On The Cutting Edge

Who will lead the next tech revolution? B.e. takes a look at entrepreneurs, researchers,and scientists inspired to change the way we work and live.

for patients suffering from liver failure. “Tissue engineering is at a pivotal point because a lot of the research has already been done,” says the scientist-cum-entrepreneur. “Now, that knowledge has to be taken and translated into the marketplace.”

It will be no easy task. R&D is expensive, funding is scarce, and competition is fierce, she says. Many companies go bust before potentially life-saving products ever reach market. According to a 2002 Ernst & Young Biotech Report, the global biotech industry is composed of 4,284 companies (622 public; 3,662 private) in 25 nations. The 622 public companies generated revenues of $35 billion, spent $16 billion in R&D, and employed more than 188,000 people in 2001.

Through her groundbreaking research, Clemmons, who will be pursuing an executive M.B.A. at UCLA’s Anderson School the fall, is building a business while saving lives.

Captain Mickey V. Ross
Age 48 / Occupation Shore Installations Manager Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command / U.S. Navy
While the world stood still on Sept. 11, 2001, Ross and his team snapped to attention. As shore installations manager for the U.S. Navy, Ross was responsible for building an infrastructure that connected all audio, video, and data communications.

Although based in San Diego, Ross’ team was charged with reconstructing the Pentagon’s Navy Operations Center, which had been “completely devastated” by the attacks. The team was also responsible for providing connectivity to New York City. When the USNS Comfort pulled into the Manhattan pier during the 9-11 crisis, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani designated the ship as one of the city’s alternate command sites. In an anxious world preparing for more terrorist threats, this technology is mission critical—especially for cities with older communications systems. Ross, who is an Arkansas native, began his 26-year career in the armed services after graduating from Bainbridge, Maryland’s Naval Academy Prep School in 1977. “It’s more critical than ever to have all the systems a war fighter needs,” he says.

Bottom line: Ross and his team are key to our national defense.

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