Business briefs

Feb. 20, 2013 @ 06:43 PM

Semprius named one of 50 disruptive companies by MIT magazine

DURHAM -- Semprius Inc. has been named one of MIT Technology Review’s “50 Disruptive Companies 2013.”

The magazine’s editors look for companies for the annual list that have demonstrated original and valuable technology over the past year, that are bringing that technology to market at significant scale and are “clearly influencing” their competitors, according to a news release from Semprius.

“We consider Semprius a solar company worth watching closely,” said Jason Pontin, publisher and editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, in a news release.

Semprius, based in Durham, has a commercial solar module manufacturing facility in Henderson. The company employs 50 at the factory, has one shift, and has been shipping to customers since October.

The company uses a proprietary micro-transfer printing process to make small solar cells for modules that company officials believe have performance and cost advantages.

California data-storage company opens Durham office

DURHAM – The California-based data storage equipment company Nimble Storage has opened an office in Durham that can house up to 100 employees, according to a news release from the company.

The office, which opened earlier this month, has 10 people on staff, Gary Good, a company spokesman, said in an email.

The opening of the office follows a recent expansion by the company into the Asia-Pacific region. The company is targeting regions where there is opportunity for growth and access to high-tech talent, the release states, and where businesses are “turning to IT to transform their operations and increase competitiveness.”

“This key investment in the East Coast region enables Nimble Storage to further its leadership in the global storage industry,” said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage, in a statement in the release.

Nimble Storage is a developer of digital storage equipment. Good said Nimble’s technology combines two data storage types, including characteristics of both hard drives and flash drives. He said for certain purposes, spinning hard drives are less expensive, and are good for archiving larger volumes of data. In comparison, flash drives are more expensive, but allow for faster data access.

RTI to officially open Raleigh research operations center

DURHAM – RTI International, the nonprofit research institute based in the Durham County portion of the Research Triangle Park, is officially opening its expanded Raleigh research operations center Thursday.

The institute leases space in Raleigh for a call center, where researchers do telephone surveys as well as telephone-based recruiting of hospitals, schools and others businesses to participate in research projects, according to an email from Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe, a spokeswoman for RTI.

The institute leased more space to house its field technical support group, data preparation team, scanning and data entry workers and a mapping unit that supports field-based counting and listing, she said.

The center employs 450 data collection specialists and 40 supervisors, according to an RTI media advisory. The institute said growth in its survey research businesses in the past year has contributed to growth in employment there.

Public hearings ongoing for Progress Energy’s NC rate increase request

DURHAM – Public hearings have been held this week to gather comments on the request from Progress Energy Carolinas, a Duke Energy subsidiary, for a general electric rate increase for its North Carolina customers.

Progress Energy Carolinas filed a request in October with the N.C. Utilities Commission for the increase.

The total net increase for residential customers, as proposed, would average 14.2 percent, according to a news release.There will be additional public hearings on the Progress Energy Carolinas request, including one in Raleigh March 13.

Public hearings have not yet been scheduled to gather comments on the rate increase request form Duke Energy Carolinas for its North Carolina customers, said Sam Watson, general counsel for the commission.

Watson said those hearings will be in the spring.