inside florida's high tech corridor

June 2010










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Did you know?

There are more than 220 microelectronics and nanotechnology companies in the Corridor and the average company employs approximately 80.3 jobs.

June's Quote
"Building something and seeing it work is really a great feeling. If in the end it is successful, it was worth all the effort that you had to put in it-it's an adrenaline rush."

Dr. Rainer Meinke, Founder and Chief Scientist at Advanced Magnet Lab, in this month's Faces of Technology.

UCF Awarded Grant to Study Multiple Sclerosis

A University of Central Florida College of Medicine professor has been awarded a four-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases. Stephen Lambert will use nanotechnology tools to study the breakdown of myelin, a material that coats nerves in the brain and spinal cord and helps electrical signals reach nerve cells and distant muscles.

Current medications only control and limit the effects of MS, a disease that affects nearly 400,000 Americans and millions worldwide. Lambert's study could shed light on how to reverse the damage caused by neurological diseases and also could lead to the development of new medications to fight that damage.

For more information, visit

USF Technology Used in Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research

A group of University of South Florida (USF) researchers set out May 5 into the Gulf of Mexico with a rare high tech device they developed to study the effects of April's oil spill on marine ecology. Armed with the equipment called The SIPPER, the USF researchers plan to use the device to determine the risk the oil may have on zooplankton by examining miniscule oil droplets that may harm them. Zooplankton - tiny animals found near the surface in aquatic environments - play a vital role in the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico because they make up the foundation of the food web.

The SIPPER, which was used aboard the Weatherbird II research cruise, is one of only a few such devices in use today. USF has been developing the equipment for more than 12 years. The high tech light and camera mechanism captures images of marine life as it moves through a metal tube so as not to disturb the natural environment. This allows researchers to collect more accurate data because the samples are not disturbed during the collection process.

For more information, visit

UF Researcher Develops Device That Expands Uses for Night Vision Technology

A professor at the University of Florida (UF) working on a FHTCC Matching Grants Research Program funded project authored a paper explaining a recent development that could bring night vision capability to cell phones, eyeglasses and vehicle windshields using organic light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Franky So, an engineering researcher and professor of materials science and engineering at UF, was the lead researcher on the project, which was supported by Corridor funds and matched by industry research partner Nanoholdings for a total of $675,000.

So's report, co-authored by UF's Do Young Kim, focuses on the development of a nickel-size device that simplifies the structure of night vision technology. The thin, lightweight and relatively inexpensive imaging device utilizes a photodetector in which infrared light photons are converted into electrons. This is done in conjunction with an LED which then produces visible light. The simplified process replaces the need for the heavy cathode ray vacuum tubes used in traditional night vision goggles.

Nanoholdings LLC's portfolio company, NirVision, is a UF start-up formed to commercialize this technology for new applications.

For more information, visit


Nanotechnology and microelectronics is a growing field with a wide breadth of applications, and with more than 220 businesses that employ 20,000 people with a payroll of $1.2 billion, much of this growth is taking place within the Florida High Tech Corridor.

One of the many applications of nanotechnology is its use in the development of new and alternative materials. Several businesses within the Corridor are leading the nanotechnology materials development field. One example is nSolgel (, an Orlando-based company working to develop an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete. Cement, one of the main ingredients in concrete, is energy-intensive to produce and generates 5 percent of the world's carbon dioxide. nSolgel is using nanotechnology to turn waste from power plants into a new material that can be used in place of concrete.

Another company working within the nanotechnology sector is Gainesville-based Sinmat (, a company using materials nanotechnology in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In addition, Pasco County-based Dais Analytic Corporation (, has used nanotechnology to patent a number of products that aid in conservation of water and energy consumption.

Beyond materials development, manufacturing and sustainability, nanotechnology is also used extensively in the biomedical and health care fields. Within the Corridor, Massachusetts-based Charles Stark Draper Laboratory has established a center at the University of South Florida (USF) as part of FHTCC's Matching Grants Research Program which will work in partnership with USF's medical school. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory will focus on the biomedical applications of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), which are miniature mechanical devices built with semiconductor manufacturing techniques. The tiny MEMS components, analogous in size to the diameter of a single human hair, have enormous potential for a variety of applications, particularly in health care and disease treatment research.

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council fosters the expansion of this burgeoning field through the academic institutions of its partner universities. The MICROFABRITECH program at the University of Florida ( was formed to further the technical knowledge of advanced materials and microelectronics. The University of Central Florida has established the NanoScience Technology Center ( and the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center ( In addition to the new Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, the Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Research Center ( facilitates multidisciplinary nano-related research projects at USF.

With its many applications, nanotechnology and microelectronics is a growing field and the Florida High Tech Corridor is a hub of activity for the industry.


Dr. Rainer Meinke, Founder and Chief Scientist
Advanced Magnet Lab

The Advanced Magnet Lab (AML) provides revolutionary technology for the design and manufacture of advanced coils, magnets and magnet systems for a variety of applications and markets including renewable energy and the medical field.

How Did You Get Your Start? During my time at international research organizations in Germany, I was always interested in studying the basic building blocks of our universe. When the U.S. wanted to build the largest accelerator in the world, I was asked to become a part of the research team. After a while, I left government work to start the AML.
Favorite Part of the Job: Building something and seeing it work is really a great feeling. If in the end it is successful, it was worth all the effort that you had to put in it-it's an adrenaline rush.
What's Hot: Electromagnets haven't changed much since the days of Nikola Tesla, but we've come up with technology that revolutionizes any kind of electromagnet-our coil configurations are much more complex yet much more versatile. I think our patents in this field will have enormous implications for the future..
What's New: We are working on targeted drug delivery systems using magnets. Instead of flooding your whole system when you inject a drug into the body as it is being done now, the drug could be magnetically directed and steered to the area where it is actually needed.

For a video interview, visit


This month's Take a Bow spotlight recognizes a longtime partner and supporter of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council whose efforts in advancing economic development within the region have drawn attention statewide. FHTCC thanks Bill McDermott, director of Economic Development for Seminole County, for his support of the mission to grow high tech industry in the Corridor.

Bill's dedication to the Corridor is best demonstrated by his back-to-back service as the chairman of the FHTCC Marketing Committee for this current year, as well as his previous service in the early days of the Council. For the past two years, Bill has led the team into new chapters of connectivity and online interaction through Web conferencing and social media networks.

For his accomplishments in the profession, Bill was named the recipient of the Eunice Sullivan Economic Development Professional of the Year Award at last month's annual meeting of the 250-member Florida Economic Development Council. This award, voted upon by directors statewide, serves to recognize the number one economic development director in Florida.

Bill is an invaluable partner and member of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's Marketing Committee and Core Team, and FHTCC recognizes his efforts to advance the Council's goals in high tech economic development through marketing the region.


Leaders from diverse industries make up the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and serve as advisors and partners to FHTCC in its mission to grow high tech industry. This edition of Inside Florida's High Tech Corridor recognizes Council member David Robinson for his support.

Robinson is president of DSM Technology Consultants(, an IT support company based in Lakeland that offers technology consulting, data center services and systems integration. He has been an active member of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council since 2008.

Robinson founded DSM in 1986, and has led the company to become a leading technology consulting firm. He was educated both abroad and at the University of South Florida, and has held positions in various organizations including the Department of Defense, a Big 5 accounting firm and as chief information and technology officer at a NASDAQ-listed health care company. As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded and sold start-ups, as well as mature companies.


Planar Energy Awarded $4M Department of Energy Grant
Planar Energy, an Orlando-based company developing next generation batteries, has been awarded a $4 million grant as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy initiative. Planar Energy's project is one of 37 research initiatives receiving funding through this program.

Planar Energy will use the award to accelerate the development and commercialization of solid-state lithium batteries which could lead to lower prices, and greater adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The award was announced by Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu in Washington, D.C., at a Recovery Act Cabinet meeting in April. The DOE grant is meant to accelerate technological advancements in clean energy.

For more information, visit Releases/DOE Awards Planar Energy $4M Grant.pdf.

coolTECH 2010 Showcases Innovative Exhibitors, Disney Exec Speaker
The Tampa Bay Technology Forum announced Frank Farro, an executive at the Walt Disney Company, will deliver the keynote address at its annual coolTECH technological showcase June 4 at the Museum of Science and Industry. Farro leads new technology research and development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts worldwide. In his keynote address, "Innovation at Walt Disney," he will discuss how innovation and new technology shape everything the Walt Disney Company does.

coolTECH 2010 will feature a variety of technological innovations from throughout the Corridor. Some of the exhibitors include ClicRweight Inc. which will be demonstrating ClicRweight, a handheld device that weighs large objects using stereo vision and 3-D technologies, using a live cow. Also exhibiting its latest inventions is Rover Technology Fusions, which will demonstrate RoverINK, a product that captures handwriting using the digital technology of smartphones or laptops and MemoryMate, a company that has created a memory system using Web-based applications to help the memory impaired and many others.

For more information or to register to attend, visit

University of Central Florida Partners with IBM
IBM recently announced its partnership with the University of Central Florida's Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (IASE) in order to prepare students for careers in systems engineering. The partnership comes with IBM's donation of $2 million in software, in-kind donations and consulting.

IASE students and faculty will have the opportunity to use leading systems engineering technology in a hands-on environment. This opportunity opens doors for advanced research projects and gives researchers the resources they need to compete for grants.

For more information, visit

New Engineering Technology Degree Program Being Offered This Fall
The State Board of Education approved Daytona State College's proposal to begin offering a new Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools must still review the addition of the program but Daytona State College has begun preparations to enroll students to begin the program, this September. A bachelor's degree in Engineering Technology prepares students for careers as engineering technologists, application engineers and managers in a variety of fields including product design and testing, systems engineering, quality control and more.

For more information, visit


Fintech Named Business of the Year by U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Fintech, an electronic payment and data firm based in Tampa, has been chosen as Business of the Year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In March, Fintech was named Business of the Year for the Southeast region and went on to win the national title in May at the DREAM BIG Business of the Year Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Orlando Small Business Leaders Honored
The Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida honored leaders of two Orlando small businesses at its Small Business Award Luncheon May 18. Waymon Armstrong, president and CEO of Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc. (ECS), was awarded the 2010 Florida Small Business Person of the Year Award. ECS uses 3-D graphical technology for use in PC-based virtual reality simulations. It is a graduate of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program and participated in the GrowFL Economic Gardening Program. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration 2010 Financial Services Champion of the Year was awarded to Chris Hurn, co-founder and CEO of Mercantile Capital Corporation, a lending firm that specializes in financing commercial properties.

UF Receives $1.2M Grant for Undergrad Education
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded the University of Florida (UF) a $1.2 million grant to encourage collaboration on health-related research projects from different disciplines throughout the university. The grant will fund a dual-mentorship program within the UF-HMMI Science for Life Program. The program brings together researchers and undergraduate students from 50 departments to work on research projects and benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to solving today's most pressing medical issues.

Students Create Prize-Winning Blackberry App
A group of University of South Florida (USF) students created an application for the Blackberry Storm® smartphone that received second place in this year's inaugural College Smartphone Application Contest. The three USF Information Systems Decision Sciences students developed an application that allows business operations managers to capture and analyze data by monitoring their systems remotely. The USF team beat universities including Carnegie-Mellon, Kettering University, McMaster University, Millersville University, Queen's University, Texas A&M, University of Victoria and University of Waterloo in the invitation-only contest.

Calendar of Events

The following events are taking place across the Corridor's 23-county region or in the surrounding area:

coolTECH 2010
Presented by: Tampa Bay Technology Forum and Museum of Science and Industry
Friday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MOSI, 4801 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa
For event information, visit

Florida Innovation Hub Groundbreaking
Presented by: Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida
Monday, June 14 at 3:30 p.m.
Corner of SW 2nd Avenue and SW 7th Terrace, Gainesville
RSVP by June 7 to or call (352) 392-8929.

Internet Technology Summit 2010
Presented by: Florida Technology Journal
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 and 23
Amway Arena, 600 West Amelia Street, Orlando
For event information, visit

An Innovation Conversation: New Opportunities in Photonics Created by Lake Nona's Emerging Medical City
Presented by: Tavistock Corp., Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission
Wednesday, June 23, from 2-5 p.m.
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, 6400 Sanger Road, Orlando
For event information, contact Jim Pearson, FPC Executive Director at

BioBasics Course
Presented by: BioFlorida and Biotech Primer
Thursday and Friday, June 24 and 25
BioFlorida, 525 Okeechobee Blvd., Suite 1500, West Palm Beach
For event information, visit or call (410) 377-4429.

STEM Education Conference
Presented by: STEMflorida
Sunday through Tuesday, July 25-27
Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa, Lake Buena Vista
For event information, visit

High Impact Technology Exchange Conference
Presented by: National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program
Monday through Thursday, July 26-29
Omni Orlando Resort, 1500 Masters Blvd., ChampionsGate, Orlando
For event information, visit

Statewide SBIR Grant Workshops
Presented by: Technological Research and Development Authority
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, June 10: National High Magnetic Field Lab at Innovation Park, 1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee
Thursday, July 15: Star Technology Enterprise Center, 7887 Bryan Dairy Road, Tampa
Wednesday, August 4: Disney Entrepreneur Center, 315 E. Robinson Street, Suite 100, Orlando
Thursday, September 16: Enterprise Development Corp. Technology Business Incubator at FAU, 3701 FAU Blvd., Suite 201, Boca Raton


BioTraits Inc. Lands Deal with National Payroll Services Operation
Orlando Sentinel
By Richard Burnett

Computer software provider BioTraits Inc. has signed a partnership deal to market its products through PrimePay Inc.'s national network of payroll services operations, the companies said this week.

For the full article, visit or

STEM is the Spark of Scientific Inspiration
Bradenton Herald
By James A. Jones Jr.

Nearly 200 girls from Manatee and Sarasota middle schools, specially selected by their math and science teachers, took part in the second Girls STEM Conference on Saturday at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

For the full article, visit or

5-year UF Plan to Add 300 Faculty Positions
The Gainesville Sun
By Diane Chun

Officials from the University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands Healthcare unveiled an ambitious five-year plan Thursday that would add 300 faculty positions and cost $580 million, with the goal of placing the Health Science Center among the top 10 percent of national academic health care facilities.

For the full article, visit or



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