inside florida's high tech corridor

January 2010










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Did you know?

The payroll of the Corridor's Aviation and Aerospace sector is $1.2 billion for 16,000 employees.

January's Quote
"We licensed the patents from UF for their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and since then have further advanced the technology to include collision avoidance capabilities, side cameras and image processing."

Derek Lyons, Business Development Director at Prioria Robotics in this month's Faces of Technology.

USF's Patented Drug Subject of $1B Commercialization Deal

Royalties stemming from a pharmaceutical commercialization partnership between AstraZeneca PLC and Targacept, Inc. could add up to become the University of South Florida's (USF) largest licensing deal. Initially, the USF research team that developed the drug was funded by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's Matching Grants Research Program to study an effective treatment for children with Tourette syndrome, but later found the drug was a better candidate for treating symptoms of depression.

Named TC-5214, the antidepressant drug will go through final stages of testing before AstraZeneca and Targacept develop it for global commercialization. Details on USF's portion of the royalties are unavailable because of its confidentiality agreement. However, AstraZeneca has announced an upfront payment to Targacept of $200 million upon effectiveness and up to $540 million if development milestones are achieved, with an additional $500 million for reaching specified sales numbers.

"This has been a long and sometimes difficult journey, but this is a significant achievement that speaks to the value of investing time and resources into drug development and entrepreneurial research," said Dr. Paul Sanberg, USF Health researcher who was a part of the team. "We thank the FHTCC for its support of the project in its beginning stages."

For more information, visit

UF Researcher Designs Scanning Endoscope

A new tool developed by a University of Florida (UF) scientist provides a closer-and more detailed-look inside the human body, thanks to an innovative spin on endoscopy. Traditional endoscopes utilize a small camera attached to a long tube to take snapshots of the inside of a patient's gastrointestinal tract. In the prototype created by Huikai Xie, a UF associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, the camera is replaced with infrared scanners that can obtain images of the tissue below the surface at much higher resolution.

This scanning endoscope could revolutionize traditional diagnostic procedures, as well as provide added benefits to patients during surgery and treatment.

For more information, visit

UCF Incubator Plans Osceola Facility and Possible Biomedical Program

The seventh facility as part of the University of Central Florida (UCF) Business Incubation Program will open early next year in St. Cloud after construction is completed. A partnership between Osceola County, the city of St. Cloud, the University of Central Florida, Snow Construction Inc., OUC and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the 14,200 square foot facility is the first expansion into Osceola County.

The UCF Business Incubation Program is also considering a facility that will cater specifically to the needs of biomedical companies that emerge from the new Medical City development at Lake Nona surrounding UCF's College of Medicine, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

For more information, visit


florida.HIGH.TECH 2010 Showcases What's Next in Innovation
The most in-depth guide to the burgeoning high tech community in the Corridor, florida.HIGH.TECH 2010, once again highlights the future of technology development through a collection of articles on the companies and people that are driving innovation in their industries. Featured technologies in past years' issues of florida.HIGH.TECH have received national recognition, including Alachua-based Sharklet Technologies, whose patented anti-microbial SafeTouch plastic earned a spot on Inc.'s top nine list of most innovative technologies for 2009.

Published annually by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) in partnership with the Maddux Business Report, florida.HIGH.TECH 2010 features a variety of compelling articles about high tech industry in the Corridor, including the recurring feature highlighting 16 "Faces of Technology," entrepreneurs in the region who are developing innovative technologies with the potential to revolutionize the industry. Viewers can watch these dynamic individuals tell their own stories through the FHTCC's YouTube Channel, Look for new video uploads each week from Faces around the Corridor.

To download florida.HIGH.TECH 2010, visit

Corridor Students Prepare for State Science and Engineering Fair
Each year, school districts across the Corridor hold a regional competition as part of Florida's State Science and Engineering Fair, one of the state's best organized programs for motivating students to focus on STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Middle and high school students in each region or county prepare an exhibit within 14 categories of biological or physical sciences to be judged by a panel of volunteers.

The success of this program is thanks to the many volunteers who assist by mentoring students during their research project, serving as a member of the judges' panel or special Scientific Review Committee, and especially by sponsoring an award or scholarship to recognize young talent for their achievements.

If you are interested in volunteering in any way with your local Science and Engineering Fair, please contact Carmel Saxon at or (407) 320-0186, who can then direct your inquiry to a local affiliate.


With a location ideally suited for a thriving aviation and aerospace industry, the Florida High Tech Corridor's 23-county region houses some of the nation's most notable organizations, programs and institutions in the field. Strong links with NASA and divisions within the armed forces have built up complementary sectors, including modeling, simulation & training, and defense, expanding the reach of the aviation and aerospace industry.

Manufacturers and developers of flight simulators can be found throughout the Corridor, from Lutz-based OPINICUS Corporation (, to Orlando's Adacel Technnologies (, to Simflightronics Corporation in Deland ( Better pilots are produced from the technology coming out of our region, as well as from our Corridor institutions. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach ( not only produces world class and highly trained pilots, but also generates a high tech workforce skilled in aeronautical engineering, launch systems and computer technology.

Another company leading the way in first-of-its-kind aeronautical innovations is Gainesville-based Prioria (, a pioneer in autonomous unmanned vehicles. Prioria designed an aerial system that can be launched by a single person and utilizes custom-built sensors to defensively maneuver around detected obstacles while collecting data.

These innovations demonstrate the rapid growth within the Corridor's aviation sector, providing an even brighter future for engineering advancements to come.


Derek Lyons, Business Development Director
Prioria Robotics

Prioria Robotics develops autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) whose embedded computerized processes for flying and maneuvering make 'smart' airplane drones for military and commercial applications.

Your roots: Prioria's management team is made up of University of Florida graduates who founded the company in 2003. We licensed the patents from UF for their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and since then have further advanced the technology to include collision avoidance capabilities, side cameras and image processing.
What's hot: Our feature UAS product, the Maveric, not only utilizes our custom-embedded processing which provides real-time communication with the plane, but also has flexible wings that can bend down to fit inside a six inch tube, making launch as easy as removing the Maveric from the case, setting the coordinates and throwing it into the air.
Recent breakthroughs: We performed a demonstration of the Maveric's flight capabilities for the special operations command at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. We were able to successfully fly in 25+ knot winds and 31 knot gusts sustained, making ours the smallest man-portable UAS in the world to be able to handle those kinds of winds.

For a video interview, visit


Dr. Jim Pearson
For many of the industries in our region, there is one "go-to" person who has all the information, all the experience, and all the connections. For the Optics and Photonics industry, that person is Dr. Jim Pearson, our Take a Bow spotlight of the month.

A Fellow of SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) and OSA (the Optical Society of America) and a Senior Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Jim currently serves as the Director of Research and Administration for the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. As part of his position, he facilitates industry partnerships for marketing and research programs. Jim also serves as the executive director of the Florida Photonics Cluster, an organization that supports professionals in the photonics industry by providing professional development and networking opportunities, as well as a unified voice for the industry in the region.

As part of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's Core Team, Jim helps manage the outward marketing efforts of the FHTCC's optics industry. This month, he will join other regional leaders to represent the Corridor at the SPIE Photonics West conference, the largest photonics and laser event in North America. He also supports photonics technician training programs.

Jim's support for the industry in the Corridor has amassed a greater awareness of how large this cluster is and how greatly it impacts our high tech economy. The Florida High Tech Corridor Council commends Jim for his long-term dedication and guidance.


Tampa Bay Technology Forum Announces Partnership with 82 Degrees Tech
Aiming to help expand membership benefits for local businesses in the Manatee and Sarasota counties, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) has announced its affiliation partnership with the technology association 82 Degrees Tech. In light of this new direction, 82 Degrees Tech will transform its brand into the Suncoast Technology Forum but will retain the mission to build the economy through accelerating technology. Now, membership in the Suncoast Technology Forum not only offers events and volunteer opportunities of its own, but also grants access to TBTF programs and networks.

For more information, visit

Florida Ranked Sixth in Entrepreneur-friendly States
According to the "Small Business Survival Index 2009," Florida takes the number six slot for environments conducive to entrepreneurial success. The rankings took into account states' various regulatory policies including taxes, government spending, property rights, health care and energy costs. The SBE named the top five states: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Texas, 4) Wyoming, and, 5) Washington. The bottom five included 45) Rhode Island, 46) Maine, 47) Vermont, 48) New York, 49) California, and 50) New Jersey.

For more information, visit

Sarasota County EDC Focuses on Future with Economic Outlook 2010
With the New Year unfolding, Corridor companies and organizations seek to initiate a fresh start for growth. The Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation will present the first of many programs springing from the Corridor that are focused on visioning for the future, the Economic Outlook 2010.

Economist Sean Snaith, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, will lend insight to the future of the economy and its role in high tech industry as the keynote speaker. In addition, local CEOs including Rob Campbell of Volate, Jeffrey Jones of Jones Chemical and Robert Meade of Doctor's Hospital will answer questions in an interactive panel discussion. Economic Outlook 2010 will take place on January 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

STEMflorida Launches Business Roundtables to Address Workforce Needs
Spearheaded by Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida, statewide partners have created a council to support the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills of Florida's students and future workforce. The implementation team will begin by hosting a series of business roundtables throughout the state to bring together economic development, workforce, educational and industry leaders to identify current STEM programs and pave the way for future initiatives.

All business leaders that have a stake in the high tech workforce of tomorrow are encouraged to attend any of the following sessions: January 29, The Haskell Company, Jacksonville; February 18, Lockheed Martin, Orlando; February 22, Florida Power & Light, Juno Beach; or March 1, Gulf Power, Pensacola.

For more information, visit

Biotech Companies Expand in Tampa Bay Region
Multiple companies focusing on biotechnology and medicine have cropped up in Tampa Bay, with two new additions to the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator and a Paris-based medical equipment manufacturer locating its U.S. headquarters in Manatee County.

The two new companies within the University of South Florida's (USF) incubator include Quantum Immunologics, a privately held R&D company focused on personalized treatment and therapies for cancer patients, and StemCell Lab Corp., a consultant service that develops cellular therapies. Both of these companies join 20 other companies currently located at USF's Tampa Bay Technology Incubator.

An additional company to expand to the Tampa Bay region is Trod Medical, a Paris-based manufacturer of FDA-approved surgical devices that recently headquartered its U.S. operations in Lakewood Ranch. Trod's patented Encage device utilizes radio frequency to heat diseased tissue and stop the growth process.

For more information, visit,, or


Corridor Companies Honored in ITFlorida Award Ceremony
The ITFlorida Board of Directors revealed the 2009 award winners at the Seventh Annual Awards Gala and Tech Forum. Among those honored statewide, Full Sail President Gary Jones received the IT Leader of the Year Award; Wave Software in Orlando won Excellence in IT Leadership for the Central Florida region; Mark Abbott, Senior Vice President for St. Petersburg-based Raymond James, accepted the Excellence in IT Leadership Award for Tampa Bay; AirIT in Orlando received the Excellence in Sustainability through Information Technology Award; and WiPower Inc. in Gainesville earned the Innovation and Entrepreneurialism Award.

FHTCC Partner Voted Vice Chair of FEDC Young Professionals
A new group will be coming online this year geared toward younger professionals just getting into Florida's Economic Development industry. Florida High Tech Corridor Council Core Team member, coordinator for FHTCC's Career Expo '07 and '08, and dedicated volunteer Allison Beeman from the Haines City EDC will serve as Vice Chair along with Cecilia Smith from the City of Tavares and Chair, Peter Tokar from the town of Davie. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the group can contact Allison ( for more information.

Sharklet Technologies Product Named to Inc.'s Top Innovations in 2009
Alachua-based Sharklet Technologies enjoyed another month in the spotlight from Inc. Magazine, which recognized the company's bacteria-resistant surface, SafeTouch, among the top innovative technologies of the year. Inc. honored eight other technologies including an implantable wireless heart monitor and a high-efficiency wind turbine.

Workforce Florida CEO Takes Additional Reins as OTTED Director
Governor Charlie Crist announced the appointment of current Workforce Florida CEO, Chris Hart, to serve a joint leadership role as interim director of the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED). Gov. Crist acknowledged the need to align the state's talent development and economic development goals in working toward Florida's new economy.

Calendar of Events

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

TEC Talk Session for Technology Entrepreneurs
Presented by: STAR Technology Enterprise Center
Tuesday, January 12, 9 to 11 a.m.
Synovus Bank Headquarters, 4488 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa
For event information, visit

Presented by: Full Sail University and the Orlando Science Center
Friday, January 15 through Monday, January 18
Orlando Science Center, 777 East Princeton St., Orlando
For event information, visit

Economic Outlook 2010
Presented by: Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
Friday, January 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Michael's on East, 1212 East Ave. South, Sarasota
For event information, visit

Economic Outlook for Small Business
Presented by: Small Business Development Center at UCF
Thursday, January 28, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Disney Entrepreneur Center, 315. E. Robinson Street, Suite 100, Orlando
For event information, visit

Book of Lists Celebration
Presented by: Orlando Business Journal
Thursday, January 28, 6 to 8 p.m.
Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando
For event information, visit

STEM Business Roundtables
Presented by: STEMflorida
Friday, January 29, 9 to 11 a.m.
The Haskell Company, 111 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville;
Thursday, February 18, 9 to 11 a.m.
Lockheed Martin, 12506 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando;
Monday, February 22, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Florida Power & Light, 700 Universe Blvd., Juno Beach;
Monday, March 1, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gulf Power Company, One Energy Place, Pensacola
For event information, visit

2010 Florida Venture Capital Conference
Presented by: Florida Venture Forum
Tuesday and Wednesday, February 2 and 3
Omni Orlando Resort, 1500 Masters Blvd, Champions Gate
For event information, visit


Photonics holds promise for job creation
Florida Today
By Patrick Peterson and Wayne Price

In Melbourne's industrial heartland, there are six engineers at one small company who don't worry about losing their jobs. That future, many believe, will in some way touch on photonics, the industry centered on putting light to work, whether carrying data through a fiber optic cable, cutting metal and circuits with a laser, or displaying information.

For the full article, visit or

Fla. exports poised for 2010 rebound
Orlando Business Journal
By Christopher Boyd

Communications equipment exporter Multicom Inc. in Longwood expects better times in 2010 as a weak dollar and reviving international economies fuel demand for new hardware.

For the full article, visit or

As SRI prepares to open new building, director predicts more high tech companies will make the move to this area
St. Petersburg Times
By Roberth Trigaux

SRI's new facility on the waterfront in St. Petersburg will have its opening ceremony.

For the full article, visit or



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