inside florida's high tech corridor

February 2013









Florida's Guide to High Tech
Take a look inside florida.HIGH.TECH 2012 to read about the region's innovative companies and breakthroughs in research.

Did you know?

Florida's photonics cluster is among the largest in the United States, with more than 270 companies employing nearly 5,800 professionals.

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Visit for a comprehensive list of Local, Statewide, and National resources available in all counties across the state of Florida.

February's Quote

"Some of the best advice I have received was to focus on recruiting and building an excellent team. A strong team is an exceptionally powerful weapon. I actually believe this is the most important ingredient for success."

R.J. Scaringe, Rivian, in this month's Faces of Technology

UF Scientists Discover Robust Bacteria

In an effort to detect Martian areas conducive to microbial life, University of Florida (UF) researchers put more than 10,000 bacteria to the test. Research findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Astrobiology journal, provide valuable knowledge that could help prevent the contamination of landing sites on Mars and indicate potential life on the planet.

Scientists studied the bacteria's ability to survive under Mars' harsh surface conditions including low oxygen, freezing temperatures and nearly 150 times lower atmospheric pressure than is present at sea level on Earth.

The UF study concluded that two types of bacteria, the Serratia liquefaciens bacterium commonly found on a spacecraft, as well as all members of the Carnobacterium genus retrieved from Siberian permafrost, are able to withstand the environment. The findings present a challenge for future expeditions to Mars seeking signs of indigenous organisms-not stowaway bacteria from Earth. UF Researchers worked with scientists from the University of Central Florida, the University of Arkansas and the Russian Academy of Sciences on the research, which was funded by NASA and the Florida Space Grant Consortium.

For more information, visit

Female Physicists Convene at UCF

The University of Central Florida (UCF) hosted the 2013 Southeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, making it the first university in Florida to host the conference and joining the ranks of Cornell University, California Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Texas and Colorado School of Mines as regional hosts for 2013. The event provided nearly 700 undergraduate physics majors with resources to encourage and help them continue a career in the field.

The three-day regional conference, sponsored by the American Physical Society, included presentations by prominent leaders in the field, graduate school panel discussions, laboratory tours and research talks. Among the more than 15 featured speakers and panelists, the Corridor was represented by Talat Rahman, UCF Pegasus professor and chair of the Department of Physics; Teresa Dorman, associate dean of the UCF College of Sciences; JoAnn Newman, president and CEO of the Orlando Science Center; Karen Thompson, chief technologist of NASA Kennedy Space Center; and, Peter Delfyett, a professor of Optics.

For more information, visit

USF and Veterans' Hospital Researchers Study TBI Effects and Treatments

University of South Florida (USF) and James A. Hadley Veterans' Hospital researchers found that animals suffered devastating long-term effects as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Those effects are progressive brain deterioration such as elevated inflammation and the inability to regenerate cells. Scientists hope to uncover therapies to treat TBI in the chronic and post-acute stages.

Without therapeutic intervention, an estimated 1.7 million Americans suffering from TBI may experience similar brain deterioration to that observed in the tests. The study also concluded that this deterioration may cause secondary injuries or make a sufferer more susceptible to age-related neurodegenerative diseases like post-traumatic dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

For more information, visit


Optics and Photonics

Innovations and new discoveries in the Florida High Tech Corridor's optics and photonics industry continue to emerge despite economic constraints, thanks to active research and development (R&D). To keep R&D efforts alive, many companies adopt a system of "open innovation" through which their own processes of invention can be combined with thoughts and direction from external industry leaders. This collaboration of R&D, coined by University of California, Berkeley Professor Henry Chesbrough, is an innovation in itself, and one that is driving a new Orlando company, Open Photonics.

At the helm of this new venture is Dr. Jason Eichenholz, an industry leader and graduate of the University of Central Florida's CREOL - College of Optics and Photonics. Open Photonics Inc. (OPI) aims to accelerate the commercialization of photonics technologies by forming connections between industry leaders and existing infrastructures. Photonic Horizons is OPI's signature grant program that involves peer review to facilitate the process, and is a perfect example of open innovation's success. Another measure is the company's extensive advisory board, which includes Chesbrough and leaders from industry, SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics and other academic institutions.

Open Photonics' support reaches beyond Orlando through sponsorship of the SPIE Startup Challenge, an entrepreneurial business pitch competition held during this week's international conference, SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. As a pioneer in the industry, Eichenholz was invited to speak at the 2013 Lasers and Photonics Marketplace Seminar, another of the conference events at SPIE Photonics West.

Hosting a sold-out exhibition in 2012, SPIE Photonics West expects to draw more than 200,000 guests from around the world for this year's conference. As the most influential conference for optics and photonics technology, it is a reminder of just how much the industry has grown and continues to advance, with many Florida High Tech Corridor companies leading the way.


Robert Joseph (R.J.) Scaringe
CEO, Rivian Automotive

Rivian Automotive in Rockledge is reinventing the way vehicles are designed and manufactured to provide extremely efficient performance vehicles at an affordable price.

Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Inspiration: As a lifelong car enthusiast, I've built and restored cars since I was very young and also really appreciate the industry's history. Most auto companies started because of a combination of a need in the marketplace and intense passion from the founder. I believe pure driving passion should be possible in a vehicle that is also extremely efficient.

Goal: I started Rivian with the goal of building a company in which the entire system is designed specifically around flexibility and dramatically reduced break-even volumes. I deeply believe that the market needs an affordable performance car that eliminates the typical compromise between driving enjoyment and efficiency.

View R.J.'s Faces of Technology video interview at


Our Florida High Tech Corridor is privileged to be counted among a number of organizations that succeed in supporting small businesses. Each with individual but complementary efforts and initiatives, these statewide groups carry the same goal of helping to grow our innovation economy. A great instance of unity came last month when a number of Florida High Tech Corridor Council partners came together to educate state senators about the Start-up Business Environment in Florida. In this month's Take a Bow spotlight, we thank those that helped showcase our state's assets and needs to our elected officials.

At the request of Senator Nancy Detert (R), chair of the Florida Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee, a number of speakers took the floor during a committee meeting, including Jack Sullivan, CEO of the Florida Research Consortium; Jamie Grooms, CEO of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research; Dr. Tom O'Neal, associate vice president of Research & Commercialization at the University of Central Florida; and, Louis Laubscher, SVP & COO at Enterprise Florida Inc. Planned with help from David Day, director of the Office of Technology Licensing at the University of Florida, the presentation covered the startup landscape to highlight the number of programs available to help budding companies bridge the funding gap that business professionals have termed "the Valley of Death."

Positioned at the crucial time when startups are moving from the research phase to commercialization, the Valley of Death is where many companies fail because of a lack of access to capital. A number of Florida organizations, including our Council and its partners that participated in the presentation, assist in funding startup needs during this time; however, the need outweighs the resources. Our presentation stressed to the Senate committee that, in order to have a truly thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, our legislature needs to continue its investment.

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council credits its partners for helping to share this message to our leaders in Tallahassee. Thank you to the Florida Research Consortium, Enterprise Florida, the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida, Florida Business Incubation Association and the University of Central Florida's Business Incubation Program. If you would like to view the presentation, visit and scan to the 74th minute.


Florida's Best Prospects Visit Venture Capital Conference

The Florida Venture Forum recently announced 21 presenting companies for its 22nd annual Florida Venture Capital Conference at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort and Golf Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The chosen organizations, representing some of Florida's premier prospects for equity financing across four regions, were invited to deliver short programs to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs Jan. 31 through Feb. 1.

Of the 21 finalists, 10 come from Florida's High Tech Corridor including:

To register for the conference or find more information, visit

Merger of Tampa Bay IT Firms Promises Growth

Oldsmar-based tech firm Vology is merging with Tampa-based Bayshore Technologies to create a larger, broader provider of IT services. This new business model will help customers maximize their IT infrastructure budgets by offering a full suite of IT services and equipment such as servers, data storage, and network switches and routers.

The company projects the creation of 100 new jobs and more than $140 million in revenue in 2013. Working as a full-service technology provider with national reach, Vology will grow to employ more than 300 after the acquisition.

For more information, visit

Embry-Riddle Selected for Nanosatellite Competition Final Round

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was selected as one of 10 universities from across the nation to design a small satellite over the next two years for a competition sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Bogdan Udrea, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, will work with colleagues and students to create a low-cost, shoebox-sized nanosatellite that will initially send data about other satellites and debris back to Earth. Future uses of the satellite, named Arapaima could combat the space clutter from non-functioning satellites.

A second round of Air Force funds will support the construction of the winning team's satellite and will send it into orbit. Aside from training the next generation of space professionals, the Air Force hopes this project will lead to eliminating the threat to future space missions caused by debris and non-functioning satellites.

For more information, visit

MD&M Florida Explores Life-Saving Innovation

Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) Florida will return to the Corridor to host its exposition and seminars March 6-7 at the Orange County Convention Center to highlight emerging technologies, trends and strategies in the field. A number of Corridor companies including Sarasota's SPB-USA, LaserStar Technologies with a branch in Orlando, and St. Petersburg's NDH Medical are among the manufacturers to receive a product spotlight among the more than 1,500 exhibitors from across the nation that are showcasing device design, engineering, prototyping manufacturing, and assembly and packaging solutions.

Seminar topics include accelerating project developments, a risk-based approach to materials selection and innovations in implantable devices. Guests may also attend shorter presentations during the exhibition by industry experts in the new Innovation Brief Theater.

For more information, visit


USF SVP Appointed to National Medal of Technology and Innovation Committee

Paul R. Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc. Distinguished University of South Florida (USF) professor, was appointed to a three-year term to the nomination evaluation committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor awarded by the United States for technological achievement. He will join experts in science, technology, business and patent law to review nominations and make recommendations to the U.S. acting secretary of commerce. These recommendations will ultimately be evaluated by the U.S. president who presents the award.

Sanberg is senior vice president for research and innovation at USF, founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors, and executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at USF. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has authored more than 600 scientific publications and contributed to 100 patents.

U.S. Army Allots $90.6 Million to Lockheed Martin Orlando

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Orlando was awarded a $90.6 million Performance Based Logistics contract from the U.S. Army. The contract will help sustain the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system, a control system that Apache helicopter pilots use to ensure flight safety.

Harris Corporation Receives $11 Million Dollar Order

Harris Corporation received $11 million dollars in development orders to deliver Falcon tactical radio systems to international partners of the U.S. Northern and Southern Commands. The radios are the fastest combat net radios available today, and provide critical reports while keeping voice and data communication between users intact. This order, among others from North and South America, will support a U.S. government program to counter international drug trafficking.

USF Entrepreneurship Program Earns National Recognition

The Entrepreneurship Program at the University of South Florida (USF) St. Petersburg College of Business was named the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States. USF received the award at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship annual conference in San Francisco. The Entrepreneurship Program was established just three years ago and is already acclaimed for winning the 2012 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge, publishing "Tampa Bay's 6/20 Plan" and for its contributions throughout the Tampa Bay business community.

Corridor Metros Ranked Top 200 Best-Performing Cities

The Milken Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the success of metro areas, recognized several of the Corridor's cities in the newly released 2012 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index. The following regions were ranked in the top 200 for creating and sustaining jobs, economic and technology growth:

  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
  • Gainesville
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
  • North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota
  • Ocala
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven


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

Walgreens Bayside Business Forum
Presented by: Dean's Advisory Council, USF College of Business St. Petersburg
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 7:30 to 9 a.m.
100 Fountain Parkway N., St. Petersburg
For event information, visit

SPIE Medical Imaging Conference
Presented by: SPIE - The International Society for Optics and Photonics
Saturday through Thursday, Feb. 9-14, 2013
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, 1000 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista
For event information, visit

Business of Biotech 2013
Presented by: Moffitt Cancer Center
Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

Presented by: Tampa Bay Innovation Center
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Microsoft Headquarters offices, 5426 Bay Center Drive, Suite 700, Tampa
For event information, visit

1Q VenturePitch Orlando
Presented by: Florida Venture Sourcing
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 6 to 9 p.m.
The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando
For event information, visit

Industrial Affiliates Symposium 2013: Light in Action
Presented by: CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics
Friday, Mar. 8, 2013
University of Central Florida, Building 53, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando
For event information, visit

Presented by: Tampa Bay Technology Forum
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

A Celebration of Innovation
Presented by: University of Florida
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013, 12:30 to 7 p.m.
2124 NE Waldo Road, Suite 1101, Gainesville
For event information, visit

Florida Medical Device Symposium
Presented by: Florida Medical Manufacturers Consortium
Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, 2013
Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg
For event information, visit


Big Year Ahead for Gee-Whiz Stuff

Orlando Sentinel
By Walter Pacheco

Wireless "smart" wristbands that track worker hours, high-tech simulations to train firefighters and shape-shifting websites are among the projects Central Florida's technology leaders plan to tackle in 2013.

Central Florida's Web and mobile-app developers also say the area's growing high-tech community is a breeding ground for startups, and some established firms could be looking for venture capitalists to invest in them.

For the full article, visit,0,7337639.story.

National, Bay Area Tech Salaries on the Rise, Report Says

Tampa Bay Business Journal

The average technology salary in the Tampa market was $78,104 in 2012, a 7.3 percent increase from $72,802 in 2011.

On a national basis, technology salaries made the biggest leap in more than a decade, according to the 2013-2012 Salary Survey from career site Dice.

For the full article, visit

City Approves Tax Incentive for Mobiquity

Gainesville Sun
By Christopher Curry

The City Commission on Thursday approved a tax incentive for a Massachusetts technology firm contemplating expanding to Gainesville.

Commissioners approved a tax rebate of up to $208,000 for Mobiquity, a mobile application developer that is eyeing the city. The maximum rebate would be paid out over four years and is contingent on the firm bringing in 260 software development jobs with an average salary of approximately $49,000.

For the full article, visit



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