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16 posts categorized "Federal contract"

April 09, 2014

Allegiant Air pulling out of Rochester… again

Allegiant Air announced Tuesday that it's pulling out of the Rochester International Airport and will end its weekly nonstop flights to Arizona on May 14.

Allegiant"We are always disappointed to end service in a market," said Eric Fletcher, Allegiant's manager of airports. "We thank the Rochester International Airport for their partnership and apologize to any travelers who are inconvenienced by this decision."

Allegiant began offering offering two weekly nonstop flights to Mesa, Ariz., in November 2012, with an eye to serving as a connection between Rochester and Mayo Clinic's Phoenix campus. The 166 seats flights travel on Thursday and Sunday.

A recent study of the airport activity from July 2012 to June 2013 found that Phoenix/Mesa was the top destination from the airport. Allegiant in Rochester had 15,580 passengers during those 12 months. That accounts for 7.4 percent of the passengers in this market. For the same period, Delta accounted 44.7 percent of the airport's passengers, and American had 41.6 percent.

That same study found that Allegiant tallied about $1.4 million revenue during those 12 months.

This marks the Las Vegas-based airline's second failed attempt to serve the Rochester market. From 2008 to 2010, it offered bargain nonstop flights to Las Vegas. During 2008, 27,854 passengers flew out of Rochester to Las Vegas on Allegiant. Those flights ended in 2010 because of lack of demand.

When Allegiant returned to Rochester with a focus on Arizona, there was no concern about demand with the built-in Mayo Clinic traffic plus vacation trips.

“We’ve had good luck returning to markets that we’ve previously pulled out of. We feel good about coming back to Rochester,” said Allegiant's Fletcher in 2008.

Rochester's airport has long worked at attracting and keeping airlines, although it's hindered by lower cost flights from Minneapolis.

In August 2012, the Rochester International Airport was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department Transportation to help attract airlines to provide direct flight service to more destinations. The Rochester City Council approved a local match of $225,000, for a total of $750,000.

The airport's application included a letter from Frontier Airlines, saying the Denver-based company would be interested in providing direct flights if Rochester could offer incentives. The airport has not added any new flights or airlines, since that grant was presented.

Mark Sixel, who did the recent study for the airport, concluded his report by saying Rochester has a large enough passenger market to support more flights. However, numbers alone may not be enough in this competitive environment.

"It is likely the Rochester International Airport will have to offer some some kind of risk mitigation program, including waivers, marketing and even ground handling to convince another airline to launch service," he wrote.

Most experts say the bottom line is that the airport likely will need to offer financial enticement of some sort to attract more service. After establishing the relationship, then the passenger numbers need to be there to keep the service.

January 28, 2014

Mayo Clinic to ramp up link to Dept. of Defense

My colleague Jeff Hansel is writing an article about Mayo Clinic opening an office called Mayo Clinic Department of Defense Medical Research Office to better connect with Dept. of Defense for contracts and research.

Watch for Jeff's article on this soon.

I've touched on this topic in past years, so I dug up some info about recent DOD contracts with Mayo.

MayodefenseSince 2000, Mayo Clinic in Rochester has received about $41 million from the DOD. About $37 million of that $41 million was paid out for "Research and Development - Missile/Space Systems - Advanced Development," according to federal government records.

The majority of that work is done at the Dept. of Defense Medical Research Office, which is in the Mayo Support Center on West Circle Drive. That office has long been spearheaded by Dr. Barry K. Gilbert.

Some of the recent projects, according to federal contract records, include:

• R&D Services for Development and Demonstration of Capabilities of Hybrid Supercomputer

• Development of Ultra-High Linearity X-Band Mixers

• Study of Energy Harvesting Concepts, Evaluation of Quantum Orbital Magnetic Resonance Technologies

•R&D Services for Study of Energy Harvesting System Concepts

• Optical Communications: Monte Carlo Model - Preparation of Full-Scale Optical Communications Test.

I can't pretend to know what much of that means, though I believe the hybrid computer deal has something to do with immunizations and fighting virulent outbreaks. The optical communcations, I think, has something to do with transmitting medical information between hospital sites.

I confess this side of Mayo has always fascinated me. Hopefully, the creation of this new office will mean more of a spotlight will shine on Mayo Clinic's interesting military work.

March 01, 2013

Crenlo + Space and Naval Warfare Systems contract

Rochester's manufacturer, Crenlo, has been awarded a federal contract by The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which is part of the U.S. Navy.
I don't know a lot about it. It looks to be for customized cabinets under Crenlo's Emcor brand. The cabinets are slated to be used in a moderization project at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans. 
Navy_SPAWAR_LogoSPAWAR (which always makes me think of Spa War, like Liliac Wellness and Healing Touch fighting on some battlefield somewhere. Heh) has a long relationship with Mayo Clinic.
For many years, the Special Purpose Processor Development Group in the Mayo Support Center has had a contract with SPAWAR to develop/test electronics, some which are used with missiles.
Hhhmmm... Just noticed that contract was renewed last year for $28.4 million and it runs through 2017. Think I need to follow that up one of these days.
Anyway, back to Crenlo, I spotted a posting about its contract on the Federal Business Opportunities website from Feb. 27. Here's some of that:

The SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic, New Orleans Office intends to award a firm fixed price purchase order for the items on the attached document. Manufacturer-Crenlo.

CrenlotruckNo other product will be accepted. Brand name only - an equal product will not be accepted. This is a Small Business Set-Aside only. No electronic or hard copy Request for Quote (RFQ) will be prepared or made available for distribution.

-------------

Award will be made on an all or nothing basis. The Government will accept quotes from all responsible sources with the capability to provide the BRAND NAME product cited and will award a contract resulting from this RFQ to the responsible vendor whose offer conforms to the solicitation and is considered to be the Lowest Priced Technically Acceptable offer.

The part numbers must be the manufacturer's part numbers. The Crenlo cabinetry must conform to the critical design requirements of SSCLANT Drawing 29355-525209-01 (attached) and interface with the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS), Visual Information Display System (VIDS), Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch and Visual Communications System (VISCOM) equipment procured for the National Airspace Modernization at NAS JRB New Orleans.

Crenlo EMCOR has devloped custom mechanical interfaces for this equipment.

February 18, 2013

McNeilus parent, OshKosh, lands $381M military contact with UAE

While its U.S. military busines plunged by 21 percent during the first quarter, Oshkosh just had a massive $381 million blast of military business from The United Arab Emirates.

Oshkosh, which owns truck maker McNeilus Cos. in Dodge Center, recently signed a contract with the UAE for 750 "mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles," according to media reports.

OnxTgG8JcoBPnQlAtclDn0GpLThe Oshkosh contract is the largest among a total of $1.4 billion or 5.2 billion dirhams defense deals, announced by the UAE today.

This is an interesting turn for a company that recently reduced its military business, which once represented about 60 percent of its sales.

It probably will not have any direct impact on McNeilus, which makes refuge trucks and cement mixers locally.

The UAE deals are  interesting from an international persective, because they also include the sale of U.S.-made unmanned drones to a Middle East country. The Emirates are buying an unknown number of Predator drones, which are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for $196 million.

"UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these," stated Major General Obeid al-Ketbi at an arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters news service.

McNeilus parent, OshKosh, lands $381M military contact with UAE

While its U.S. military busines plunged by 21 percent during the first quarter, Oshkosh just had a massive $381 million blast of military business from The United Arab Emirates.
Oshkosh, which owns truck maker McNeilus Cos. in Dodge Center, recently signed a contract with the UAE for 750 "mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles," according to media reports.
The Oshkosh contract is the largest among a total of $1.4 billion or 5.2 billion dirhams defense deals, announced by the UAE today.
This is an interesting turn for a company that recently reduced its military business, which once represented about 60 percent of its sales.
It probably will not have any direct impact on McNeilus, which makes refuge trucks and cement mixers locally.
The UAE deals are  interesting from an international persective, because they also include the sale of U.S.-made unmanned drones to a Middle East country. The Emirates are buying an unknown number of Predator drones, which are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for $196 million.
"UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these," stated Major General Obeid al-Ketbi at an arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters news service.

January 20, 2012

IRS on move to make way for Mayo Clinic to expand

Here's my follow-up on the move of Rochester's IRS office:

Sometimes government sources come through with more details than expected.

The U.S. General Services Administration says that Rochester's Internal Revenue Service office is moving because Mayo Clinic plans to expand into the IRS's current space.

Prop_brackenridgeI reported Thursday that a building permit shows that the IRS is moving from the third floor of the Brackenridge Skyway Plaza at 21 Second St. S.W. to the City Centre commercial complex at 310 S. Broadway.

Questions to the IRS about details of the move were passed on the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C.

Deborah K. Ruiz of the GSA responded to the request with an email. To the question of why the IRS is moving from the Brakenridge Plaza, she responded:
Citycentreweis
"The current space was originally considered for procurement, but we were informed by … Bishop Management that the Mayo Clinic needed our space for expansion and no other viable space was available at the current location."

Mayo Clinic already leases office space on the first and second floors of the building. It is unclear what Mayo will use the IRS space for, although I am asking clinic officials about it.

The Rochester office of the IRS encompasses much of the third floor of the Brackenridge Plaza. That puts it a level up from Newt's Express in the skyway. It has been there for 22 years.
16540810_BG1
The tax agency moved into about 5,100 square feet of space there in 1990 when it left the nearby Broadway Hall building at 102 S. Broadway.

Ruiz provided other details about the move.

The IRS will move into 6,074-square-feet of space on the second floor of the City Centre complex probably in spring 2012, the GSA says. The lease term will be 10 years, seven years firm.

The Rochester building permit application to construct the IRS office space in the City Centre estimates the value of project about $215,000.

The Rochester office covers 11 southeastern Minnesota counties from the Mississippi River to Interstate 35 and north as far as Red Wing.

January 12, 2012

IBM's top in patents again

Here's much of my article on IBM dominating the the U.S. patent list for the 19th year in a row.

Weeks after the latest Blue Gene supercomputer shipped out from Rochester, IBM has topped the U.S. patent list for the 19th year in a row.

Big Blue tallied a whopping 6,180 patents issued in 2011. About 500 of those patents originated in Rochester.

IBM substantially outdistanced its nearest corporate competitors. Samsung came in at second with 4,895 patents, followed by Canon at 2,822.

A trio of lo
Top 2011 patent leaderscal IBM software engineers working on the latest generation of supercomputers were not surprised by their company's continued dominance in patents.

"The cool thing about working on something as advanced like Blue Gene the ideas come naturally… We're always trying to do things that no one has done," says Brian Smith. "You've got to think of new ways to do things. The old ways just don't apply anymore."

And those new solutions result in patents.

Smith, Mike Blocksome and Charles Archer have worked on about 175 patents during their careers at IBM.

"This whole cycle generates patents, from the back and forth between software and hardware…finding ways to work around problems," says Blocksome.

A shiny example of IBM's patent-generating innovation left Rochester in mid-December. The first of 96 computing racks of the Blue Gene/ Q computer called Sequioa were sent on their way to the U.S. Department of Energy at the Argonne National Laboratory at Argonne, Ill.

Supercomputers, like the Blue Genes, are usually ranked like sports cars — by their speed.  But like sports cars, they consume a lot of energy to be that fast.

Figuring out how computers can use power more efficiently is the focus on the latest patent issued to Smith, Blocksome and Archer.

BGQ4_no name"The big supercomputers use a lot of power or gigaflops per watt. We have do things at software level to coordinate that," says Smith.

The team worked out a method to reduce power requirements when the machine is not computing. During the communication phases, it doesn't need as much energy.

This innovation is not in use yet in any IBM products, though it is patented.

"Our goal is to make something cutting edge, start using it in something huge like Blue Gene and then it can trickle down small machines to laptops," says Archer.

November 15, 2011

Mayo Clinic gets $1.25M grant to teach in Ethiopia

Here's a quick piece that rolled out late this monrning:

Funded by a $1.25 million grant, Mayo Clinic plans to teach medical professionals in Ethiopia through a new, ground-breaking online educational system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that it is awarding the five-year grant to Mayo Clinic to support its creation pg online education courses to specifically update doctors and nurses about recent research in HIV treatment and patient care.
Ethiopia_map_2011worldfactbook_300_1
"This is one of the first online education programs of its kind to reach Africa," said  Dr. Zelalem Temesgen, the Mayo Clinic doctor who will lead the HIV eCurriculum. "It's especially groundbreaking as it addresses the need not only for core medical education, but also focuses on continuing education, something that simply doesn't exist in most African nations.

Temesgen, an infectious disease specialist. He will lead a team of physicians, researchers and educators from Mayo Clinic as well as other U.S. institutions and local medical centers in Ethiopia.

The project is also supported by Ethiopia's Federal Ministry of Health. "

We are pleased to see the initiation of this important program which will provide specialized training for our physicians and nurses and stands to greatly enhance and accelerate our efforts to deliver on our key public health priorities," says Tedros Adhanom, Ph.D., Minister of Health for Ethiopia. "This is a significant contribution which will no doubt result in improved health care for scores of Ethiopians."

May 06, 2011

Mayo Clinic to add big data center in NW Roch.

Look for Mayo Clinic to build a 60,000-square-foot computer data center onto its Mayo Support Center in northwest Rochester this fall.

Mayosupport The facility that Western Digital built at 4001 41st St. N.W., but never moved into before that company pulled out of the Med City.

Building permits filed with the city show the center being added to the north side of the complex. The plans also mark off additional expansions to that area titled, Phase II and Phase III.

Mayo Clinic confirms the plans, but is not releasing any details about the data center at this point. It still requires city approval before it can start.

The project is on the agenda for Wednesday's City Planning and Zoning Commission. Mayo Clinic is asking for a Conditional Use Permit for the "Substantial Land Alteration" to prepare the ground for the expansion.

March 24, 2011

$150,000 grant is 'big' deal for nanotech biz

A new federal grant could help a Rushford company create better artificial joints that could work inside patients years longer than today's implants.

HPPD-001 Rushford Hypersonic was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health earlier this month.

The grant will fund the first phase of testing of the company's wear-resistant nanotech coating process on materials used to make orthopedic implants, such as artificial hips and knees.

"This is a big, big deal," says Dan Fox, president and CEO of Rushford Hypersonic. "This is the culmination of three years of work. This means we have showed that we have what looks to be a novel and innovative solution to extend the life of implants."

Rushford Hypersonic will work with Dr. Kai-Nan An of Mayo Clinic’s Biomechanics and Motion Analysis Laboratory.