Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 10:27 am | A Few Clouds 58º

 
 
 
 

Business

EconAlliance Spotlights Innovation With Inaugural Award

Santa Maria-based Space Information Laboratories receives honor at North County's organization's annual dinner

Edmund Burke, right, from Space Information Laboratories, accepts the inaugural Innovation Award from Ben Oakley, a board member for the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County on Thursday night. Click to view larger
Edmund Burke, right, from Space Information Laboratories, accepts the inaugural Innovation Award from Ben Oakley, a board member for the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County on Thursday night.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

An aerospace business launched in Santa Maria that changed the way rockets are tracked won the inaugural Innovation Award from the Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County on Thursday night.

Approximately 200 people attended the EconAlliance Future Forum and Annual Dinner at the Santa Maria Radisson where Steve Pepe, the new president, was introduced.

Space Information Laboratories founder Edmund Burke accepted the award recognizing the company’s Vehicle Based Independent Tracking System and other technology.

“This technology has transformed the tracking of rockets using GPS-tracking instead of radar, which was used for the last 50 years,” EconAlliance board member Ben Oakley said in presenting the award. 

“This has dramatically reduced costs because it monitors, tracks and performs autonomous flight termination without expensive ground assets,” Oakley added. “The innovation itself is lending itself to future innovation, which is tremendous technology.”

The firm has created many jobs in Santa Maria, and is active in supporting science, technology, engineering and math education for the next generation. 

“I’m surrounded by brilliant minds, and I’m honored to lead a team like Space Information Labs and all the engineers and scientists there,” Burke said in accepting the award and saying he supports other innovators

“It’s a great honor to bring high-tech jobs to Santa Maria,” he added. “We have good employment, good-paying jobs and innovation right here. It can be done. We need to encourage that.”

‘Santa Ynez Valley Star’ publisher and founder Raiza Giorgi stands with Solvang Mayor Jim Richardon Thursday night after she received an honorable mention for the Innovation Award handed out by the Econoimc Alliance of Santa Barbara County. Click to view larger
‘Santa Ynez Valley Star’ publisher and founder Raiza Giorgi stands with Solvang Mayor Jim Richardon Thursday night after she received an honorable mention for the Innovation Award handed out by the Econoimc Alliance of Santa Barbara County.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

An honorable mention for the Innovation Award went to the Santa Ynez Valley Star, a monthly community newspaper launched by Raiza Giorgi less than a year ago and already planning to boost its publication to twice a month.

A second honorable mention went to Cuyama Valley-based Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center, repurposing an existing industrial facility to become an entrepreneurial hub in an underserved area of the county.

The focus is on sustainability, building agriculture and energy, and is envisioned as a rural incubator for other businesses. 

Oakley said those nominees were evaluated on innovation, value and overall impact. 

The event also included a keynote speech by Christine Peterson, co-founder of the Foresight Institute in Palo Alto, and featured speaker Daniel Parolek, of Opticos Design.

Parolek spoke about missing middle housing, a term he coined five years ago which now is being used to talk about housing need choices without using words like density or multi-family housing, he said. 

“If you take one concept away from this presentation tonight, it’s that missing middle housing types never get larger than the scale of a house, they just happen to have multiple units poured into that form,” he said, adding that is how it is compatible with single-family homes. 

 “Santa Barbara has great examples,” he said, adding the missing middle housing actually can be found in neighborhoods established before 1940. 

“You just have to stop and look for a minute because they fit right into the neighborhoods,” he said, before noting various types such side-by-side duplexes, stacked duplexes, bungalow courtyards and more.

“This isn’t just about building housing but it’s about creating places,” he said, contending there is a tremendous mismatch between the type of housing the markets wants and what communities are provided.

In her presentation, Peterson talked about nanotechnology's increasing use in multiple industries such aerospace, health and computers.

She also discussed genetic engineering technology to treat deadly and debilitating diseases and remove malaria from mosquitos and more, aided by a mechanism called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR,

“It’s a new genetic engineering technology,” she said. “You’ve probably been hearing about genetic engineering for decades. I have. … There’s nothing new about genetic engineering. What’s new is CRISPR makes it much much much much easier and much more targeted.”

“All these science fictiony things you’ve been hearing about for a long time that never happened? Now they’re going to happen,” she said. 

EconAlliance formed five years ago as a grassroots effort to unite a collection of economic forces making up Northern Santa Barbara County.

The nonprofit organization works to drive positive economic impact through initiatives and programs that support targeted industry sectors and North County’s vitality.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties


Cimme Eordanidis
"Since I truly enjoy doing what I do, interacting with people and representing them during one of life's most exciting events is very rewarding."

Full Profile >