Business briefs

2013-02-20T00:00:00Z 2013-02-20T10:32:45Z Business briefsFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
February 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

TUCSON

Michigan official to head UA office of tech transfer

The University of Arizona technology commercialization arm has named a University of Michigan administrator to head its office of technology transfer.

Doug Hockstad, associate director of software and engineering licensing in Michigan's Office of Technology Transfer, starts his new role Monday.

Hockstad spent the last 11 years managing Michigan's software licensing portfolio and program, including the last six as a member of the executive management team.

The UA Office of Technology Transfer is operated under Tech Launch Arizona, a new, Cabinet-level agency headed by former University of Colorado administrator David Allen.

The tech-transfer director position has been vacant since the departure of Patrick Jones, who left in January 2012 for a position at the University of Oregon.

Raytheon, UK firm team up on naval missile system

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems and United Kingdom-based Chemring Group have agreed to develop a lower-cost naval missile system to defend against surface targets.

The effort will combine Chemring's multimission Centurion launcher with Raytheon missiles, for use by craft ranging in size from small patrol boats to large ships, according to a briefing held Tuesday at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Three missiles are being adapted to the launcher: the TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked Wire or Wireless guided) missile; the Griffin small guided missile and the Javelin anti-tank missile, a Raytheon spokesman said.

The project is in the integration engineering phase, with live-fire testing of the new missile defense system scheduled for mid-2013, Raytheon and Chemring said in a news release.

Testing is expected to include at least two different missiles in order to establish a multimission capacity against maneuvering surface threats, the companies said.

ARIZONA

Software firm plans US HQ in metropolitan Phoenix

PHOENIX - A software development and marketing company based in Luxembourg has announced plans to open its U.S. headquarters and hire 200 people in metropolitan Phoenix.

Stealth software CEO Gerard Warrens said Tuesday that the company considered Austin, Texas; New York; and California's Silicon Valley, but picked Arizona because it offered a competitive business environment and a skilled workforce.

The firm is looking to hire software developers, salespeople and others. It also wants to do work in the bioscience, aerospace and defense sectors and collaborate in research projects with universities across Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer said the announcement is a sign that Arizona's business environment is becoming more competitive.

NATION

Homebuilder confidence dips in monthly survey

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders slipped this month from the six-year high it reached in January, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index showed Tuesday. Many builders are reporting less traffic by prospective customers before the critical spring homebuying season.

Health insurer stocks slip on possible Medicare cuts

Health insurance stocks wobbled Tuesday after data released by the federal government pointed to possible steep Medicare Advantage payment cuts in 2014, which could lead to reduced coverage or fewer options for people buying the plans.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday after markets closed that it expects costs per person for Medicare Advantage plans to fall more than 2 percent in 2014, a bigger drop than many analysts who cover the industry anticipated.

Renewed fervor for Google lifts stock to a new high

Google's stock price topped $800 for the first time Tuesday amid renewed confidence in the company's ability to reap higher profits from its dominance of Internet search and prominence in the growing mobile market.

WORLD

China rejects No. 1 label in total imports, exports

BEIJING - Official Chinese and American trade data indicate China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion. But China denies it's the new No. 1.

Beijing wants to be a global leader but insists it's still a poor country. It is wary of any change in that status that might fuel demands for action to stimulate the global economy or concessions on trade and climate change.

Staff and wire reports

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