inside florida's high tech corridor

November 2011










Did you know?

In Hillsborough County, financial services accounts for 7.7 percent of all employment, compared to the national average of 4.4 percent.

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Visit for a comprehensive list of Local, Statewide, and National resources available in 23 counties across the Florida High Tech Corridor.

November's Quote

My favorite part of my job is knowing the products we've developed have the potential of saving lives."

Stan Van Meter, United Efficiency, in this month's Faces of Technology.

UF Forges Statewide Partnership with Spain

What all began with a simple interest in Spain's small-satellite programs is growing into a much deeper and intertwining partnership, as the Kingdom of Spain and the state of Florida unite for the sake of research and economic growth.  Researchers from the University of Florida's Department of Astronomy led the collaboration that is bringing together scientists in both regions to work in small satellite technology, as well as in agritechnology and the science of aging.

UF leaders have envisioned applications for this partnership including using telescopes on small satellites to monitor the spread of diseases affecting agriculture.  As well, UF's Institute on Aging will pair with a similar organization in Spain to further research collaborations and drive advances in their field.

Before formalizing the agreement, UF signed an agreement with NASA for logistical and technical help in integrating UF's experimental payloads with Spain's satellites.  This partnership could see jointly developed technology launching onboard chartered spacecraft as early as February 2012.

For more information, visit

UCF Simulations Bring Science to Life in Florida Museum

Technology provides an opportunity to teach science and math skills in a way that students perceive as "fun and cool."  That trend was not overlooked by the University of Central Florida (UCF) team that created unique exhibits for the new EcoDiscovery Center in Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Discovery and Science.  

The E2i Creative Studio at UCF's Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) created interactive exhibits including 10 learning stations that cover Florida's past, present and future.  Each station allows visitors to explore topics such as prehistoric animals and fish, the impact of forest fires on the Everglades, how the hydrologic cycle works, how foreign species are impacting native species and much more.  Using a large table-top display to visually demonstrate Florida's water systems, IST created a virtual, interactive map of the state to teach visitors about the impact of climate change, the possibilities for alternative energy sources and the importance of the Everglades in the history and future of Florida.

This four-year project was funded by a $2.9 million National Science Foundation grant and worked on by a team of researchers that brought together students and faculty with experience ranging from digital media and computer sciences to biology and statistics. The new Fort Lauderdale exhibit will open this month.

For more information, visit

USF Physicians Develop a First in Simulation Technology

Medical simulations technology is a rapidly advancing field that is creating a better trained medical force, however the development of a medical simulation device for one of the most common major operations among women in the United States has not been a priority-until now.  Drs. Stuart Hart and Larry Glazerman of the University of South Florida (USF) Health Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology are the principal researchers of an international team creating a suite that simulates minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures.
In the United States, 600,000 hysterectomies are performed yearly, making them the most utilized surgeries in women second only to C-sections. Although there are minimally invasive procedures called laparoscopic hysterectomies available, most procedures are still performed by making a large abdominal incision, resulting in higher chances of complication and long and painful recovery time.  Glazerman and Hart have partnered with an Israeli simulator development company, Simbionix, to create the module, funded by a two-year, $700,000 grant from the U.S.-Israeli Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.  The finished product is a training suite that utilizes both interactive software and haptic (touch-based) training through the use of a true-to-life mannequin.

The simulator will be presented this month at the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists 40th Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Surgery in Hollywood, Fla., before developing a beta test module that will be available for faculty members, students and practicing OB-GYNs at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS).

For more information, visit


Financial Services
Technology plays a key role in the financial services industry, which impacts nearly 90 percent of Florida's gross economic output.  In Florida's High Tech Corridor, companies that cater to banks and other institutions are driving the growth and success of not only the financial services sector, but also business and consumer markets that are adapting the latest technologies for widespread use.

Orlando-based Metavante Banking Solutions, now part of FIS Banking Solutions, is a prime example of a thriving technology company that has focused its efforts on the industry by allowing financial institutions to streamline their core customer and account management systems.  The company now serves more than 1,500 financial service providers with everything from account processing and integrated payment systems to image, risk and compliance solutions and technology consulting.

Another thriving Corridor company is Tampa's Fintech, recently named No. 6 in the Top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Florida by Florida Trend magazine.  Fintech, whose Clark Huang is recognized as one of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's previous Faces of Technology, is an electronic data and payment solutions company that allows alcohol distributors to be paid electronically by their retailers.  Fintech currently maintains more than 220,000 relationships in all 50 states, and its success illustrates the growing importance of technology in the financial industry.

One Corridor company, Melbourne-based Authentec, develops fingerprint sensors, identity management software and embedded security solutions for the financial services field.  The company's main focus is on biometrics and its innovative applications in online and mobile banking.  Authentec's patented TruePrint® technology is unique in that it reads below the surface of the skin, where the true fingerprint lies.  This technology is incorporated into mobile banking applications that can more effectively authenticate users and ensure security in mobile commerce.

These and other companies are leading the way in Florida's high tech financial services industry.  Their efforts have brought national acclaim to the Florida High Tech Corridor and continue to propel the region's overall growth.


Stan Van Meter
President, United Efficiency

Lake Mary-based United Efficiency is the developer of the life-saving tXtBlocker® service, which stops texting, emailing, Facebooking and Web surfing when behind the wheel to keep people safe on the road.

Education: B.S. in Building Construction, University of Florida

First Job: Project manager in the civil construction industry

The Future: tXtBlocker will expand compatibility to 95 percent of commercially available mobile phones and be available to more than 4 billion consumers worldwide.

Goal: Simplification - I'm down to just one phone now.

Advice: Take a chance - if you don't, nothing will happen.

Accidental Discovery: Timing is everything-our first product was a device that trained drivers to achieve better fuel economy.  We were at the peak of development as fuel prices were tumbling.

View Stan's Faces of Technology video interview at


Maureen Brockman, Former Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission

In this month's Take a Bow spotlight, we honor a longstanding supporter of high tech industry and economic development in the Central Florida region.  As outgoing vice president of marketing and communications for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Maureen Brockman has helped promote business expansion in the region for the last 14 years.  

Maureen is a dedicated champion for Central Florida's economic development efforts.  In her role at the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, she was responsible for all of the EDC's public relations, government relations, advertising, creative production, publishing and Web development efforts.  Her marketing efforts have helped propel Metro Orlando into the national spotlight as one of the top regions for business.

In addition to her work for the regional business community, Maureen has also served the Florida High Tech Corridor Council as chairperson for the Marketing Committee.  Maureen has assisted on many projects over the years and has been a great support to the Council and its mission to promote high tech industry in the region.

Maureen's accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by her peers in the economic development and business communities.  She has been named Downtown Woman of the Year by the Central Florida Women's Executive Council, has been named one of the Orlando Business Journal's "Women Who Mean Business" and has received the Orlando Business Journal's "40 under 40" award.

We wish Maureen the best of luck in her next professional endeavor.  With her departure from the Metro Orlando EDC, she will be joining Triad Isotopes, a radiopharmaceutical company focused on nuclear medicine, as national vice president of marketing and communications.  Congratulations, Maureen, and thank you for your continued service to the region and FHTCC.


Dr. Anthony Catanese, President, Florida Institute of Technology

A core tenet of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's mission is to develop the workforce that supports our high tech industry.  Without skilled talent, our region's high tech companies would lack the ability to compete in an ever-increasing global marketplace.  This month's "Faces of the Council" recognizes a Council member who is dedicated to educating the future workforce of tomorrow:  Dr. Anthony Catanese, President of Florida Institute of Technology (FIT).

Under Dr. Catanese's leadership, FIT is "driving" a focus on partnerships with high tech companies, including the recently announced Florida Center for Automotive Research that will collaborate with Brevard-based Rivian Automotive in the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.  

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Catanese is an experienced Urban Planner who previously managed a design and development firm, was appointed to the National Urban Policy Task Force by President Jimmy Carter, and held various positions on city planning commissions.  Dr. Catanese is also involved in many national, state and local organizations by holding board positions such as chairman of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

We would like to thank Dr. Catanese for his work impacting not only our Corridor, but our state and nation.  His leadership to enhance the quality of education at FIT is supporting the growth of tomorrow's workforce.


Save the Date for Next Meeting of bioOrlando
The Life Sciences organization for Central Florida, bioOrlando, set its next meeting for December 7.  "Moving Beyond an Idea:  launching your life sciences business" is the topic for a panel discussion featuring Leslie Molony of Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Bill Warren of Sanofi Pasteur VaxDesign Campus and Dom Meffe of Triad Isotopes.  The meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Sanford-Burnham.

For more information, visit

Tampa Bay Partnership Helps Tampa Shine
As part of a push to showcase the region, Tampa Bay Partnership recently launched a new campaign called "Together, Tampa Bay Shines." The new campaign will be a celebration of the assets that shape the region into a diverse and desirable community for both work and play. The focus will be on rallying support across the eight counties that make up the region.

An interactive Facebook page is now live for residents to share their "Shining Facts" which can be specific data, facts, stories, business profiles and even photos.  Once posted others can like, comment on, or share links to the "Shining Facts" to increase awareness of the campaign.  An interactive website is also in the works for the campaign and available at

For more information, visit

Florida Space Institute Hires NASA Veteran
The University of Central Florida's Florida Space Institute will greatly enhance its research and educational prominence with the addition of its new director, S. Alan Stern, a former NASA science chief.  Located at Kennedy Space Center, the Institute is a partnership that combines the educational programming, facilities, engineering support and grants of all the state's 10 public universities together to form a strong environment for space research and education.

A specialist in space science instrumentation, Stern holds a doctorate in astrophysics and planetary science from the University of Colorado is an experienced researcher with more than 200 publications. After leaving NASA, Stern has stayed very involved with other aerospace industry projects; he is currently training to fly suborbital space missions with Virgin Galactic and XCOR, is the principle investigator in NASA's New Horizons mission and serves as vice president of Southwest Research Institute.

Stern is excited about his new role and views it as an opportunity to, "leverage Florida, UCF and the State University System into new research and education roles with NASA, with other space agencies and with the budding commercial space industry."

For more information, visit

BioFlorida Conference Focuses on Creating Jobs in Florida
The state's biotech industry association, BioFlorida brought to Tampa more than 550 leaders in life sciences for its annual conference held last month.  The three-day conference provided an opportunity for CEOs, researchers, government leaders and investors to discuss advancing the bioscience field in the state.  Presenters from companies and research institutions across the Corridor and around the state discussed everything from breakthroughs in Alzheimer's and diabetes research to jumping hurdles in the FDA approval process and venture funding.

BioFlorida represents 3,000 companies and research organizations in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device fields, employing 61,000 Floridians.  Over the past five years, even with the downturn of the economy, Florida has celebrated several milestones in the industry from groundbreakings of new life sciences facilities to companies announcing relocations to the state.

For more information, visit

Sanford-Burnham Partnership with UCF Produces Promising Cancer Research Results
The first medical research collaboration between the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona (Sanford-Burnham) has been a very successful one as cancer patients everywhere may soon benefit from the research findings. Two different teams of cancer researchers, chemists and bio-informatics engineers from the institutions have published their research discoveries that could lead to new methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The first invention uses infrared light as a non-invasive way to image tumors within deep tissue and provides high resolution 3-D images of the tumor.  A technology like this could one day complement or replace traditional biopsies for diagnosis and treatment of breast, lung, ovarian, brain, kidney, colon and endometrial cancers.

The other discovery has documented the role of specific microRNAs - small pieces of genetic material - in melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.  The team has identified two microRNAs, called miR-375 and miR-34b, which could be used for early melanoma detection and could also serve as therapeutic targets.

Although it may be years before FDA-approved products are created to utilize these technologies, the collaboration between Sanford-Burnham and UCF is speeding up the research process which will mean faster results for patients.

For more information, visit

Tampa Bay Innovation Center Presents 2011 Florida Defense and Technology Showcase
The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses, is presenting the 2011 Florida Defense & Technology Showcase Nov. 7-9 in St. Pete Beach.  The event serves as a reverse trade show for subcontractors to exhibit and connect with defense industry contractors looking for suppliers.

Now in its fifth year, the three-day program includes the main showcase and a luncheon presentation by James Geurts, deputy director of the Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center for U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base.  In addition to the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, the event is presented by the Florida Federal Contractors Association and hosted by Congressman C. W. Bill Young.

For more information, visit


IRX Therapeutics Relocates from NYC to St. Petersburg
Scientists researching cancer immunotherapy technology at the University of South Florida began an R&D firm called IRX Therapeutics and moved to New York City in 2000.  Now 11 years later, the company is moving back to St. Petersburg thanks to funding and support from the State, Pinellas County, USF, the City of St. Petersburg and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.  IRX plans to create as many as 280 high wage jobs over the next five years.  IRX creates immunotherapy drugs for certain types of cancers and is currently in the last testing stage before commercialization.

UCF-led Team Earns National Green Challenge Grant
The Igniting Innovation (I2) Cleantech Acceleration Network led by UCF won a $1.3 million grant through the i6 Green Challenge. The Challenge is a competition from the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration aimed at motivating commercialization that supports a "green innovative economy."  The network will now use the funds toward development and research in clean technology such as alternative energy sources and energy efficient buildings.  Best practices from the team will be shared with university research centers across the state to further encourage the development of cleantech industries.

New Seed Capital Accelerator Program Offers Support for Early Stage Companies
The Institute for Commercialization of Public Research recently announced its Seed Capital Accelerator Program which assists with early stage development for companies that are utilizing technology from Florida's universities and research institutions. Funding through the program will range from $50,000 to $300,000 per company and will be used for the many steps that must be taken to commercialize a product, from marketing and sales to simply hiring personnel. This program was developed to underscore Florida's commitment to an innovation based economy and help provide financial assistance to move companies from the research and development stage to commercialization.

Governor Recognizes Clearwater High Tech Manufacturer
Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently visited Clearwater-based Advanced Protection Technologies (APT), which has designed, manufactured and sold surge protection devices since starting as a small business in 1985.  Today, the company is one of the industry's largest private label manufacturers of surge protection devices and has continued growing even during the recession recently expanding its square footage and adding additional personnel.  Governor Scott touted the company as an example of a successful Florida firm during a recent tour and sat down with employees to discuss their concerns and ideas about Florida's economic growth.


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

2011 Business Growth Conference
Presented by: Pasco Economic Development Council
Thursday, November 3, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pasco-Hernando Community College, Conference Center, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey
For event information, visit

Eighth Annual Industry Achievement Awards Gala
Presented by: Tampa Bay Technology Forum and Ciber
Friday, November 5, 6 to 11 p.m.
A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

Florida Defense & Technology Showcase
Presented by: Tampa Bay Innovation Center, Congressman C. W. Bill Young and Florida Federal Contractors Association
Monday through Wednesday, November 7-9
Trade Winds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Boulevard, St. Petersburg Beach
For event information, visit

Florida High Tech Corridor's Entrepreneurial Resources
Presented by: Suncoast Technology Forum
Tuesday, November 8, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Stoneybrook Golf Club, 8000 Stone Harbour Loop, Bradenton
For event information, visit

TECH Talk Session for Technology Entrepreneurs
Presented by: Tampa Bay Innovation Center
Tuesday, November 15, 9 to 11 a.m.
Moffitt Cancer Center's Stabile Research Building, First Floor Auditorium, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

Second Annual Space Coast Energy Symposium
Presented by: Space Coast Energy Consortium
Thursday through Friday, November 17-18
Radisson Port Canaveral, 8701 Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral
For event information, visit

Presented by: National Training and Simulation Association
Monday, November 28, through Thursday, December 1
Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, 9800 International Drive, Orlando
For event information, visit


TechXpo Puts New Emphasis on Space Coast's Potential
Florida Today
By Patrick Peterson

MELBOURNE - A snapshot of business growth in Brevard County might be Ken Brace's prototyping company, whose customers for his thermoplastic models now include unemployed space industry engineers hoping to turn their dream projects into reality.

For the full article, click here or visit

Biotech Company IRX Therapeutics Relocating from New York to St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Times
By Jeff Harrington

IRX Therapeutics, a New York cancer research firm that had its genesis at the University of South Florida a dozen years ago, is coming home.

For the full article, click here or visit

IHMC Partners with USF
Star Banner
By Carlos E. Medina

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition recently entered into a research affiliation agreement with the University of South Florida - an agreement that the institute hopes will strengthen its core of researchers and lead to greater breakthroughs

For the full article, click here or visit



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