No. 184: Gwen O’Shea, Joan Bucchino and what to name Ford’s soy car

TG it’s F: It’s Jan. 13, on which Henry Ford applied for a patent for plastic car parts, actually made from soybeans, which reduced the weight of a 1942 beta model by 1,000 pounds. Interest in the project waned when World War II steel rationing ended and the recipe has since been lost and the single test model destroyed.
Tofu, Brute: Send us your funnest ideas on what a soybean-built car should have been named and win 15 minutes of fame before the Innovate audience.
From the national desk: Alphabet has shut down its Team Titan project, which aimed to deliver voice and data services to hard-to-reach corners of the globe using high-flying solar-powered drones. Team members have been reassigned to other units, including Project Loon, which has the same goals but is focused on balloons.
Not sure if the move affects Luminati Aerospace at Calverton, which has said it is working on pretty much the same thing for a major, but never named, technology company. Some good news if this is actually bad news: Luminati just landed a $1 million grant from New York State, which is not exactly big money in the aerial Wi-Fi business, but could buy it time to find another benefactor if necessary.
Correction: A recent newsletter credited Northwell Health with 9,400 births in 2016. That was just one hospital’s total. The system collectively delivered more than 40,000. (We need a nap just typing that.)
Jobs: Meopta USA, Gordon Sinclair and PCX Aerostructures plan to close, move or trim Long Island operations, eliminating about 170 positions.
Moving’ on up: Our friend Gwen O’Shea, longtime chief of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, has been tapped to lead the Community Development Corporation of Long Island.
Live from New York: Missed the governor’s six state of the state speeches? Haven’t had time to wade through his 36 major budget proposals? Concerned that 27 of them could be fake news? Get all the facts and truth you need here. (380 pages, but it moves right along.)
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled PhDs: H-1B visas were one of the top topics discussed when top tech execs met with Team Trump. The program is currently capped at 65,000 visas annually and uses a lottery system. Changes could include higher totals that are based on pay bands, not the luck of the draw.
Nice crowd: At Tuesday’s Innovate-LISTnet networker, including Rosalie Drago, John Culbertson, Joan Bucchino, Bob Isaksen, Phil Rugile, Tom Mariner, Scott Lewis, Keith Orlean, David Reich-Hale, Jonathan Rudes, Morty Eisen, Andy Randazzo, Greg Demetriou and not exactly attending but in the same general area, Kevin Law and Resi Cooper.
The coalition championing the LIRR’s third track initiative has been out gathering signatures of support. They have 4,500, or about a third the number of people who originally opposed the project, which is considered vital for Long Island’s economic future.
Gov. Cuomo blows a mighty wind when it comes to support for turbine energy projects off the East End.
Prototyping services firm Intelligent Product Solutions is stepping gingerly into the medical devices sector, which is expected to grow to $155 billion this year.
And ICYMI, the locals are happy indeed with the guv’s call for significantly increased spending on the life sciences.
About our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.
Stuff we’re going to: LISTnet hosts the Long Island Tech Jam featuring rockers Blue Movie to promote the nexus between music and technology. (Besides iTunes, we mean.) Jan. 20, 5:30, Digital Ballpark in Plainview, more details here.
Also: Northwell Health honcho Michael Dowling charts the Trump-led future of health care at the Long Island Business Development Council’s Feb. 2 meeting, 5:30 p.m. Southward Ho CC, call 516-314-8982.
The rest of the Innovate calendar: Is right here.
Speaking of Apple content: The firm is reportedly getting into Netflix-style content.
Missed a newsletter? Many are archived here.
Better, stronger, faster: Born out of DARPA research on a battlefield exosuit, a spinoff called Superflex is building robotic undergarments that reinforce the core of the elderly and infirm.
Still looking: eGifter has immediate need of a full stack developer. The ideal candidate has 5+ years of experience and loves an agile environment with TDD and continuous integration. Pay commensurate with the difficulty of finding someone they like. More details here.
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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.