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As the need increases for cleaner, more efficient energy sources, Florida’s high tech industry has evolved to provide sustainable solutions. The three Corridor universities foster the expansion of this field in partnership with companies that are developing sustainable energy applications from algae ethanol and fuel cells to solar power and smart grids.
“We’re developing technologies that decrease the manufacturing costs and increase the energy efficiency of new lighting devices and solar cells. Thanks to the Corridor’s Matching Grants Research Program, we’re accelerating the commercialization of our work.”
Deepika Singh, President, Sinmat
The Corridor universities all offer degree programs that are shaping the next generation of the sustainable energy workforce in addition to the research centers instituted to support the “cleantech” movement. The University of Florida’s Institute for Sustainable Energy studies fuel cell technology and biofuels, while the Power Center for Utility Explorations at the University of South Florida works with power providers such as Tampa Electric and Progress Energy to develop advanced methods for delivering power back into the grid. The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, conducts research and tests of solar energy systems, and provides educational programs for the residential community. The Center boasts more than 40 patents that have led to advancements in sustainable energy technologies.
Standing alongside worldwide industry leaders such as Siemens Power Generation Inc. and Mitsubishi Power Systems are a number of companies scattered around the Corridor that are making tremendous strides in the quest for sustainable energy options. Dais Analytic, Planar Energy, nSolGel and many others are developing innovations such as an energy recovery ventilator that can lower heating, cooling and ventilation costs by as much as 30 percent while improving indoor air quality, next-generation batteries that save energy and can help power hybrid and electric cars less expensively, and a building material that uses post-industrial waste products and is less-energy intensive to produce than concrete. Together the organizations throughout the Florida High Tech Corridor are building a thriving hub for sustainable energy.