TechTalk Blog
AURP Canada Welcomes Avocet 3D Images as an Associate Member

The Canadian Association of University Research Parks / Association Canadienne des Parcs de Recherches d’Universite (AURP Canada) is pleased to announce that Avocet 3D Images Inc. has become an associate member of the Canadian Association. Specializing in visualization, Avocet 3D Images creates computer-generated photo-realistic images of exterior and interior spaces for research parks expansion projects.

Avocet 3D’s images can be used to attract new investors and tenants, provide visualization images for master plans,  zoning  and funding applications, determine design issues before construction, and generally act as an important communications tool. Their services range from quick conceptual renderings for very early planning discussions to highly detailed photo-realistic images showing new spaces as they will appear at completion of construction. Avocet 3D specializes in creating renderings for existing as well as new buildings, surrounding lands and infrastructure, landscaping and individual components.

“The benefit of visually portraying master plans allows institutions to address inefficiencies and irregularities that may exist in design prior to construction,” says Dale Gann, president of AURP Canada. “Visualization is a critical step towards creating technology parks of tomorrow. We are delighted to have Avocet 3D join AURP Canada as an associate member.”  

Enquisite Named 'Technology Platform Search Marketers Can't Live Without' at Search Engine Strategies San Jose

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) August 19, 2008 — Enquisite, Inc., a developer and provider of the next generation of search analytics solutions, today announced that the Enquisite Search Analytics Platform was named the 'Technology Platform Search Marketers Can't Live Without' at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, California. The announcement was made during the 4:30 p.m. keynote session on August 18, 2008.

"To be selected as the technology that search marketers 'can't live without' is a huge compliment," says Enquisite Founder, Richard Zwicky. "Search analytics is at the forefront of what marketers need today, which is a way to more scientifically approach getting a higher ranking in the search engine results pages or SERPs. We've focused our offerings in part on the longtail of search because it has the potential to help marketers maximize the opportunities inherent in this qualified traffic. By doing so, we're giving marketers a big-picture view of how they can improve their search result rankings and run the most effective campaigns," Zwicky concludes.

 

The SES Awards were developed by SES editorial staff to recognize exemplary work in the search engine marketing field. SES staff reviewed all awards applications and determined finalists; then, a panel of more than 30 industry experts and practitioners selected the winners. The judges scored applications based on four criteria: the company or product's innovation in methodology and execution, its ability to achieve success goals, a sense of excellence in tactical execution and the company or product's overall approach and category relevance.

The Enquisite Search Analytics Platform helps digital agencies and search marketers better understand how visitors search for and find their clients' web sites and web pages, allowing them to visually determine areas for optimization. The platform provides marketers with superior geotargeting data, search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings for specific locales and seamless integration with current web analytics offerings.

Enquisite was also named a finalist in the 'Best SEM Technology for SMBs' award. The winner of that award will be announced on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 9 a.m.

About the SES Awards 2008:
Since 1999 Search Engine Strategies (SES) has been the leading international conference series for webmasters, digital agencies, online marketers and corporate decision makers. Over the years, SES has guided search marketers of all skill levels through the fast changing and complex world of search — the single fastest growing marketing sector. In celebration of the event's 10-year anniversary, SES San Jose 2008 incorporated the first annual SES Awards.

The mission of the SES Awards is to inspire innovation and encourage new ideas. The SES Awards honored 15 outstanding search marketers and was judged by a panel of industry experts and the SES Awards editorial staff.

About Enquisite Inc.:
Enquisite, Inc. is a developer and provider of the next generation of search analytics solutions. Founded in 2006, Enquisite offers search marketers unparalleled insights into search page rankings and visitor behavior from both organic and pay-per-click (PPC) search listings.

Enquisite is a search engine referral analysis suite that provides in-depth information about web site visitors referred by search engines. Used by organic and paid search marketers, Enquisite delivers a wide array of search referral data with metrics ranging from a 'big picture' overview to extremely granular information about local search markets.

The company has offices in San Francisco, CA, Victoria, British Columbia and Seattle, WA.

The Truth About the Marine Industry

EXCITING FUTURE UNFOLDS FOR BC MARINE SPACE INDUSTRY

By Ray Dykes

Those of us in it probably didn’t know, but the ocean and marine space industry in British Columbia is an $11.5 billion a year business these days and puts food on the table for 84,000 people through steady jobs.

“No one realized it was that huge and the prospects for growth are quite significant,” says Patrick Marshall, the CEO of Ocean Industries BC, a relatively new association forged between old offshore oil and gas interests and other marine reliant communities and businesses.

But, the big multi-billion dollar figure was being bandied about in July when Ottawa and Victoria came together to announce financial support to kick off a new Ocean Technology Park and Ocean Engineering Centre to be co-located at the University of Victoria’s Marine Technology Centre in North Saanich.

The money from the two governments – each put in $135,000 – will be the much-needed catalyst in a $330,000 feasibility study to prepare a business case or more loosely the planning and development for what is expected to be a $100 million, world-class ocean technology centre and a regional wave tank testing facility, the Pacific Centre for Ocean Energy and Engineering.

The new ocean sciences complex will be built on land in North Saanich dedicated to research and development right opposite the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences run by Fisheries & Oceans. It will come under the umbrella of University of Victoria Properties Inc. which already has a 42,000 sq. ft. Marine Technology Centre on the site.

And the man behind the new push for an ocean technology park – it was his vision and he wrote the paper that convinced the powers that be to back the proposal – Dale Gann is one happy camper about the prospects.

These days Gann has a dual title, he is the Vice President of Technology Parks for the University of Victoria and the Acting President of UVic Properties.

“We created the vision to bring together the interests of academia, government and private industry,” says Gann.

The idea crystallized at the existing Vancouver Island Technology Park – a high-tech University of Victoria enterprise – a 191,000 square foot facility in Central Saanich which brings together 31 different companies in fuel cell, new media, wireless, life science/biotech, ocean technology and ICT sectors.

“We recognized the need to create a focal point for the ocean technology and marine space sector,” recalls Gann.

Now that both the provincial and federal governments are on board, work has begun on creating a business plan for the wave tank testing facility and a master plan for the ocean technology park.

Gann hopes to go before North Saanich Council for a zoning amendment when the planning is completed in the spring of 2009 so that the ocean technology park can apply a higher density of development and create more jobs.

The initial plan for the new Ocean Technology Park includes a 300,000 square foot, multi-user building for marine technology companies and research organizations that would see both facilities providing workspace for industry, government agencies and academic researchers involved in ocean technology.

It is expected to be open “after 2010” and Gann says it will ultimately create 1,500 jobs in the ocean sciences and marine space sector. Currently, he believes there is little to put the sector at the top of young minds when they consider post-secondary education in the province and he feels the ocean technology park will make it a “sector of choice” once more.

The wave tank research and testing facility is a critical element in the new ocean technology park, according to Gann. The new facility will likely be bigger than anything in Canada, more modern with better equipment and will be an ideal replacement for the wave tank facility closing down at UBC.

And Brad Buckham, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UVic,  says the wave tanks (there could be up to three in the facility) will give researchers information in minutes that otherwise would take far longer. He believes the tanks could be used by businesses to “make ocean energy solutions a reality.”

Gann expects the wave tank testing facility will meet the needs of academia and industry as a stand-alone operation, available on a fee for service basis.

He also has one eye trained across the street at the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences and plans to increase collaboration between the two ocean industry research and development facilities. Run by Fisheries & Oceans, the institute is one of a network of nine major scientific facilities across Canada.

The institute is the home to scientists, technicians, support staff, and ship’s crews whose common interests are the coastal waters of BC, the northeast Pacific Ocean, the Western Arctic and all navigable waters east as far as the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.

It has a marin
e dock, large cargo bays and vital testing equipment which could be shared on a fee for service basis, according to Gann.

Just 90 minutes further north in Nanaimo, Fisheries & Oceans also has its Pacific Biological Station, which it bills as the main facility for the Science Branch of F&O in the Pacific Region.

The Institute of Ocean Sciences in Victoria and biological station in Nanaimo lead the way in ocean science research such as assessing the effect of changes in ocean conditions on marine ecosystems and understanding the role of the ocean in the global climate system.

“Look at the potential here,” says Gann. “We need to bring these folks together, there has not been enough communication between them and they need each other.”

For his part, Ocean Industries BC’s Marshall is also excited about the prospects through the increasing concentration of marine-related research the new Ocean Technology Park will bring to this mix and is almost salivating over the expected commercialization of ocean technology and services and products.

Marshall predicts the new Ocean Technology Park will be a catalyst for ship building, repair and design, and other marine transportation developments.

“The development and testing of designs and innovations will help British Columbia recapture its place in the world for designer vessels and marine structures,” he adds.

The new ocean technology park could also become the new home for an ocean engineering centre, which was lost at UBC when a building was demolished to make way for much-needed residential development (the endowment lands site had been earmarked for such a move from the beginning).

And Marshall says Ocean Industries BC sees the expected concentration over 80 acres of ocean and marine space facilities, brains and innovation in Victoria as an opportunity to ensure the industry grows “in a way that meets and exceeds our expectations for a clean, safe and secure ocean and marine space economy.”

University of Texas Medical Branch Expands Relationship with GenoLogics

GenoLogics, the leading developer of translational research informatics software, today announced that the Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has selected GenoLogics to collaborate on developing an integrated biomedical software solution.  

The Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine (SCMM) is an interdisciplinary research center at UTMB and is part of the newly formed Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS). The mission of the SCMM is to serve as a focal interface between clinical and basic scientists, addressing UTMB’s strategic plan for personalized medicine.

“The GenoLogics vision to help clients conduct translational research by developing informatics solutions designed for this purpose was completely aligned with the center’s strategic plan to connect our clinical and basic research areas,” said Dr. Allan Brasier, Director, Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine at UTMB. “In order to enable our goal for personalized medicine, we decided to collaborate with GenoLogics to deploy a biomedical solution that will begin with user-friendly software to efficiently and effectively manage our biospecimens. Investing in a biomedical informatics solution that can also connect to our research data is going to assist the Center with attracting future funding such as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards.”

The Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine is focused on understanding cell stress response pathways using high-throughput systems-based approaches. The biomarkers program is developing new tools to study and classify human diseases at a molecular level, allowing the prediction of individual susceptibility to disease. This research program in personalized medicine will allow the center to make better diagnostics for common medical diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and degenerative diseases.

“In order to validate our biomarkers for common diseases, we needed to exchange information from clinical to research domains, “ said Dr. Kevin Rosenblatt, Director for Biomarker Discovery, Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine. “This can only be done with a biomedical informatics solution that not only tracks our biospecimens, but also the clinical annotations and then connects to the data being generated in our research labs. The GenoLogics Biomedical Informatics solution will have this unique capability to bring it all together in a single platform.”

GenoLogics launched its Biomedical Informatics software solution to address the needs of translational research initiatives. The solution allows clients to track prospective studies, collect patient data at remote sites, provide biospecimen and clinical annotations management and facilitate researchers querying on clinical information and requesting samples. The solution is comprised of five integrated products: BioVault for biospecimen management; BioChronicle for clinical annotations management; BioQuest to enable Web access; BioSphere for study management; and BioSource for electronic patient questionnaires.

 

“As we develop our new biomedical informatics product suite, it’s important to gain the real-world experience of leading organizations such as the Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine,” says James DeGreef, VP Market Strategy for GenoLogics. “Their input into the design and development of the biospecimen and clinical annotations products will be invaluable, as well as to the deployment of our web query portal as they look to centralize the management of a number of physically separate biobanks across their research enterprise.”

Vigil Health Solutions Reports First Quarter Results

Vigil Health Solutions Inc. (“Vigil”) announces the results of operations for the quarter ending June 30, 2008.

“We are very encouraged to see positive cash flow in this quarter as well as the continued growth in sales bookings” stated Troy Griffiths, President and CEO.

Business highlights

·         Positive cash flow of $50 thousand was achieved, primarily driven by increased receipts from progress billings and customer deposits for new orders.

·         Sales bookings for the quarter were up 28% to $1.16 million compared to $0.9 million in Q1FY08.

·         The Company held an order backlog of approximately $3.97 million at Q1FY09 compared to $1.92 million in Q1FY08.

·         Deferred revenue increased 120% to $1.66 million reflecting the 46 projects in various stages of installation and progress billing, compared to $0.8 million and 23 projects in Q1FY08.

·         Secured a new corporate in the quarter bringing the total to 18 corporate clients and received recurring sales bookings from 4 existing corporates.

Financial Results

Revenue for Q1FY09 was $701 thousand compared to $904 thousand in Q1FY08, a decrease of 23%. The decrease in project revenue reflects construction delays which resulted in a lower number of projects being commissioned in the period compared to Q1FY08. Revenue received from sales and maintenance contracts and replacement products grew by 105% to $155 thousand. 

Bookings for the quarter were up 28% to $1.16 million compared to $902 thousand in Q1FY08.

Vigil had a backlog of approximately $3.97 million (including $1.66 million in deposits and progress billings, recorded as deferred revenue on balance sheet) in Q1FY09 compared to $1.92 million (including $756 thousand in deposits and progress billings, recorded as deferred revenue on balance sheet) in Q1FY08.

The gross margin percentage for Q1FY09 was 47% compared to 52% for Q1FY08. In the first quarter of fiscal 2008 gross margins were above management’s expectations due to a favourable product mix for the projects commissioned in this quarter. While lower than the previous year the gross margin received in the current fiscal are in line with management’s expectations of annual margins of between 42% and 47%.

Operating expenses for Q1FY09 were $614 thousand, up 17% from $524 thousand in Q1FY08.  The growth in expenses was due to an increase in insurance costs (prior to the Company switching to a new lower cost insurance provider), advertising, sales travel expenses and research and development staffing.

Losses for Q1FY09 were $288 thousand, or $0.003 per share an increase of 235% compared to $86 thousand, or $0.001 per share for the same quarter in the previous year. The increase in losses can be attributed to the decrease in revenues relating to the lower number of projects commissioned. However, the high number of projects underway in the quarter and related deferred revenue resulted in a positive cash flow.

The following is a summary of our financial performance for the three months ended June 30, 2008. Detailed financial statements along with Management Discussion and Analysis have been filed with SEDAR and may be viewed at (www.sedar.com) or on the Company web site (http://www.vigil.com/investors/financial-statements/).

Windber Research Institute Chooses GenoLogics to Collaborate on the Development of their Biomedical Informatics Solutions

GenoLogics, the leading developer of software for translational research informatics, today announced that the Windber Research Institute has selected GenoLogics to collaborate on developing an integrated biomedical informatics software solution.  

Windber Research Institute’s primary focus is improving patient care and quality of life by rapidly translating molecular and clinical research into action. The Institute conducts translational research to identify clinical issues that confront physicians and moves these issues to the laboratory for application of advanced molecular and informatics approaches. The Institute is unique in their approach of recognizing the need to work both from the bedside to the bench, as well as from the bench to the bedside to optimize the use of existing knowledge, new technologies and biomedical systems.

“Pursuing our approach to translational research requires a robust informatics platform, such as the solution provided by GenoLogics, which manages samples and integrates data from many sciences and sources” said Dr. Richard Mural, Chief Scientific Officer at the Windber Research Institute. “We decided to work with GenoLogics to deploy a biomedical informatics solution that will allow us to integrate both discovery and clinical data into a single system for a holistic view, which is necessary to pursue the type of research we are doing.”

GenoLogics launched its new product suite for Biomedical Informatics based on feedback from leading customers such as the Windber Research Institute. “We are building on a positive partnership we’ve had with the Windber Research Institute over the past year from deploying our Research Informatics solution” said GenoLogics technical accounts representative Jason Attanucci. “Our collaborative approach and open communication style with our clients provides us with insights to develop new solutions that advance the breakthrough work being done by groups such as Windber.”

The Institute has developed particular strengths in the areas of tissue banking and patient sample annotation, a patient-centric data model in support of integration of clinical, molecular and imaging data, and a work-flow based system for data analytics that focuses on its unique model for translational medicine. “The Biomedical Informatics product suite from GenoLogics supports these strengths, while allowing us to improve efficiencies and rapidly translate research results into improved patient care,” said Dr. Hai Hu, Senior Director of Bioinformatics at the Windber Research Institute. 

GenoLogics’ Biomedical Informatics software solution helps organizations track observational studies, collect patient data at remote sites, provide biospecimen and clinical annotations management and facilitate researchers querying on clinical information and requesting samples. The suite is comprised of five integrated products: BioVault for biospecimen management; BioChronicle for clinical annotations management; BioQuest to enable Web access; BioSphere for study management; and BioSource to enable electronic patient questionnaires.

“We are very excited to be working with the Windber Research Institute as one of the lead customers contributing to the development of our Biomedical Informatics product suite,” says James DeGreef, VP Market Strategy for GenoLogics. “Our new Biomedical Informatics solution is being designed to complement our market-leading Research Informatics product line, which together will enable institutes such as Windber to pursue their translational research vision.”

University of Nevada Deploys Proteus by GenoLogics

GenoLogics, the leading developer of translational research informatics solutions, today announced it is working with the University of Nevada’s Proteomics Center to deploy its lab and scientific data management system.

 

The Nevada Proteomics Center provides high quality, high-throughput, cost-efficient proteomic and metabolomic services to researchers in Nevada, including mass spectral analyses for small molecules and Edman protein sequencing. The Nevada Proteomics Core receives financial support from Nevada INBRE, a program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

 

According to Dr. Karen Schlauch, Director of the Center of Bioinformatics at the University of Nevada, “one of our long-term goals as a Bioinformatics Core is to develop robust bioinformatics tools and resources to support integrative studies across our university’s core facilities, enabling a type of systems biology approach. To facilitate our approach, we selected GenoLogics to install their informatics solution called Proteus, which aggregates data from several proteomic technological platforms in our lab and can ultimately be integrated with LIMS across our other cores.”

 

Proteus combines the strength of a robust multi-science platform while maintaining its unique application features for proteomics research. It improves lab efficiency by automating data capture from instrument and software integrations and by seamlessly tracking projects, samples and results. As a ready-to-use solution, Proteus can be deployed within weeks, while also being easily configured for each lab’s new technologies, workflows and user-level preferences.

 

The National Institutes of Health require all facilities receiving INBRE support to deliver an annual progress report that includes a list of publications and presentations that reference data generated from INBRE supported cores. In addition to providing a centralized data management system, Proteus enables collaboration with its secure online communication interface called LabLink. As a recipient of an INBRE grant, the institution can easily facilitate collaboration with client groups, as well as publish timely reports for the NIH.

 

Proteus operates on a highly configurable and adaptable platform that can support many sciences across multiple facilities. The platform includes features such as the Adaptive Reporting Framework, which allows customers to integrate data from different sources and enhance their scientific data analysis. And with an open database architecture, Proteus is a flexible informatics solution that can cost-effectively adapt to the evolving needs of research laboratories and new technologies.

 

“By using Proteus, we believe the University of Nevada has the ability to efficiently manage their data, which saves them time and allows them to focus on advancing their research,” says Mike Sanders, Proteus Product Manager at GenoLogics. “Proteus also helps INBRE recipients such as the University of Nevada with their requirement to securely publish and share results with external partners by using our online collaboration interface.”

Times Colonist Reports: Software Company Bridges Environment, Balance Sheet

Written By Andrew Duffy
Times Colonist

A Victoria company founded in 2005 on the promise of helping other organizations manage greenhouse gas emissions strategies and carbon footprints, is about to expand the number of feet it has on the ground.

Carbonetworks, whose GHG emissions management software gives company executives the tools to understand their firm's carbon footprint and how to deal with it in a financially responsible and profitable way, recently closed a $5- million round of financing that will mean an immediate expansion of the payroll.

"We are on a major hiring campaign," said president and CEO Michael Meehan, noting at present they have fewer than 20 employees. "We expect to hire more than 20 people over the next six months and another 40-50 next year."

The lion's share of those are expected to be in Victoria with a focus on sales and expanding the company's support network.

Meehan said staying headquartered in Victoria was important for him as it constantly reminds him why he got into the business in the first place.

"When you leave Victoria you get caught up in the whole business thing and it's easy to lose sight of what you're doing. But when you come back to Victoria there's such an eco-responsibility here and you remember why you're doing this in the first place — it's not to make billions but to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said, noting he did both his undergraduate environmental studies degree and MBA in Victoria, not to mention coming up with the idea for Carbonetworks during his undergrad time at UVic.

And now it appears time for the company to grow in Victoria as well.

Carbonetworks software is helping more than 180 organizations in 23 countries create and manage their greenhouse gas emissions strategies. The companies using it cover the spectrum of industries from oil and gas to the financial sector.

According to Meehan, the software helps the company get its carbon footprint together and then reaches out to the market "and monetizes that footprint, to understand if that footprint is an asset or a liability on the balance sheet."

At that point Carbonetworks provides strategic management applications that will help determine what initiatives will help that company reach an established goal — be that reducing its footprint by 20 per cent, becoming carbon neutral or whatever the CEO has dreamed up.

"The other side of the platform and why it's called Carbonetworks is we actually reach out to the market and pull in all kinds of reduction options," Meehan added. "The software comes up with a portfolio of how they will reduce their emissions in a financially responsible way," he said.

And it allows the executives to run a variety of scenarios to see which one is most cost-effective.

In other words, companies who may have decided that carbon trading or buying offsets is the answer to their problems may not even have realized there are a host of more economical initiatives they can implement that might get them halfway to their goal before they have to look at things like offsets.

"The idea is to invest in your reductions first then look at offsets and carbon trading; streamline your operations first and then offset what you can't reduce," he said.

Meehan said by "monetizing the carbon footprint" Carbonetworks has bridged the gap between environmental responsibility and the balance sheet.

"Now that there is a financial price tag attached to carbon, either real or theoretical, depending on (where) you are in the world, the companies will start looking at this as a financial decision," he said.

Carbonetworks' services are sold on a subscription basis, with the price being determined by the emissions volume being managed.

 

aduffy@tc.canwest.com

[Both Michael’s degrees are from UVic: B.A. ‘01 – Social Sciences, Major in Psychology; MBA ‘05.]

Amazon.com to Acquire AbeBooks

SEATTLE & VICTORIA, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 1, 2008–Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced that, subject to closing conditions, it has reached an agreement to acquire AbeBooks. AbeBooks is an online marketplace for books, with over 110 million primarily used, rare and out-of-print books listed for sale by thousands of independent booksellers from around the world.

"As a leader in rare and hard-to-find books, AbeBooks brings added breadth and expanded selection to our customers worldwide," said Russell Grandinetti, vice president of books for Amazon.com. "AbeBooks provides a wide range of services to both sellers and customers, and we look forward to working with them to further grow their business. We're excited to present all of our customers with the widest selection of books available any place on Earth."

"This deal brings together book sellers and book lovers from around the world, and offers both types of customers a great experience," said Hannes Blum, chief executive officer of AbeBooks. "We are very excited to be joining the Amazon family."

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close before the end of the fourth quarter of 2008.

AbeBooks will continue to function as a stand-alone operation based in Victoria, British Columbia. AbeBooks will maintain all of its websites, including its Canadian website with Canada-specific content, such as reviews of Canadian-authored books and interviews of Canadian writers.

About AbeBooks

AbeBooks is an online marketplace for books, with over 110 million primarily used, rare and out-of-print books listed for sale by thousands of independent booksellers from around the world. AbeBooks has millions of customers who purchase tens of thousands of books a day from its global websites (Abebooks.com, Abebooks.ca, Abebooks.co.uk, Abebooks.de, Abebooks.fr, Abebooks.it and Iberlibro.com). A true internet success story, AbeBooks.com has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC, Canada, with affiliates in Germany and the United States. Internet Retailer magazine ranked AbeBooks at No. 73 among North American online retailers in June 2008.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc., seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), and Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and the Joyo Amazon websites at www.joyo.cn and www.amazon.cn.

As used herein, "Amazon.com," "we," "our" and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Amazon Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and subsequent filings.

CONTACT:
Amazon.com
Media Hotline,
206-266-7180

SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.

New Fund Available for Getting to Market Faster! – The Precarn Industrial T-GAP

There is a recognized chasm in the commercialization of technologies especially in very small companies. It is the black hole on the 'research to reality' road where innovative and viable technologies get lost. Because the development step often lies outside the domain of traditional investment sources, many valuable technologies and ideas are needlessly shelved. In an effort to address this situation, Precarn has allocated $500,000 in funds to advance technologies that show commercial promise. The Technology-Gap Assistance Program (T-GAP) is the conduit through which the funds are awarded.

The T-GAP program has the following characteristics:

  • A focus on very small (2-10 person) companies and start-up companies;
  • Maximum funding is $60,000 (with most accepted projects falling into the $40,000 range);
  • Maximum Precarn support is 75% of total project costs;
  • Project duration of nine months or less;
  • Proposals may be submitted at any time; and,
  • 75% of Precarn’s contribution will be paid upon approval of the project and the remaining 25% will be paid upon project completion and receipt of the final report.

Available funds are primarily intended to bring technologies closer to commercial readiness; naturally, this represents a wide range of different activities, but some examples include:

  • Building engineering prototypes,
  • Refining and implementing designs,
  • Conducting scale-up activities,
  • Product-specific market research,
  • Conducting field studies, or
  • Carrying out technical and market assessments.

Equally diverse are the expenses that can be claimed under the program; typical examples include:

  • Salaries,
  • Consultants fees,
  • Materials and supplies,
  • Project-related travel, and
  • Other necessary direct costs.

Eligibility Funding for projects is available to start-up or very small companies that are incorporated in Canada at the time of the proposal submission.

>>Download the T-GAP Proprosal requirements here

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to submit a proposal, as outlined in the attached Proposal Content guidelines. With regard to a proposal, estimates may be used in lieu of exact figures. A detailed budget will be required during the contracting process if a project is approved. Applications may be made to the Precarn office at any time.

Project Deliverables

The recipient of T-GAP funding is required to submit progress reports to the Precarn office including:

  • A mid-term progress report, and
  • A final report that summarizes the activities and achievements of the project period and discusses commercialization plans for the technology.

Proposal Evaluation

Screening Criteria Proposals will be initially screened for the following criteria:

  • The eligibility of the company;
  • Whether the project's technology has been or can be protected (e.g. by patents or copyrights), and
  • Whether the project is considered to increase the commercial potential of the technology.

T-GAP Proposal Content Guidelines

It is no coincidence that the proposal requirements resembles those of a business plan; the preparation of this document is intended to engage the applicant in a thoughtful analysis of the potential opportunity presented by their technology and the market(s) for which it is targeted. However, as proposals are not intended to be lengthy nor onerous, they are limited to a maximum of five pages (not including appendices).

Cover Page

Provide the name and contact information for the applicant and the company. Include the number of employees and annual revenues (if applicable). Also provide a title and a short description of the technology and its application.

The Opportunity

Provide a simple statement making reference to the technology, the potential product(s) and the potential market(s) involved. For example:

The research into (seismic sensor) technology, which has been carried out in (the Department of Geology at Pangea University) has resulted in the identification of a (new type of blast monitoring device) that could be marketed (in large quantities) to (the construction, mining, and quarry) industries.

Project Description

  • Explain the need for the T-GAP funding.
  • Describe the work that will be done. Include a Statement of Work, Milestones and a schedule of work. Provide a GANTT chart if appropriate.
  • Describe the breakdown of responsibility of the various members involved in the project.
  • Describe what the end result of the project will be.

Project Team

  • List the members and affiliations of the Project Team.
  • Describe the expertise of the various members of the project (both from a scientific and business standpoint).
  • Indicate the level of commitment the team has to commercializing the technology.

The Product or Service

  • Describe, in non-technical language, the purpose of the proposed product or service and why it should be developed.
  • If this is a new technology, what functions or features will it have? What are its unique features (cost, design, simplicity, etc.)? How does it achieve this purpose? Describe the current and potential features, functions and benefits of the proposed product and compare to would-be competitors.
  • What is its current stage of development (e.g. idea, engineering model, engineering prototype, production prototype)?
  • How long will the technology remain relevant and useful (i.e. length of life cycle)?
  • Will this be a single product, or will it lead to further products, features or refinements? Discuss some of the next generation possibilities for the proposed product.

The Market

  • If this is a new technology, what function will it provide? Is there a receptor market for this technology? How do you know?
  • If this is an innovation on an older technology, is the innovation an incremental improvement or a radical departure? How will this affect the adoption curve?
  • What is/are the target market(s)? Describe the needs of this/these market(s).
  • Describe any competing technologies.
  • Provide information on the market potential?
  • Describe the technology transfer opportunities and issues (e.g. licensing, sale, start-up, etc.).
  • What are potential distribution channels for this technology? Do they exist? If not, how will they be developed?
  • Describe the expected rate of adoption?
  • Describe any potential or desired partners that could
    increase the likelihood of commercial success.
  • Describe any other relevant factors (e.g. seasonality, regulatory requirements, assistance programs available, market trends)?
  • Describe any market research that has been conducted (e.g. market size, emerging technologies or trends, etc.)

Intellectual Property

  • What is the status of the intellectual property (IP) involved?
  • Who will be the owners of technology, and what will be their percentage of ownership?
  • What steps will be taken to protect the technology (e.g. patents, copyrights, etc.)?

Commercialization and Financial Criteria

  • Is there sufficient expertise in your field to commercialize the technology?
  • Are there any interested parties who will share in these expenses?
  • Explain the financial needs of the project, and explain how the funds will be allocated, by providing a detailed, time-phased budget by task that includes all sources of funding and in-kind support.
  • Provide information on other sources of funding for commercialization that has been (or will) be explored, this must include both university-industry liaison offices (UILOs) and National Research Council (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), http://www.nrc.ca/irap/.

Appendices List or include:

  • Any necessary additional explanations or diagrams of the technology,
  • Advisory board or Board of Directors (if applicable),
  • Copies of any industry or market studies that have been conducted and referenced in the proposal,
  • Any other necessary information.

The information provided in T-GAP Proposals and supporting documents will be used on a confidential basis in accordance with Precarn’s review policy. If required, Precarn and its reviewers will sign non-disclosure and non-use agreements.

Proposals may be submitted (and will be subsequently reviewed) at any time.

Download the T-GAP Proprosal requirements

Questions about the Program and submissions should be directed to:

Rick Schwartzburg
Senior Manager
Precarn Incorporated
510-1525 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R9
Tel: 613-727-9507 ext 231
Schwartzburg@precarn.ca