landmarks Koch's Deli, Allegro Pizza and Clark Park. At one point in the Northern Liberties map, you get to ride right on the El tracks, which Highland admits he's done in real life.

Highland says the game will officially launch for iPhone on May 19, and will take the average user about 10 hours to get to the end of the game, which also allows for competition with other players if you get lonely on the open road. Hipster City is simple to pick up, and meant to be played a few minutes at a time, taking the play through four Philadelphia neighborhoods in the process.

Highland, Kevin Jenkins and Keith McKnight all met at the University of Pennsylvania, and Alex Alsup went to Skidmore but is from this area. "Biking is nice, but harrowing at times," explains Highland when asked why the team chose cycling as a focus. "When I bike in Philly, my adrenaline is really high and I am in fight or flight mode."

Hipster City, which is entirely self-funded, also touched on a great marketing initiative which has brought them a lot of buzz without a lot of cash. Last fall, the group set up photo booths at events around the city, includings First Friday, and captured images of hundreds of local hipsters vying to become pixelated characters. There's a contest right now on the website: Visitors vote for their favorite three real people, and the top vote getters get to live forever in Hipster City. And, says Highland, cyclists from all over the world are spreading the buzz on biking forums.

"We're getting a lot of attention on international cycling boards and we're hearing that people in Taiwan and Dubai are excited to have the game."

Hipster City is unique among iPhone games in that it features a real world location, and Highland hints that other cities may soon be hipsterized as well.

Source: Michael Highland, Hipster City Cycle
Writer: Sue Spolan


Shorter books, longer life: Wharton Publishing goes digital

With ebooks on the rise, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania has launched Wharton Digital Press. Under the direction of Professor Stephen J. Kobrin, who is also an international economics expert at the school, Wharton is going full speed into the digital world in a partnership with Constellation, a division of the Perseus Books Group, which will handle distribution as well as print on demand requests for hard copies of books.

"I took over Wharton School publications 3 years ago," says Kobrin. "A year ago, a depression hit the market. Given our size, having published 81 books in a seven-year period, we got every excited about digital and ebooks and see it as a tremendous market opportunity which can bring a lot to the school in terms of understanding and participation."

Kobrin says that going electronic allows for the addition of graphics, video and animation.

"We think there is a lot of potential for ebooks, and demand will build over the next few years."

He adds that in addition to the multimedia aspect of electronic publishing, there's a lot of flexibility with book length, and does not think the typical 250 page book is the way to go. "We want authors' ideas expressed exactly in the way they should be." Shorter titles may be ten thousand words; longer books can approach sixty thousand. You might think that authors are all from the Wharton faculty. Not so, says Kobrin, who reports that 60-70 percent of writers will be unaffiliated with the school, but the editorial board is made up of Wharton faculty. Kobrin points to the demise of brick and mortar bookstores, and says that the Digital Press will use all the Wharton name has to offer regarding marketing and promotion, responding to the rapidly changing world of book sales.

Wharton Digital Press will launch three business titles in June, from authors Michael Useem, Peter Fader, and Mauro F. Guillem.

Source: Stephen J. Kobrin, The Wharton School
Writer: Sue Spolan

Malvern biopharma startup Vicept on fast-track to get the red out

Rosacea is not a life threatening condition, but the facial redness of the disorder can be embarrassing enough to make a sufferer want to die. Rosacea is characterized by a red blush, spidery veins and acne-like pustules on the face. The condition may be intermittent or long term. Malvern-based Vicept is a specialty biopharmaceutical startup that has developed a topical cream that treats the most obvious symptom of the facial condition.

"There's nothing right now on the market that's strictly indicated for the treatment of the redness of rosacea," explains Vicept Director, President and CEO Neal Walker, MD. With $16 million in Investigational New Drug (IND) capital raised during a very tough time for the economy and for life sciences investment in particular, Vicept's prescription cream is an easy fix compared to other rosacea treatments on the market, none of which address the symptom of redness. Laser procedures are considered cosmetic and are not reimbursed by insurance; Oracea, a low dose antibiotic in pill form, affects the whole body and only targets the bumps and pimples, not the redness, according to Walker.

In contrast, Vicept's as-yet unnamed product goes after receptors in facial blood vessels, clamping them down with a vasoconstrictor mechanism and blanching out the redness. Walker is a practicing dermatologist and reports that the active ingredient in the cream has been around since the 1960s, and was originally in Afrin nasal spray.

Vicept has completed Phase 2 clinical studies and is ready to move on to Phase 3 as it continues to move the product along in development, talking with different types of potential partners for distribution both in North America and globally. The fast track company, founded in 2009, has seven full time employees and is nominated for a PACT Enterprise Award this year. Walker says he expects the prescription cream to be available within the next few years.

Source: Neal Walker, MD, Vicept
Writer: Sue Spolan

Temple uses tech to partner with Liverpool school and dance across the Atlantic

A Temple University professor is teaching a dance class in England from his office in Philadelphia. Two dance instructors have teamed up for an international dance collaboration between students at Temple here in Philadelphia, and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. Using the internet, dancers on both sides of the Atlantic learn and perform together. Earlier this month, Temple participated in the LJMU Spring Dance Festival without leaving Philadelphia. The performance is part of a four year project, culminating this fall, to push the boundaries of dance instruction and performance using technology.

Professor Luke Kahlich, Director of Temple's Center for Research in Dance Education, connected with Pauline Brooks of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK at an international dance conference in 2006. "What happens if we try to challenge the creative process over the internet?" Adapting existing teleconferencing tools, the two schools set up cameras in dance studios in Philly and Liverpool, allowing dancers to practice and eventually perform together.

Students added their own spin with Skype, Facebook, YouTube and online chat.

"Dancers are so used to having their bodies next to another human body," says Kahlich.

Over time, that sense of distance faded. A field trip to Liverpool helped, but Kahlich also remarked that his students are way ahead of him technology wise, and are used to remote communications in so many other areas of their lives. Dance pieces were choreographed through video. Kahlich says that every Friday morning for three hours, he sat at his desk in Philadelphia and worked via the internet with the group in Liverpool, where students were divided into two practice studios.

"I would see both groups in different spaces on my computer," he says. "At the end of the session, they would come into one space, and I would be a giant head on a screen in Liverpool. At the same time we archived sessions from different angles. I could access all of those to send notes for the next rehearsal."

The resulting dual performances in front of an audience took place in both locations simultaneously, with remote dancers projected life size on a screen in the theater of the corresponding event.

The Liverpool-Philly dance collaboration follows a larger trend in higher education, says Kahlich. More and more job postings require teachers to be tech savvy. And students add that dance needs to keep up with the technological world as well.

Source: Luke Kahlich, Temple University
Writer: Sue Spolan


Bucks County Joomla developer Sitecats expands into Doylestown, hiring

You know a company understands customer service when its phone number is right at the top of the site. Sitecats Web Design must be on the right track, since it has grown out of its former office and set its sights on a larger market. The company, according to founder and owner John Ralston, was originally structured as a traditional freelance web design company, but with the advent of user friendly content management programs such as Joomla and Wordpress, he saw a business model that would allow customers to have the freedom to edit and create their own content.

"We're very proud that we have stuck with Joomla, and have become the area's authority on this CMS, based on our many hours of creating great sites with it. No other CMS has over 7000 powerful modules and components for just about anything a customer needs to do."

Formerly based in Souderton, Sitecats recently expanded to offices in Doylestown, where it counts among its clients Alderfer Meats,  Landis Supermarket, and the Heritage Foundation. The company is now centrally located by the Bucks County Courthouse with 9-to-5 hours "and a landline," adds John, who runs the company with his son Jeremy Ralston. Right now, Sitecats employs five, soon to be six.

"If our projections are right, we'll need to hire a new employee every quarter in 2012, after we're dug into the fiber of the Doylestown scene, according to Ralston.

Some marketing wisdom from Sitecats: when you're out networking, always sit at the table where you know the fewest people. Get heavily involved in the local scene.

'I started with the Main Streets group in Souderton, joined chamber committees, and even co-founded a brand new and very successful business networking group," says John. "We also advertise on local radio WNPV, where I have my own show Mondays at 11 a.m., that focuses on non-profits like Keystone Opportunity Center and Manna on Main Street."

Sitecats clients can sign up for training classes in Joomla along with the company's traditional offerings of site hosting and development.

Source: John Ralston, Sitecats
Writer: Sue Spolan

Bresslergroup bringing Kitchen 2.0 to a smarthome near you, hiring

Kitchens haven't changed much in the past 40 years. Think about it: Aside from primarily cosmetic bells and whistles like digital readouts on ovens and refrigerators, the microwave oven was the last big addition to the culinary arsenal. And that was back in the 1970s. Numerous attempts to bring the internet to the kitchen have been unsuccessful. No consumer seems to agree with manufacturers who have tried and failed to innovate kitchen design.

Rob Tannen, director of research and interface design, and Mathieu Turpault, director of design at Bresslergroup, are actively trying to figure out how high tech can improve the kitchen in a way that consumers will love. Turpault was surprised to find out the small role that end user input figured into the kitchen of the future. "A lot of appliance makers are fishing for ways to make connectivity relevant, but they've approached the problem from a technological standpoint, so their solution is to slap a touch screen on the refrigerator door."

Bresslergroup is a growing product design firm that works with major manufacturers like Black & Decker, GE, Dewalt, and Bosch, and designs medical products as well as consumer appliances. The Philadelphia company, in business for 40 years, has launched what it calls Kitchen 2.0, a research project that aims to advance three areas of kitchen design: Eco, Technology and Modularity. The results of the research are available on a webinar.

"The biggest changes in the kitchen have been architectural," says Tannen, who points to the popularity of the kitchen island. To get to the world of Kitchen 2.0, Bresslergroup did a sort of anthroplogical study, examining the smallest components of workflow, activities and social habits in both urban apartments and suburban homes. They came up with the MySpice smartphone app, now in the planning stages, which interfaces with a camera that sends pictures of the inside of the fridge for viewing at the store. They conceived of a modular storage unit that doubles as a dishwasher and can be loaded from the dining room. "The end product of this is the ideas," says Tannen of the Kitchen 2.0 project, which he terms an exercise in design thinking. The company is headed in the right direction, experiencing steady growth for the past five years, and now on the lookout to fill two open positions, a user interface designer and a design manager, to join the team headquartered at The Marketplace Design Center in Center City.

Source: Rob Tannen, Mathieu Turpault, Bresslergroup
Writer: Sue Spolan


Center City's Specticast set to revolutionize film distribution

It all started in a community screening room for Specticast, an all digital private network company that distributes film and cultural arts events via set-top boxes. Based in Center City, the company uses an efficient internet protocol rather than satellite to distribute programming such as simulcast concerts from The Philadelphia Orchestra and independent full length features. Mark Rupp, COO and co-founder of Specticast, says they're broadcasting to about 80 outfits right now, including The Bryn Mawr Film Institute and senior living communities like Waverly and the Quadrangle. By the end of the year, the company hopes to increase its reach to 200 outlets. The company also offers concerts from The Curtis Institute and broadcasts of Michael Smerconish's book club.

You may wonder if this is the same company that distributes simulcasts of the opera at movie theaters. "We are not the opera," says Rupp. "Our Digital Theater Network is a very different technology from the Met. They are done over satellite and distributed to the big chains." Instead, Specticast aims for the art house crowd, so outlets like The Bala Theater and The County Theater in Doyletown are prime targets. Specticast serves similar theaters across the country, and is aiming for a global presence with its plug and play technology.

Traditionally, says Rupp, movies are distributed as 35 mm prints, which are very expensive to create, ship and insure. "When our technology comes in, it fills a gap," says Rupp. Specticast can provide the same film digitally for pennies on the dollar on a 10 mpbs downlink. Subscribers pay a refundable $395 deposit for the set top box, and theatrical license fees that range from $250-$1,000 per film. For films and events that generate revenue in theaters, Specticast gets a percentage of the gross gate. The film or live streaming event is delivered to a 250 gig set top box, and is remotely deleted at the end of the rental period.

Specticast just announced a partnership with indie film distributor Monterey Media, which will open the door to a lot more feature film content, and with Monterey's Hollywood connections, Rupp expects that it won't be long before Specticast will be able to exponentially expand offerings through agreements with other independent distributors.

Source: Mark Rupp, Specticast
Writer: Sue Spolan

Mount Laurel company's incredible shrinking video technology means savings in surveillance

Let's say you're a particularly nosy busybody and want to keep tabs on an entire city: Full surveillance, 24/7, 30 images per second. It won't be long before all that data adds up to a whole lot of server space. TimeSight Systems has developed a clever solution. TimeSight's next generation surveillance technology is based on time sensitivity.

Chuck Foley, CEO of Mt. Laurel NJ based TimeSight, says, "What we've realized in the world of surveillance is that there is a natural time value to video." He explains that surveillance video is most valuable in the minutes and hours after it's shot. Time mitigates risk, says Foley. The older the video gets, the less value it holds, so there are declining levels of risk. "We've developed technology that allows you to literally shrink video over time by setting rules," says Foley of his company's Video Lifecycle Management software. "A company can keep video for a day or two at the highest quality; afterward, they can compress that video to half its original size, and keep it for 30 days. They may compress it again, so the life cycle refers to how that video declines in value over time." This compression schedule allows a company to get back precious server space. TimeSight can slash the amount of storage required by about 90 percent, translating into far smaller investments and footprints, and the method makes sense to a lot of major concerns, including cities, schools, and casinos across North America. TimeSight counts The City of Philadelphia and Paramount Pictures as customers.

TimeSight has attracted the attention of major venture capitalists, including New Venture Partners and Contour Venture Partners. "We've been able to do in software what others have done in hardware," says Foley, who says the Video Lifecycle Management program can process massive amounts of video from both legacy cameras as well as newer IP-networked cameras in a standard off-the-shelf server, making storage of high resolution images economically viable for a wide range of clients. TimeSight has been selected as a Technology Startup Company finalist at The Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) Enterprise Awards. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on May 4.

Source: Chuck Foley, TimeSight Systems
Writer: Sue Spolan


Viridity teams with Jefferson on smart grid, big battery

Thomas Jefferson University takes up a pretty big footprint in Center City, with a 13 acre campus just west of Washington Square. This week, Viridity Energy announced that it's partnering with Jefferson to provide an innovative energy storage program to optimize the University power grid.

On the heels of a smart grid project for SEPTA, Conshohocken-based Viridity approached Jefferson to gauge interest in a two-part program aimed at achieving optimal value from the school's wind power purchase. Audrey Zibelman, President and CEO of Viridity, notes that Jefferson is very forward looking in terms of how to manage energy, citing the university's recent acquisition of one-third of the electricity supply from Iberdrola Renewables' 102 megawatt Locust Ridge II wind power project located in Schuylkill County.

"Hospital demand is pretty flat. It doesn't peak. It's round the clock," explains Zibelman. But wind power is intermittent, and tends to be strongest at night. Sometimes the transmission system between the wind farm and the hospital is unavailable due to congestion. The environmentally-friendly solution is a giant battery to be installed on-site, which will store wind power when it's cheapest and most abundant, coupled with Viridity's dynamic load control optimization system. Viridity's proprietary VPower smart grid platform combines software with hardware to balance system loads, so that Jefferson can get the most cost efficient combination of wind power and traditional electric. When there is a surplus, VPower is set up to sell the energy back to the grid for a profit.

Zibelman says right now the project is in the planning stages. The company is in the market for a 1 to 1.5 megawatt battery, ranging in price from $750,000 to $3 million depending on vendor, chemistry, capacity and peripherals.

 "The battery will not always be providing physical reliability," says Zibelman, "but it will always provide economic reliability. It's a revenue source that pays for itself." Jefferson's combination of Viridity's VPower technology coupled with the giant battery will create a micro energy community in the heart of Center City.

Source: Audrey Zibelman, Viridity Energy
Writer: Sue Spolan

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