No. 436: On Patriots, procurements and busy college presidents (and aliens and cyborgs) 

Unlike any other day: The lost remain in our thoughts and prayers, 18 years later and forever.


New day: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of this late-summer week of socioeconomic innovation.

New world: It’s Sept. 11 out there, a date that truly needs no further exposition. Those who lived through it will never forget. Schools and media inform younger generations. And its fallout both strengthens and weakens our nation to this very day.

Eighteen years already, unbelievable.

New meaning: While Sept. 11 is forever entwined with the 2001 terrorist attacks (now observed as Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance), the date brings an older and not completely unrelated anniversary: In 1987, President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed 9/11 as Emergency Number Day, spotlighting the nationwide three-digit emergency number introduced in 1968 by the Federal Communications Commission and AT&T.

Still standing: Exactly 60 years before the nefarious attacks, on Sept. 11, 1941, construction began on The Pentagon, Virginia-based headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Like the man said, it moves: It was this date in 1822 when the powerful College of Cardinals finally gave the Catholic Church’s blessing to works promoting heliocentricity – wherein the Earth moves around a stable sun, not vice-versa.

The church famously imprisoned 17th century Italian scientist Galileo Galilei for making such claims, and for the record, it wasn’t until 1835 that the Vatican un-banned Galileo’s “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.” (And the church didn’t officially admit Galileo was right until 1992.)

Oh, chute: On Sept. 11, 1883, a U.S. patent for the first mail chute was issued to New York innovator J.G. Cutler.

Other U.S. patents attached to this date include 36 issued one year ago today to Apple Inc., covering ceramic housings, unique MacBook accessories and much more.

Free style: “Queen of the Channel” Florence Chadwick was also the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel and the straits of Gibraltar, Bosporus and Dardanelles (round trip).

In the swim: American long-distance swimmer Florence Chadwick – who’d become the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions, setting record times each way – finished the first leg of her historic achievement on Sept. 11, 1951, crossing from England to France in 16 hours, 19 minutes.

All heart: And it was this date in 1952 when Charles Hufnage, then director of the Georgetown University Medical Center’s Surgical Research Laboratory, first implanted his new invention – the artificial aortic valve – into the heart of a 30-year-old patient.

Shining star: Mary Watson Whitney (1847-1921) – a schoolteacher, oft-published researcher and founding member of the American Astronomical Society, known best for directing the Vassar College Observatory and championing science education for women – would be 172 years old today.

Also born on Sept. 11 were Scottish adventurer Mungo Park (1771-1806), who explored Africa; American publisher Erastus Beadle (1821-1894), who produced dime novels; American acoustical engineer Harvey Fletcher (1884-1981), who pioneered stereophonics; English author D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), who introduced “Lady Chatterly’s Lover”; and voice actor Pinto Colvig (1892-1967), who basically voiced your childhood.

Carrie on: Bloody good filmmaker Brian De Palma, born Sept. 11, 1940.

Untouchable: And take a bow, Brian De Palma – the New Jersey-born master of the psychological thriller turns 79 today.

Say hello to our little friends (including De Palma) at – and Blow Out our expectations with a Dressed to Kill story tip or calendar item (and make it a Body Double, if you’re feeling ambitious).


About our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 700 outpatient facilities and 68,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



What goes around…: The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority-led effort funded by an $18.5 million stake from the U.S. Department of Energy, has selected the recipient of its first R&D award: the U.S. Department of Energy.

The $300,000 deal (contract to be negotiated) with the department’s Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory is focused on improving the “economic feasibility” of floating wind farms, seen by the consortium – which includes an interstate and international assortment of public and private energy interests – as “an important step in advancing the … long-term strategy to further drive down costs of offshore wind development,” according to NYSERDA.

In announcing the award, the state agency made no specific mention of DoE grant monies being funneled back into the DoE. Senu Sirnivas, principal engineer for NREL’s offshore wind energy technology programs, noted only that NREL’s Shared Mooring Systems for Deep Floating Wind Farms was a good tool for “exploring cost reductions,” while consortium Chairman Robert Catell simply trumpeted “the first in a series of awards consistent with [the consortium’s] mission to lower long-term energy costs.”

All business: Adelphi University President Christine Riordan keeps busy.

No rest: This is the busy season for higher-education faculty, but few are as engaed as Adelphi University President Christine Riordan, who has taken on two additional leadership roles.

Adelphi’s first woman president is now vice-chairwoman of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities and treasurer of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education. The LIRACHE, where Riordan is already a trustee and member of the Steering Committee, is a consortium of 15 colleges and universities collectively representing more than 178,000 students and 33,000 employees; the CICU is a non-governmental corporation of the New York State Regents advancing higher-ed policies at 100-plus independent campuses across the state.

Mary Beth Labate, CICU president, said she was “grateful” to the “bold and steady leader” for accepting the vice-chair role, while LIRACHE Executive Director Heather Shivokevich said she was pleased Rirodan has agreed to “serve with colleagues in this capacity.”



More pro, fewer cons: Ascend Long Island is matching “underserved” small businesses with big-time potential clients at its first “procurement conference.”

Quality, not quantity: With StartUp Connect, pairing the right innovators and investors – not just running up the score – is the Suffolk IDA’s Paramount concern.

Keep on keeping on: Keep these informative and entertaining newsletters coming by sharing this one with your fellow innovators – and inviting them to get their own (for free).



Truth be told: The audience is watching – so how does your brand keep it real in the Digital Age? Government and media ace David Chauvin has some expert authenticity advice.



Gender bender: Forbes is rethinking its Most Innovative Leaders methodology, after a 99 percent male list dented its reputation.

Off track: Newsday is in the courtroom as Floral Park sues to stop the $1.3 billion Belmont Park redevelopment project.

Target lock: The Econsultancy blog offers tactical innovation tips designed to maximize marketing efficiency (and sway skeptics).



+ Passage Bio, a Pennsylvania-based genetic-medicines company developing therapies for rare central nervous system diseases, raised $110 million in Series B funding led by Access Biotechnology, with participation from OrbiMed, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Versant Ventures, Lily Asia Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners and Vivo Capital.

+ Kasisto, a New York City-based “conversational AI assistant” for financial institutions and customers, secured $15 million in Series B funding led by Rho Capital Partners, with participation from Oak HC/FT, Propel Venture Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Commerce Ventures and the Partnership Fund for New York City.

+ EBR Systems, a California-based manufacturer of a wireless cardiac-pacing system, raised $30 million in funding led by Brandon Capital Partners and M.H. Carnegie & Co, with participation from Split Rock Partners, Ascension Ventures and Emergent Medical Partners, among others.

+ Morty, a NYC-based platform helping families understand residential real estate, raised $8.5 million in a Series A round led by Prudence Holdings, with participation from Lerer Hippeau and Thrive Capital.

+ Sunverge, a California-based distributed-energy monitoring and control platform, raised $11 million in funding led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund, with participation from Equinor Energy Ventures and Evergy Ventures.

+ Root Insurance, an Ohio-based property casualty insurance-technology company, raised $350 million in Series E funding led by DST Global and Coatue, with participation from existing investors Drive Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Scale Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management.


Holy chip: The android priest of Kodaiji temple.

BELOW THE FOLD (Sci-fi edition)

The voice of Mindar: Rise of the robo-priests!

Resistance is futile: Enter, the magic cyborg!

Dark skies: UFO cover-up? Of course!

World of tomorrow: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, where the Northwell Center for Learning & Innovation turns science fiction into science fact. Check it out.