Business News: Week of Feb. 11, 2013


The Climate Change Business Journal, a business research publication which provides high-value strategic business intelligence to the climate change industry, honored 34 companies and organizations for business achievement on criteria such as revenue growth, smart grid and energy management, low-carbon and renewable power, energy-efficiency innovation, renewable-energy integration, climate change adaptation projects, NGO activity. Marin Clean Energy announced that it was chosen to receive the journal's 2012 award for project merit in solar power, in honor of its local Feed-In Tariff program that is spurring investment in distributed solar and other renewable projects. MCE’s Feed-In Tariff program is designed to accelerate renewable energy development and provide an immediate opportunity to anyone interested in developing a local energy project. The FIT program allows owners of small-scale renewable energy projects up to 1 megawatt in size, located in MCE’s service area, to become wholesale generation suppliers to MCE by entering into a 20-year power purchase agreement with MCE. Through the FIT program, MCE will purchase 100 percent of the electricity generated by an eligible project.Housing

A proposal by Homeward Bound of Marin to create 14 small rental homes for formerly homeless working families has received a $600,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation. Half of this grant has been framed as a challenge grant, meaning that the Marin Community Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar any donation Homeward Bound raises for Oma Village, up to $300,000, between now and June 30, 2013. Homeward Bound, the county’s chief provider of residential services for homeless families and individuals, purchased the Oma Village site at 5394 Nave Drive in 2012 and has submitted plans for 14 one- and two-bedroom homes, plus a community room and outdoor patio area with shared gardens. The units will be designed by Blu Homes, a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient, precision-built modern homes.Nonprofits

The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties announced its decision to award URJ Camp Newman a $1 million grant to support the redevelopment of the 65-year old camp located in Sonoma County. As its first capital grant in 2013, the foundation's $1 million contribution to Camp Newman represents the largest amount the Federation’s Endowment Fund grants to any single capital project. Sitting in the Santa Rosa mountains, URJ Camp Newman annually serves 3,500 adults and children for off-season retreats and 1,500 Jewish youth through its summer camp program. With the new retreat center that the JCF’s investment will help build, Camp Newman will be able to serve upwards of 13,000 individuals each year.Law

Farella Braun + Martel LLP celebrated its 50th anniversary with community service. The firm announced its 50th anniversary gifts -- $500,000 in direct gifts to community-based organizations -- and launched its 50 Hour Challenge, which encouraged all firm attorneys and staff to volunteer at least 50 hours of service to community organizations of their choice. By the end of the yearlong celebration, the firm logged more than 5,000 hours of service. The gifts included a donation to the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks to purchase new hybrid-fuel delivery trucks and to fund several food pantries. The firm also partnered with ConnectEd to establish the Farella Braun + Martel Law and Justice Credit Recovery Curriculum at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco’s Bay View/Hunters Point community. Launched in September, this curriculum infuses law-related themes into the school’s credit-recovery program, helping a diverse student population get back on track to graduation and exposing them to the wide array of career options in law and justice fields.Technology

San Rafael-based cloud-based design and engineering software developer Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) completed the acquisition of technology and a development team from Allpoint Systems LLC, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based developer of software and solutions for collecting and processing LiDAR (laser) point cloud data. The Allpoint team and technology will help Autodesk expand the development of cloud-based reality capture software and solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Allpoint Systems, LLC offers software and data processing solutions for collecting and processing LiDAR data to the roadway and building markets. The Allpoint Systems technology and team will bring to Autodesk significant data registration, automation and robotics technology and expertise that will expand Autodesk’s portfolio of reality capture software. The Allpoint Systems technology complements existing Autodesk capabilities, including previously acquired technology from Alice Labs and RealViz.

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