Dianne Goodwin founded Blue Sky Designs in Minneapolis in 1997, with the goal of designing innovative products to help people with disabilities. For the average Minnesotan, it is easy to take for granted some of the simplest joys of life, such as going camping, taking a fishing trip, or even using a computer. For those with disabilities, these activities pose many challenges. The products designed by Dianne and the team at Blue Sky Designs address these challenges and enable individuals with disabilities to lead rich lives.
With a background in rehabilitative engineering and product design prior to founding Blue Sky Designs, Dianne possessed a strong sense of ergonomics and universal design, or more simply put, “how to develop products that help people do what they want to do.” Blue Sky Designs first focused on developing custom designs for disabled individuals. These products were specially designed to serve one person’s very specific needs. In 2002, Blue Sky Designs transitioned into broader product development, shifting their focus to building commercially-available products with commonly sought benefits.
Twin Star Medical is a Minnesota medical technology company pioneering the use of microporous catheters to aspirate and to infuse fluids as a local therapeutic intervention for a number of unmet medical needs. The first product to be introduced by Twin Star Medical has obtained FDA clearance and is being launched in the U.S. to treat complications from fractures.
The Department of Defense is funding clinical studies for additional FDA indications along with other product modifications for use in theater. A second product resulting from Twin Star’s research is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) catheter, for which pivotal animal studies have been completed. It is poised for human studies next year. Localized drug delivery is the next focus for the Twin Star Medical technology, with the initial clinical indications for direct delivery of cancer drugs to the tumor and surrounding tissue, across a range of tumor locations.
Last night, Governor Dayton was the keynote speaker at the 141st annual Duluth Chamber of Commerce dinner. The Governor spoke about the importance of investing in education and infrastructure, and praised Duluth’s public and private sectors for working successfully together.
"We face economic challenges throughout our state, but as Duluth shows people pulling together and the public sector private sector working together, it generates the jobs that keep people here and keep the city vibrant,” Governor Dayton said after taking the stage to a standing ovation, according to WDIO-ABC.
AUM Cardiovascular is a Minnesota company that helps doctors better diagnose and treat blockages in the heart with a device called the CADence System. The founder of the company, Dr. Marie Johnson, developed algorithms and signal processing techniques used to detect and analyze heart disease after losing her husband to a heart attack in 2002. AUM Cardiovascular and its talented team turned what was a tragedy into 2011’s top innovation, the CADence system.
The CADence system is a non-invasive, hand-held device capable of detecting coronary artery disease in roughly 20 seconds. Compared to other tests, the CADence system is much faster, does not require a dedicated space or specialized staff, has very little cost for each patient, and also does not require pharmaceutical dye. These revolutionary features make the CADence test more practical and readily available.
Smith detailed the Dayton Administration’s approach to building a better government for a better Minnesota, saying that the effort is changing the way that state government does business.
Smith also unveiled a new website that will provide a place for Minnesotans to track the progress of reforms taking place in state government. Information on both current and future reform efforts can be found at http://mn.gov/governor/initiatives/better-government.
Over the last ten months, every state agency has taken steps to improve their operations and today Commissioner Lucinda Jesson highlighted the results achieved through the Department of Human Services’ effort to reform how the state buys health care in order to get quality care at a better price.
EarthClean is a Minnesota-based innovator in the field of delivering more effective, environmentally friendly, fire suppressant products. EarthClean prides itself on building an international company with a goal “to change the way the world fights fires.”
There has been growing concern over the toxicity of existing firefighting foams and how they can be harmful to fish, mammals, plants and the watershed. EarthClean’s first product, TetraKO, is a direct response to this concern.
Unlike all other products in its category, TetraKO employs a patented formula that provides an incredibly effective fire suppressant when mixed with water. This technology transforms water into a gel that can be pumped through standard firefighting equipment and adheres to structures and vegetation creating a fire suppression coating. Once the gel is heated by fire, TetraKO converts to a steam that quickly suffocates the fire. EarthClean hopes that TetraKO will have a significant impact in reducing fire damage, loss of lives, water damages and loss of wildlife, while providing better protection to fire fighters and to the environment.
“Considering the many hardships facing Minnesotans in this economy, it has never been more important to empower consumers of all ages with the knowledge and resources necessary to make responsible, informed financial decisions,” said Commissioner Rothman. “The Minnesota Department of Commerce, as one of the state’s consumer advocates, has a mission-driven responsibility to contribute what resources, expertise, and services we can to this important effort.”
The 12 initiatives are the result of a collaborative Financial Literacy Roundtable conversation hosted last April by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
The steps include direct outreach to consumers, improving online tools for financial literacy, collaborating with the federal government and other state agencies, and more.