ESRI Launches Open Website for Mapping, Verenium Sells Cellulosic Biofuels Biz, MindTouch Unveils Improved Platform, & More San Diego BizTech News

[Corrected 7/19/10, 1:05 pm. See below.] Some 13,000 developers of geographic information systems (GIS) gathered at the San Diego Convention Center last week as ESRI, the Redlands, CA-based GIS software developer, moved to address the market for mobile and other users. We’ve got that and the rest of our BizTech News all mapped out for you.

Verenium (NASDAQ: VRNM), the Cambridge, MA-based company formed in the 2006 merger of San Diego-based Diversa and Cambridge-based Celunol, decided to sell its cellulosic biofuels business for $98.3 million to BP. The global energy giant at the center of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico gets Verenium’s San Diego-based R&D sites, as well as its demonstration-scale facility and pilot plant in Jennings, LA.

—J. Craig Venter, the human genome pioneer and founding CEO of San Diego’s Synthetic Genomics, said the algal biofuels company is growing its algae in saltwater at its new greenhouse near the company’s La Jolla headquarters. In remarks that might have been aimed at the corn ethanol industry, Venter said his algae biofuels company should not be diverting resources from agriculture. “Fuel cannot compete with agriculture if this is going to be successful,” he said.

—Japan’s Sony Corp. named one of its European executives, Phil Molyneux, as the new president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics in San Diego, the North American headquarters for the company’s consumer electronics business. Sony Electronics’ current president and COO, Stan Glasgow, is moving to a newly created position—senior advisor of  entrepreneurship and innovation—at Sony Corp. of America.

—[Corrected to refer to open-API software, instead of open-source software.] Free and open-API software was a prevailing theme last week at the 2010 ESRI International User Conference. ESRI, the private developer of geographic information systems based in Redlands, CA, demonstrated some of the map-making tools available at its recently launched … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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