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Corridor Researchers Elected as 2016 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2016) – Eight academic inventors from Florida High Tech Corridor partner universities – the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF) – are among 175 of the nation’s foremost researchers who will soon be inducted as 2016 Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

These Corridor inventors join a group now totaling 757 NAI Fellows from 229 prestigious research universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutions.  The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000.

Election as an NAI Fellow is a high honor bestowed upon academic innovators and inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

The 2016 NAI Fellows from Corridor universities are:

  • Nazim Z. Muradov, Research Professor, UCF
  • Nicholas Lawrence, Professor of Oncologic Sciences, USF
  • Israel J. Morejon, Board Member, USF Research Foundation Board of Directors
  • Sudeep Sarkar, Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, USF
  • Thomas M. Weller, Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering, USF
  • Juan E. Gilbert, Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, UF
  • Nicolas Muzyczka, Eminent Scholar for Cancer Research, College of Medicine, UF
  • Andrew G. Rinzler, Professor, Department of Physics, UF

“I’m honored to join the National Academy of Inventors in recognizing these technology pioneers, who are forging the future of our Corridor as a leading high tech hub,” said Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.  “From cancer therapies to sustainable energy solutions, the inventions of these esteemed researchers are revolutionizing life in our Corridor, our state and our nation.”

Academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2016 Fellows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.  U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew H. Hirshfeld, will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.  In honor of their outstanding accomplishments, Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin.

“It is exciting to see the NAI Fellows Program continue to honor and recognize the achievements of some of the world’s most creative and prolific academic inventors each year,” said NAI President Paul R. Sanberg.  “We are privileged to welcome the 2016 Fellows to the Academy and recognize their remarkable discoveries and inventions, as well as their important contributions to society.”

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 94 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and nonprofit research institutes, 376 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 28 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 45 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science, 28 Nobel Laureates, 216 AAAS Fellows, 126 IEEE Fellows, and 116 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

A complete list of NAI Fellows, including links to biographical information, is available here: http://www.academyofinventors.org/search-fellows.asp.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a 501©(3) nonprofit member organization comprised of U.S. and international universities, and governmental and nonprofit research institutions, with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 institutions, and growing rapidly. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI edits the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors.

For more information, visit www.AcademyofInventors.org.

About The Florida High Tech Corridor Council

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The mission of The Corridor is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.

A partnership involving more than 25 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), 14 state colleges and 12 CareerSource boards, The Corridor is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF.  The Corridor includes the presidents of two state colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.

The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.

For more information, visit www.floridahightech.com.


Invest in service workers, Richard Florida tells crowd in Orlando

Orlando Sentinel, By Paul Brinkmann

Cashiers, cleaners, servers and other workers in Florida’s gigantic service sector are a key to the state’s economic future, several experts said Wednesday at the annual forum of Florida Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Florida.

Diversifying the economy with industrial and tech jobs was also a major focus, and the chamber released statistics that said Central Florida is actually more diverse than other regions of the state, if you include Brevard County.

“Companies that invest in service workers, pay them more, get them involved in quality, see them as a source of customer engagement… have more productivity, higher profits,” said Richard Florida, author and urban studies theorist.

Florida was a keynote speaker at the Future of Florida Forum. He also took a swipe at the Republican presidential nominee, saying that creative entrepreneurs gravitate to “Places that are open to immigrants — sorry, Donald Trump.”

His speech followed comments from Mark Wilson, president of the Florida chamber, who said people might be surprised to hear that the Orlando area – including Brevard County and the Space Coast – have a more diverse economy than the rest of the state, because of the tech, space and defense-related jobs here. Wilson acknowledged that those stats probably would surprise many people who only think of Disney and tourism when they consider Orlando.

Richard Florida didn’t offer any concrete suggestions for how to invest in service workers, such as the national “Fight for 15″ wage effort that has raised minimum wage to $15 in some major cities.

But he said Florida and specifically Orlando are an epicenter of service jobs and could benefit from better treatment of service workers.

“It’s important that we upgrade the service economy if we want to build a fully sustainable economy,” he said. “There’s no better place to make the retail sector part of the creative economy.”

Randy Berridge, president of the High Tech Corridor that runs from Tampa to the Space Coast, said Richard Florida’s speech highlighted important issues.

“Disney especially is a major asset for us here. I’ve met with companies who said they are considering Orlando for expansion or relocation just because we have tens of thousands of people who have been trained by Disney,” Berridge said.

Berridge said he just wished Richard Florida had been given more time to talk.

For the full story, visit http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-future-florida-economy-20160928-story.html

Orlando’s Latest Theme Park Is a City for Wellness

New York Times, By Nick Madigan

In this most-visited city in the country, tens of millions of tourists spend their dollars every year in a swarm of theme parks that have made this area famous around the world. Now, Orlando is trying to show itself as a place far different than a land of fantasy.

An important part of Orlando’s emerging presence as a mature and innovative city is the 14-square-mile Lake Nona project, which is being built on land that only a decade ago was mostly pasture.

Once finished, the development, being built by Tavistock Development Company, will resemble a city in everything but name, with hospitals, hotels, office buildings, schools and colleges, recreational and sports training facilities, retail centers, entertainment spots and, ultimately, about 11,000 homes and more than 25,000 residents. More than 10 million square feet of construction has been completed at a cost of more than $3 billion.

“We didn’t want to pave over this project with a bunch of production housing — we wanted to do something greater,” James Zboril, president of the company, said over the summer in the project’s Laureate Park Village Center. Nearby, children splashed in a large pool and adults worked out in a state-of-the-art gym, facilities built for the residents.

Beyond the normal, profit-driven imperatives of brick-and-mortar projects, Lake Nona has an additional purpose — wellness — a notion that is intended to permeate virtually every aspect of the community, Mr. Zboril said.

The Lake Nona property was bought in 1996 by the British businessman Joseph C. Lewis, the founder of the Tavistock Group, the developer’s parent company. He later doubled the site’s size by buying adjacent parcels. If the entire 9,000-acre property — 40 percent of which will be left undeveloped — were laid over Manhattan, it would stretch from the financial district north to 66th Street and, in parts, as far west as Jersey City.

Two of Lake Nona’s top goals, the developer says, were to entice institutions and commercial entities to build on the site and to encourage their employees to live there, sparing them from commutes and providing daily conveniences within easy reach. Tavistock — using enticements like grants and free plots of land, and aided by state and local government incentives — set about persuading major medical and research institutions to move to the site as part of a life-sciences cluster.

Now known as Medical City, its 650 acres are host to Nemours Children’s Hospital; the University of Central Florida Medical Center; the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; the University of Florida Research and Academic Center; the GuideWell Innovation Center, a research, education and incubation hub; and a Veterans Affairs hospital, the first for the 400,000 veterans who live in the Orlando area.

For the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/21/realestate/commercial/orlandos-latest-theme-park-is-a-city-for-wellness.html?_r=0

Intersection: Simulation in Central Florida

WMFE, By Matthew Peddie

According to the National Center for Simulation, modeling, simulation, and training industries contribute nearly five billion dollars to Florida and directly employs more than 27,000 Floridians.

The second annual Florida Simulation Summit is this Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center.

Waymon Armstrong, founder and CEO of Engineering & Computer Simulations and Angela Alban, President and CEO of SIMETRI, Inc. join Intersection to talk about the latest in simulation.

For the full story, visit http://www.wmfe.org/intersection-simulation-in-central-florida/64312.

Local tech leaders dish on simulation, space travel, more

Orlando Business Journal, By Matthew Richardson

It was all things technology at the latest Orlando Business Journal event, and it didn’t disappoint.

During the panel discussion at OBJ’s Business of Technology luncheon held at Hilton Orlando on Aug. 11, local tech leaders filled guests in on the latest happenings in the growing industry, touching on topics such as smart sensors, commercial space launches, simulation training and virtual reality.

Here’s a response from each panelist about which niche areas they believe Central Florida will excel in:

Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council: The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center comes to mind first. I challenge anyone to share with us one county in Florida that has put up more than $180 million for one project, and along with that county, the state of Florida put in about $15 million with $5 million recurring, the University of Central Florida contributed over $10 million, $2 million came from the grant that was announced earlier this week, and our corridor is in for $6 million — the largest funding that we’ve ever provided. The top niche in our region and our state would be ICAMR and what will take place there.

For the full story, visit http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2016/08/11/local-tech-leaders-dish-on-simulation-space-travel.html.

Dept. of Commerce Invests $22M in Advanced Manufacturing Center

Powder & Bulk Solids

The US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is contributing a $2.2 million grant to the Osceola [FL] County Board of County Commissioners to assist in the construction of the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, the agency announced Tuesday.

“The growth of the US manufacturing sector is strongly tied to our ability to innovate,” said US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a statement. “The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center will advance the commercialization of smart sensors technology and the next generation of other emerging technologies.”

The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners is working with the University of Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council to establish the facility, where state-of-the-art research and incubation for startups will aid in the development of new smart sensors.

The center announced a partnership with Belgian nanotechnology research company Imec last month, according to a Orlando Sentinel report.

“This [grant] reflects the growing confidence in the project that we have been working to build at the federal level,” Chester Kennedy, head of the research center, told the Sentinel.

For the full story, visit http://www.powderbulksolids.com/news/Dept-of-Commerce-Invests-22-M-in-Advanced-Manufacturing-Center-08-09-2016.

A vibrant tech scene is thriving in the shadow of the Mouse’s ears

Worth, By Helen Anne Travis

Twenty-five years ago, downtown Orlando, Fla.’s Church Street Station was hopping. Locals and visitors—mostly visitors—came to watch “Red Hot Mama” Ruth Crews perform at Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Jazz Emporium, sip coffee and cocktails under the chandeliers of the Orchid Garden ballroom, and listen to country newcomers Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson at the Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House. The complex was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state—until it wasn’t. The theme parks wanted in on Church Street Station’s eat/shop/play success, so they built their own entertainment districts—think Downtown Disney, which opened in 2001. For Church Street Station, the impact was devastating. In 2003, Lou Pearlman, then famous for birthing the Backstreet Boys and ’NSync, bought the mostly vacant complex with big plans to revive it. Plans changed when he was later busted for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from investors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme and fled to Bali. And then came the recession. For years the once-bustling Church Street Exchange, the Station’s former shopping emporium, sat empty.

That was then. Today, the Exchange is buzzing with new life. The reason? A booming tech community. Attracted by a well-educated workforce and lifestyle advantages, entrepreneurs are creating a vibrant hub that is perhaps the best evidence that Orlando is about more than just theme parks. In 2014, a nonprofit coworking space called Canvs was created on the Exchange’s first floor, where more than 100 tech-related businesses and startups work on everything from video email to online doctor reviews.

For the full story, visit http://www.worth.com/destinations-2016-orlando/.

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Media Contacts:

If you are seeking information about The Corridor or the initiatives of the Council, please contact:

Vianka McConville
Curley & Pynn Public Relations
(407) 423-8006

We would be happy to put you in contact with industry experts who can speak to a variety of technology topics in their area of expertise. For a preview of the leaders who can share their experience in growing tech-based businesses in the Corridor, explore the videos of our Faces of Technology.