West Wireless Health Institute Gets $25M, Pervasive Raises $6M for Smart Grid Chips, Covario Rolls Out Buzz-Measuring Analytics, & More San Diego BizTech News

The West Wireless Health Institute, which wants to become a beacon for mobile health innovations that can help drive down the cost of healthcare, is off to a good start. Get the latest on their funding and partnerships, along with the rest of the news about San Diego’s technology innovations:

—The Gary and Mary West Foundation donated another $25 million to their namesake research center, the West Wireless Health Institute, bringing their total donation for the new nonprofit health research center to $90 million. At an open house in San Diego last week, institute officials also announced new partnerships with Cisco Systems, Medtronics, and CareFusion, as well as the Carlos Slim Health Institute in Mexico City. During the evening soiree, CEO Don Casey said the institute also has an opportunity to set up a venture fund that could help develop new wireless technologies to drive down health costs.

—San Diego-based Covario, which provides Web-based software analytics that measures the effectiveness of online marketing and search engine optimization, has added a “Social Media Insight” feature to help customers measure their social media buzz. One goal of the added capability is to help big companies measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns by using consumer posts on social media websites as a barometer.

Boatracs, the San Diego company founded in 1990 to develop Qualcomm-based data communications and vessel monitoring technologies for the maritime industry, says it is now an independent and privately held company. Boatracs spun itself out from AirIQ, its former Toronto-based corporate parent.

—Venture investors in Northern California provided about $6 million in funding for a new fabless semiconductor startup in San Diego—and when was the last time we heard about one of those? Pervasive, founded by former Entropic Communications marketing director Reza Mirkhani, raised the cash to develop chips for use in smart grid applications.

—A collaborative program coordinated by the San Diego mayor’s office will provide a total of $150,000 in grants to help commercialize cleantech technologies being developed by three research teams at UC San Diego and San Diego State University. The grants from the San Diego Clean Tech Innovation and Commercialization Program are going to UCSD’s Rajesh Gupta and Yuvraj Agarwal for a project to reduce energy consumption in computer networks; to Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Alexander Gershunov and others to develop new ways to forecast severe cold weather; and to SDSU’s Douglas Grotjahn to develop low-cost catalysts for generating hydrogen from water.

—Five of the 75 student teams that signed up last fall for the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge made it to the finals of the 4th annual student-organized competition. The winner was Cognionics, a team led by electrical engineering student Yu “Mike” Chi for technology that uses a quarter-sized wireless sensor to record and display electrocardiogram data from the field. The Cogionics team won $43,000 through the course of the competition.

—Ernst & Young named Kishore Seendripu, the founding CEO of wireless chipmaker MaxLinear in Carlsbad, CA, as San Diego’s technology entrepreneur of 2010.

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

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