inside florida's high tech corridor

January 2009









Did you know?

FPL is developing three new solar projects in Florida – two of which were constructed within the Corridor. These new facilities will provide 35 megawatts of solar energy to more than 9,500 residents.

January's Quote
"There is a lot of technology that can be directly applied to the marine environment. We see additional applications for these technologies in medicine, food, transportation, space exploration and even education. We see the overlap and how it meshes."

Larry Langebrake, Director of Marine Technology Program, in this month’s Faces of Technology.

USF Earns "Emerging Research Park of the Year" Award

The rising hub for growth in science and technology in Tampa Bay garnered the title of "Emerging Research Park of the Year" at the 21st Annual Association of University Research Parks (AURP) conference held in St. Petersburg last month. The Association acknowledged the University of South Florida's (USF) research park with the award that is presented annually to an emerging university research park in operation less than five years and has provided outstanding opportunities to bring technology from the laboratory to economic viability.

USF's research park houses a diverse collection of companies specializing in different sectors of scientific industry including biotechnology and life sciences. Many of the startup companies in the research park originated through USF's faculty technology and continue to foster faculty and student research partnerships.

For more information, visit


UF Engineers Develop Baby Monitor to Detect Breathing Patterns

A new kind of monitor will set parents at ease with its ability to detect breathing patterns in infants. University of Florida (UF) engineers have combined the technology used to track hurricanes or highway speeders with the basic baby monitor to provide a way to monitor if the baby's chest stops moving. Utilizing a small device attached to the crib, a remote station receives the wireless transmissions from the crib and uses different colored lights to indicate the status of the baby's vital signs and the battery life of the station. If the breathing activity is detected below a preset interval or the infant has stopped breathing, the station sounds a loud alarm and flashes a red light.

Senior-level UF engineering students worked on this project in coordination with the Integrated Product and Process Design Program, an initiative of the College of Engineering that allows senior-level undergraduates to go through the process of taking a design from concept to product. Under the supervision of Jenshan Lin, a UF professor and the principal investigator of the Doppler radar technology used in the monitor, the students aim to use the radar technology to create a useful product to be commercially licensed.

For more information, visit


Study Shows UCF’s College of Medicine Invests Billions in Region

Last month, the University of Central Florida (UCF) announced findings from an economic study placing the impact of the College of Medicine's campus at Lake Nona to be well ahead of its estimated projections. According to an Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics study, the College of Medicine could create more than 30,000 local jobs and have an economic impact of $7.6 billion, a nearly 20 percent increase in numbers from an earlier study in 2006.

UCF and the medical city have already achieved 80 percent of the economic impact originally projected for 2017, pouring in millions to the regional economy from partners and fellow research institutions. The study also found that the College of Medicine could generate nearly $460 million in additional tax revenue for the state.

For more information, visit



Imagine a future where homes are supplied with energy from solar panel windows or automobiles are powered by organic waste instead of gas. These advanced technologies aren't too far off thanks to the booming sustainable energy sector found within the Florida High Tech Corridor. Florida companies and universities alike are providing research, information and innovation to industry leaders making the Corridor a top player in the sustainable energy industry.

SKYShadesLongwood-based SKYShades ( has harnessed the power of sun and shade to create the innovative Powerbrella, a unique shade structure affixed with flexible solar film that provides a power supply to plug-in electrical devices such as laptops, cell phones and iPods. This unique approach to the shade industry is being implemented across the nation in playgrounds, car washes, hospitals and more. With SKYShades, covered parking lots can be transformed to aesthetically-pleasing and effective solar farms.

Planar Energy DevicesWinner of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's 2008 Innovation Award, Planar Energy Devices Inc. ( designs next-generation micro batteries for consumer electronics, making them safer and smaller. Lakeland's Solicore Inc. ( is working toward that same goal. The company designs their flexible lithium polymer batteries to fit any custom application or product and guarantees a longer shelf-life.

Our Corridor universities are doing their part in paving the way for sustainable energy. The University of Florida's Institute of Sustainable Energy ( encompasses more than 150 faculty members and 22 research centers at the University of Florida. Recently, researchers at UF achieved the world record for blue organic light- emitting diodes (OLED) which are important in the creation of white light suitable for solid-state general illumination applications. The University of Central Florida's Solar Energy Center ( conducts research, tests solar energy systems and provides education programs for the community. The Center boasts more than 40 patents including the Goassamer Wind ceiling fan, saving $20 million annually in energy costs.

A future complete with homes containing solar panels and cars powered by organic waste might be closer than we think, thanks to Florida's sustainable energy sector. The companies and universities in the Corridor are taking innovative strides to provide long-lasting energy solutions worldwide.



Think of Larry Langebrake as the proverbial kid in a candy store. The former head of USF's Center for Ocean Technology spends his days working at SRI International pulling technology out of the research realm and driving it into the commercial one.

Larry Langebrake"I am the pointy end of the spear," says Langebrake. "Making connections between the business community, the county, putting the right talent in place, building teams of scientists. Each day is different. It's exhilarating. Lots of time and effort right now as we build, so the days are long, but it is a lot of fun.

"In general, our mission is to solve important problems that benefit society or mankind," he says. "That's something SRI does - bridge the gap between fundamental research in universities and the commercial world. We help develop technology to the point where it can be commercialized."

The nonprofit research institute tapped Langebrake to head its newly established Marine Technology Program, which officially started operations in January 2007. "We've grown rapidly," says Langebrake, "transitioning 37 employees from the Center for Ocean Technology. The teaming agreement between the university and SRI allowed us to put into place a critical mass of talent and hit the ground running. We have over 50 employees now (Dec. 2007) and are ahead of our target to create 100 jobs in five years."

For the full story, visit



With an international hub in aerospace/aviation right in our backyard, it's no easy task keeping tabs on the business dealings around the Space Coast. Thankfully, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's partner, the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, has an incredibly professional and hard-working staff dedicated to the creation of value-added, high tech jobs in Brevard County. At the helm of the EDC is President and CEO, Lynda Weatherman, our Take a Bow spotlight of the month.

Lynda WeathermanUnder Lynda's leadership, the EDC has worked with 116 companies that have selected Brevard County for their relocation or expansion plans; has targeted 10,000+ jobs from these companies; and, has seen a more than $2 billion Personal Tangible Property and Real Estate investment from their work.

Recognized on numerous occasions regionally and statewide, Lynda was among the first recipients not directly employed by NASA to receive the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest honor NASA awards to both government and non-government employees. As prominent leaders in the effort to maintain Brevard's position in the future of aerospace, Lynda and the EDC began an initiative in 2008 to draw national attention to the region and the industry from key legislators and the presidential candidates. Through her efforts, both presidential candidates released formal letters expressing their concern and support for more NASA funding.

Lynda has also been a supporter of regional marketing efforts having served as Chairman of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council Marketing Committee.

For all that Lynda and the EDC have done over the years, FHTCC salutes their dedication to and support of its mission to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and the workforce to support it in our 23-county region.



Catching Up With the FHTCC 10th Anniversary Scholarship Recipients
In 2006, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council celebrated 10 years of economic development success throughout the 23 counties it serves. In addition to the outstanding number of economic development organizations and businesses in the area, the Corridor prides itself on the partnerships with three world-class universities and 14 community colleges. These relationships are designed to foster applied research between the schools and high tech partners to develop new technologies, unique opportunities, and workforce development. In celebration of the milestone anniversary, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council awarded three community college students full scholarships for the final two years of their education at the Corridor university of their choice.

Seminole Community College graduate, Adam Perdue, received a full scholarship to attend the University of Central Florida and major in Aerospace Engineering. While taking various classes in aerodynamics as well as space exploration, Adam hopes to become involved with companies on the cutting-edge of engineering design such as Lockheed Martin or United Space Alliance. Also expected to gradate in 2010, Adam is very grateful for the FHTCC scholarship that has allowed him to reach his educational goals.

Kristi Arrington will be starting her first semester at the University of South Florida thanks to the scholarship she received from the Corridor. Kristi recently obtained her A.A. degree from South Florida Community College and is looking forward to pursuing a degree in Information Technology. With an expected May 2012 graduation, she hopes to start a career in Web design or programming.

Christine Faulkner, a graduate of Santa Fe Community College, received a full scholarship to attend the University of Florida. As a Computer and Electrical Engineering Major, Christine is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Engineers Without Borders. She is expecting to graduate in 2010 and plans to pursue her high tech career in a related field. Christine uses her scholarship money to offset the cost of the university and is very thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Gator Nation.


Biopsy Sciences Moves Operations to Pinellas County
Tucson, Ariz.-based Biopsy Sciences has announced plans to move its operations to Pinellas County. Boosting the region's growing life sciences industry, the relocation will add new, high-wage jobs paying 200 percent of the county's average annual wage.

Biopsy Sciences is a biomedical research and device company that produces innovative products for the medical market. A recent development includes HydroMARK, a breast biopsy site marker that uses quick and accurate ultrasound-guided localization procedures that prove to be more comfortable for patients.

For more information, visit


Corridor Companies and Universities Awarded NASA Contracts
NASA has awarded contracts for various Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects to six companies and universities within the Corridor. All of the projects recognized address key research and technology needs for NASA.

Corridor companies receiving contracts include: Prioria Inc. of Gainesville; Zyberwear Inc. of Ocoee; United Materials and Systems of Orlando; Eclipse Energy Systems of St. Petersburg; Sol-gel Solutions of Gainesville; Aeronix of Melbourne; and, Streamline Numerics of Gainesville. The University of Florida and the University of Central Florida were both awarded contracts to work with small high tech companies across the country.

For more information, visit


I/ITSEC is the Place to Be for Simulation-Training Industry
For a four-day stretch in early December, Central Florida was the place to be as the region played host to what is recognized as the world's largest convention and trade show focused on military, modeling, simulation and training.

I/ITSECWith nearly 600 exhibitors and more than 16,500 people attending the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the floor space at the Orange County Convention Center was covered with more than 181,000 square feet of exhibits showcasing the leading military, medical and other technologies available in the industry.

"If you are a player, or want to be a player, in the simulation training industry you have to be here," said Ed Schons, UCF's director of University Economic Development, "If you aren't here, you are invisible."

Through a partnership between the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC), and several economic development and academic partners from across the region, Central Florida was prominently featured on the exhibit floor.

"The Corridor continues to play a key role with our EDO partners and especially UCF's Institute for Simulation and Training in bringing our team together for I/ITSEC," said FHTCC President Randy Berridge. "The Corridor was also again honored to be asked to provide a modeling, simulation and training techCAMP program for students and teachers as part of the convention."

Under the direction of Dr. Jeff Bindell and Vicki Morelli, the FHTCC's initiative, techCAMP, held two full day workshops at I/ITSEC for students and for teachers that exposed them to the modeling, simulation and training field. The students and teachers also had the opportunity to explore the convention floor and see first-hand the innovations occurring in the industry.

For more information, visit


Negotiating Your Business to the Top
The UCF Executive Development Center is helping senior-level executives learn more about the latest strategies in negotiation and persuasion in their workshop "Negotiating Your Business to the Top." Led by Tim Cullen, Director of The Oxford Program on Negotiation at the Saїd Business School at the University of Oxford, UK, this two-day workshop is first in a series of future programs the Center plans to offer to help organizations expand their executive talent in this challenging economy.

For more information, visit


Sharklet Technologies Wins Southeast Bio Forum Award
Last month at Southeast Bio's 10th Annual Investor Forum, multiple venture capitalists and biotech leaders selected Sharklet Technologies the winner of the 'Early-Stage Shootout' Competition. The Gainesville-based company was selected out of a competitive group of 60 early-stage medical device, drug and biotechnology companies for its unique surface technology that inhibits bacterial growth.

The surface of the company's namesake technology, Sharklet, is comprised of a microscopic pattern of raised bars that disrupts the formation and growth of such bacteria including Staph a., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli. The company is currently testing the product against more virulent strains of bacteria including MRSA.

For more information, visit


Florida State Legislature Creates Early Stage Investment Fund
As part of an economic development package called the Florida Capital Formation Act, the state Legislature together with Enterprise Florida recently developed the Florida Opportunity Fund, a multimillion-dollar program that directs investments to high-performing funds committed to seed and early stage businesses.

The fund will be managed by two companies with a history of providing capital to companies focused on developing cutting-edge technologies: MILCOM Venture Partners of Winter Park and the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group. The Florida Opportunity Fund will further establish the state as a hub of innovation as it seeks a larger share of the billions invested nationally from fund managers, particularly at the seed and early stage.

For more information, visit



UCF, President Hitt Recognized for Service to Community
University of Central Florida (UCF) received the Engaged Campus Award from Florida Campus Compact, a coalition that promotes academics and civic engagement through campus-community partnerships. President Hitt was also presented with the national President's Volunteer Service Award, a White House recognition, on behalf of the university for its work with Junior Achievement. Over the past year, more than 10,000 UCF students have committed to 157,500 community service hours.

Spatial Networks Named 2008 International Business of the Year
The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently named Spatial Networks, a Clearwater-based global technology firm, as the 2008 Business of the Year in the International category. The company provides proprietary geographic information systems applications across the world and was selected based on revenue growth, corporate vision and plans, involvement with community service and commitment to customers and employees.

Tom O'Neal Named 2008 Florida Business Incubation Advocate of the Year
Director of the University of Central Florida's (UCF) Incubation Program, Tom O'Neal has been named 2008 Advocate of the Year on behalf of an alliance of more than 20 incubation programs statewide. O'Neal founded the UCF Incubation Program nine years ago, which now operates seven incubators in the Central Florida Area. The collaboration of more than 100 companies have created more than 900 jobs and collected annual revenues of more than $500 million.

FHTCC Advertising CampaignFHTCC Advertising Campaign Highlights Successful Matching Grants Research Program and Entrepreneurs
Featured on the back cover of this year's florida.HIGH.TECH 2009, the current advertising campaign for the Florida High Tech Corridor highlights three successful matching grants research partners and entrepreneurs, each graduates of the three Corridor universities.

Bill McDermott, FHTCC Marketing Committee Chair, congratulates all three researchers on their success and hard work over the past years, especially Antoine Khoury, UCF alumni and former fellow employee of Seminole County. "This ad is a true testament to the ultimate collaboration between academic and industry partners."

Draper Laboratory Inc. Opens Office in St. Petersburg
The Boston-based nonprofit engineering research and development laboratory, Draper Laboratory Inc., will soon set up shop in St. Petersburg. The company purchased a 41,000-square-foot building to manufacture microchips for the military. Along with the St. Petersburg building, Draper will open a research and development center at the University of South Florida for BioMEMS, a field utilizing microelectromechanical systems to develop smaller and functional medical devices that offer improved diagnostics and therapies.

SKYShades Awards Eighth Franchise
SKYShades, the Orlando-based company that installs shade systems throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, will now have its eighth franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to the shades, the company is working with Konarka Technologies Inc. to create a retractable umbrella, called SKYbrella, that converts light to energy.

Anand Pallegar Announced as Tampa Bay CEO Magazine “CEO of the Year”
CEO and Founder of Sarasota-based atLarge Inc., Anand Pallegar received the "CEO of the Year" award by Tampa Bay CEO Magazine. In addition to the award, Pallegar was recently selected as the 2009 vice chair of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum board. atLarge Inc. is an Internet advertising marketing company founded in 2004.


Calendar of Events

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

The Potential Power of Florida’s First Polytechnic
Presented by: Florida Medical Manufacturers' Consortium
Tuesday, January 20, 7:30 to 9 a.m.
Feather Sound Country Club, 2201 Feather Sound Dr., Clearwater
For event information, visit

Business of Biotech
Presented by: Moffitt Cancer Center
Thursday, January 29, 7:30 a.m.
Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Dr., Tampa
For event information, visit

Negotiating Your Business to the Top
Presented by: UCF Executive Development Center
February 2-3 and February, 5-6
UCF's Executive Development Center Downtown, 36 West Pine Street, Orlando
For event information, visit

2009 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration
Presented by: American Society for Engineering Education
Wednesday, February 4 through Friday, February 6
Royal Plaza Hotel, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista
For event information, visit

Florida Medical Device Symposium
Presented by: Florida Medical Manufacturers' Consortium
Monday and Tuesday, April 7 and 8
Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel & Marina, 700 South Florida Ave., Tampa
For event information, visit



Next Generation Plug-in Hybrid Car Tested in Florida
Environment News Service

The gas price roller coaster and climate change concerns are making plug-in hybrid-electric cars look increasingly attractive to many people. Now, a new University of Florida Partnership is testing to determine if they are in fact, a cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable choice than other cars.

For the full article, visit

M2Gen: The Future Cancer Fight Starts Here
St. Petersburg Times
By Robert Trigaux

Forgive the cliché, but I am sitting in the temporary and obscure Tampa Office of M2Gen listening to Chief Operating Officer Rick Garrison outline a business and technology future of giant genetic databases and huge frozen tissue banks, and all I can think of is Jurassic Park.

For the full article, visit

Study: Florida a Land of Opportunity for Small Biz
Orlando Business Journal
By Chris Kauffmann

The public policy climate in Florida for small companies ranks among the best in the U.S., said a new study by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

For the full article, visit



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