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|Articles - July/August 2012|
|Monday, July 09, 2012|
BY JON BELL
During the dangerous days of World War II, U.S. Navy ships in need of a resupply would motor up to a supply depot at the Port of Seattle, likely dumping spent rounds and unneeded munitions overboard to expedite the process.
It might not have seemed like a big deal then, but 70 years later, with more cruise ships than battleships plying the waters, the leftover munitions discovered near the busy terminal posed a real threat — and not just to safety but to the greater Seattle economy. In 2010 the cruise ship industry brought in more than $245 million to the area, so any disruption could have made big waves.
But thanks in part to an innovative company in Ashland called Sky Research, which uses advanced sensing technology to locate unexploded bombs, mines and other ordnance, divers and unmanned vehicles located and removed more than 220 potentially dangerous items and helped keep the cruise ships coming.
“Sometimes in our nation’s history, prioritization has not been given to cleaning up after ourselves,” says Bryan Coggins, chief operating officer for Sky, “so we help with that.”
Founded as a remote sensing company in the 1980s by pilots Sky and Anne Sky, the firm incorporated in 1995 and moved to Ashland two years later. Over the years, Sky Research has refined its technology, which includes Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), orthophotography and digital mapping, to vastly improve and expedite the detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO).
The company, which had revenue in 2010 of around $25 million, employs 150 people, about a quarter of them in Oregon; 35 new people have been added this year alone. Most of Sky Research’s work is for the government at former shooting ranges, especially those being encroached upon by suburban development. Coggins says marine and commercial applications, such as mineral, oil and gas exploration, are expanding as well.
In addition, Sky Research hopes to eventually use its technology for humanitarian purposes, helping to clean up areas with notorious UXO problems in southern Asia and elsewhere.
“That is our ambition,” Coggins says, “because we have some pretty slick technology that could make it a lot safer for anyone in these regions.”
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
Friday, June 06, 2014
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
I was in a rut. A few months ago, I was at my desk trying to come up with cover story ideas for our June “green” issue. But I was stuck on a concept that is a bit too tried and true in the magazine business.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JON BELL
A new generation of outdoor apparel companies targets the young and the urban.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex fast changing business environment.
Update: We checked in with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who offers his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
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