inside florida's high tech corridor

June 2011










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June's Quote
"Breakthroughs in the industry are allowing us to make lasers that people couldn't even dream about several years ago."

Leon Glebov, Vice President of Research & Development at OptiGrate, in this month's Faces of Technology.

UCF Professor Receives Grant to Develop Less Expensive, More Effective Polio Vaccine

University of Central Florida (UCF) Professor Henry Daniell recently received a two-year, more than $760,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a new polio vaccine. Daniell caught the Gates Foundation's attention with his process of creating vaccines using genetically engineered plants. Daniell's method has the potential to create vaccines that are delivered in capsule form, which makes the vaccine less expensive to produce and more effective to administer.

Because the process of fermenting and refrigerating inactive viruses is not required, the new method reduces the cost of storage and transportation while increasing the shelf life of the new vaccine pills. The capsules also eliminate the need for needle injections by health professionals, so the new treatment can be accessible to more people in more countries. Not only do these capsules change the way vaccines are administered, but they also greatly enhance the vaccine's effectiveness. Dr. Daniell's research has found that once ingested, the capsules are activated in the gut which is more powerful than the blood's immune system.

For more information, visit

New USF Health Center to Open Spring 2012

Construction is well underway for the University of South Florida's (USF) new Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). The 90,000-square-foot health center located in downtown Tampa is set to open spring 2012. USF Health appointed Dr. John Armstrong as medical director, who previously led the U.S. Army Trauma Training Center in Miami. Armstrong intends to draw upon his experience with training battlefield medics to prepare surgeons who study at CAMLS for working in a smoothly functioning team, even in the most demanding of circumstances.

More than 60,000 learners each year are expected to come through CAMLS to be trained on the newest advancements in medical technology and simulation. Individuals will also utilize the facilities and its state-of-the-art resources for classes, research and innovation.

For more information, visit

UF's BioDatabase Shows Company and Investment Increase in Florida

UF's BioDatabase Shows Company and Investment Increase in Florida
Although the biotechnology industry has declined nationwide, the Florida BioDatabase shows boosts in both the number of biotech companies and investment dollars in Florida. The database is maintained by the University of Florida's (UF) Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in Alachua.

Florida has seen a 21 percent increase in biotech companies since 2008, adding 29 new companies for a total of 165. Recent Bloomberg News and Ernst & Young reports claim the nationwide U.S. biotechnology sector lost 15 to 25 percent of public companies and 5 to 10 percent of privately held companies over the same time frame.

Total investment funding for the Florida biomedical industry also outpaces the nation. The state's investment dollars total $158 million after a 37 percent increase from 2009 to 2010. National growth in the industry did not experience a notable increase.

For more information, visit


Optics and Photonics
From your cell phone to ground-breaking medical research, the expanding industry of optics and photonics produces critical technologies that grow and enhance people's lives. Although you may not stop to think about how this specialized field of engineering and physics is involved in your day-to-day life, outputs of the industry can be found everywhere, and scientific leaders throughout Florida's High Tech Corridor are paving the way for new innovations in optics and lasers.

The Photonics industry in Florida originated out of military efforts and CREOLhas grown into a thriving sector of the Corridor. A highlight in the heart of the Corridor is the University of Central Florida's (UCF) Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL), which is one of only three advanced degree-granting optics institutions in the United States. The Center hosts innovative research and high-quality education, and also serves as an economic driver in the industry by producing startups through its incubator.

CREOL is also providing a unique summer opportunity for students in grades three through 12. Certified Florida teachers are hosting summer camps over the course of two weeks, June 13-24. The camps have a strong base in technology, science and mathematics, and include hands-on activities, a team environment and curriculum developed by scientists and educators from UCF.

The Corridor is also home to theFlorida Photonics Cluster Florida Photonics Cluster (FPC), whose goal is to bring together the knowledge and expertise of different companies to make Florida the number one place for photonics solutions. Big members of this cluster and the overall industry include Harris Corporation Electro-Optical Solutions, Northrop Grumman Laser Systems and OptiGrate.

Whether they are manufacturing lasers for medical imaging devices or working on the newest developments in national defense, nearly 3,000 people and more than 90 companies located in the Corridor are directly engaged in the growing industry of optics and photonics.


Leon Glebov
Vice President R&D, OptiGrate

Leon Glebov, OptiGrateOptiGrate Corp. in Orlando produces holographic optical elements inscribed inside of a glass plate that are used for precise laser beam control and fine spectroscopy. They enable a dramatic increase of power of laser systems and resolution of spectral analyzers.

Education: MS in Physics of Nuclear Dosimetry and Protection, Leningrad Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. in Optics, State Optical Institute

First Job: Research scientist at a government laboratory in the USSR

The Future: Holographic optical elements will become one of the main components in the optical industry

Goal: To make complex holograms in glass and move our technology to imaging optics and data storage

View Leon's Faces of Technology video interview at


Florida Economic Gardening Institute
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council recognizes the team at the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI) in this month's Take a Bow spotlight. Florida Economic Gardening InstituteThrough its GrowFL program, FEGI supports the growth of second-stage businesses throughout the state of Florida. Through specialized technical assistance, peer-to-peer CEO roundtables, CEO forums, networking events and other programs, GrowFL has supported the growth of more than 200 companies to date and is still available to serve many more.

In May, FEGI was selected to host the ninth annual National Economic Gardening Conference. The conference attracted economic development leaders from around the country and even the globe to Orlando to learn from Florida's model. Many attendees said they plan to take the insight they received from FEGI and improve or start economic gardening programs in their regions or states. This is a great testament to the success of the Florida program, and the hard work of the FEGI team.

The team is led by Dr. Tom O'Neal, executive director of FEGI and associate vice president for research and commercialization at the University of Central Florida. Additionally, the FEGI staff including Fran Korosec, Linda Jennings Nelson, Jeff Turner, Lynn Aitken and Keith Engh and statewide supporters including Amy Evancho, Tammie Nemecek and Steve Quello have worked tirelessly to assist second stage entrepreneurs and the growth of their businesses. As well, the Institute's economic gardening team of subject matter experts including David Brim, Jason Parry, Clay Smithers and Stephanie Kempton provided technical assistance in a variety of disciplines including Internet marketing, geographic information systems and market research and competitive analysis.

Overall, this team, along with many other individuals and organizations dedicated to supporting the program, has developed an entrepreneurial ecosystem spanning the Florida High Tech Corridor and the rest of the state. For this, we recognize the FEGI team and thank them for their hard work as they end the second year of the pilot program in August.


Beverly SeayIn this month's "Faces of the Council," we recognize a prominent member of Central Florida's high tech community. As a senior vice president of SAIC, Beverly Seay has devoted her career to supporting high tech industry throughout the Florida High Tech Corridor, and as a longstanding Council member she has furthered the FHTCC mission and its partnership initiatives.

In 2002, Bev spearheaded an effort to develop the Corridor's HomeBase21 project, an online platform that facilitated commercial exchange among high tech business-to-business and business-to-government entities. The online center served as a one-stop source for governmental, corporate, academic and community decision-makers to see the region's vast homeland security technology capabilities. This program later morphed into Florida TechMart, which utilized the same backend database systems of future Corridor initiatives such as the Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center.

Bev is also a founding member of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission's Military Affairs Advisory Council, a group that aims to support high tech industry by connecting the region's high tech simulation and training industry with military and community leaders.

Without a doubt, the Florida High Tech Corridor has greatly benefited from Bev's more than 30 years of experience working with military and high tech customers. The Council thanks Bev for her longstanding support of its mission to grow high tech industry.


Tampa Bay Technology Forum Hosts coolTECH 2011
coolTECH is returning for its fourth year on Friday, June 10, at the Museum of Science and Industry. coolTECH 2011The event, which is the largest gathering of techies, industry leaders and innovators in the region, is hosted annually by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF). This year's keynote speaker is Craig Newmark, the founder of coolTECH will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and reservations can be made at

The TBTF's next event, Tech Jam, will be held on August 18. This "party with a purpose" raises funds to help prepare Tampa Bay's at-risk youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

For more information, visit

Orlando's Sanford-Burnham Researches RNA's Role in Development of Melanoma
Doctors at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have discovered that long, non-coding RNA (lncRNA) are altered in the development of human melanoma. Their study, which was recently published in the journal Cancer Research, shows that one lncRNA called SPRY4-IT1 is elevated in melanoma cells. Although attention has been given to microRNAs, the group of lncRNAs remains relatively understudied. Dr. Perera, associate professor at Sanford-Burnham's Lake Nona campus, believes that SPRY4-IT1 could be an early biomarker for the detection of melanoma.

For more information, visit

TRDA's Clean Tech Ventures Announces Webinar Series
The Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA) has launched a program for Florida-based entrepreneurs and early-stage clean technology and energy-related companies Technology Research and Development Authoritycalled Clean Tech Ventures. As part of the program, participating companies have access to a series of Webinars hosted through November 2011. The next Webinar, "Translating Your Technology Into Business Terms," will be held June 15 at 10 a.m. Discussions will be held about financial and legal issues involving technology, including how to convert technology features into marketing and intellectual property. The Webinar will feature guest speakers Jo Marie Diamond, president and CEO of East County Economic Development Council in San Diego, and Bernard Zuzo, Manager of SBIR Commercialization for the TRDA.

For further information and a complete list of workshops and Webinars, visit

FHTCC's 10th Anniversary Scholar Graduates from UCF
Nearly five years ago, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council celebrated its 10th anniversary by granting regional community college students with scholarships to pursue baccalaureate degrees in Adam Perduetechnical fields at each of the three Corridor universities. The first student, Adam Purdue, recently earned his degree in aerospace engineering from UCF, and is seeking employment with a High Tech Corridor company. Adam was the top scholar at Seminole State College personally recommended by President Ann McGee, and he has continued to exceed expectations at UCF where he maintained a strong GPA and was a member of the National Honors Aerospace Society. If you are interested in hiring this promising engineer with a focus on power generation, please contact Kerry Martin at for his direct contact information. Congratulations, Adam!


Leader of Sarasota County EDC to Retire this Month
Kathy Baylis, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Kathy BaylisCorporation of Sarasota County, is retiring this month. Baylis has led Sarasota County's economic development efforts for 15 years and dedicated herself to making Sarasota County and the Florida High Tech Corridor a better place to live and work. Baylis began her economic development career with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and was the head of the development function by 1999. She was in charge of the formation and independent release of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County in 2004. She will be succeeded by Mark Huey, economic and urban development administrator for the City of Tampa.

Corridor Magazine Receives Praise from Regional Leader
florida.HIGH.TECH 2011Recently the 2011 publication of florida.HIGH.TECH magazine garnered praise from Stuart Rogel, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. Rogel, a recognized regional leader in economic development, commented, "Of all the publications that are intended to report on a region, florida.HIGH.TECH was the best I've seen." Rogel also presented the magazine during international visits to economic development leaders in Panama and other countries.

FHTCC Partner Appointed Board Chair for Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Jacksonville Branch
Lynda Weatherman, president Lynda Weathermanand chief executive officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, was appointed to chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Jacksonville Branch. Weatherman began her term on the board Jan. 1, 2009, and will continue as chair through Dec. 31, 2011.

In her new role, Weatherman will preside over each board meeting and act as a link between the Federal Reserve and their communities. In addition to leading the EDC, Weatherman supports the initiatives of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council as a member of the volunteer Core Team.

USF Professor to Receive National Engineering Education Award
At the end of June, USF professor Autar Kaw will attend the annual American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference where he will receive the 2011 National Outstanding Teaching Medal. The medal is considered the top honor from ASEE, which is the leading professional organization in the field. Shaw is the author of four textbooks and 49 referred journal articles. He was chosen from thousands of applicants and also received the 2010 Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Southeastern Section.

Orlando's Simulation Cluster Recognized in New Book
The Next American Economy, William J. HolsteinBusiness journalist William J. Holstein discusses the Orlando simulation cluster in his newest book, "The Next American Economy." The book touches on the University of Central Florida as well as the technological military efforts in the area. The cluster is given its own chapter, titled "How the Military Innovates: Orlando's Simulation Boom." Holstein offers his own advice for growth of the area, suggesting that large companies should set aside money for venture funds or invest directly into more local startups.

Calendar of Events

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

Presented by: Tampa Bay Innovation Center
Tuesday, June 7, 9 to 11 a.m.
Microsoft, 7th floor, Suite 700, 5426 Bay Center Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

WITI Social Mixer - Women in Science and Technology
Presented by: Women in Technology International (WITI) Central Florida Regional Network
Tuesday, June 7, 5 p.m.
Mitchell's Fish Market, 204 Westshore Plaza, Tampa
For event information, visit

A Business Briefing
Presented by: Dynamic Communities and Tampa Port Authority
Wednesday, June 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tampa Port Authority, 1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa
For event information, visit

coolTECH Showcase
Presented by: Tampa Bay Technology Forum and MOSI
Friday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa
For event information, visit

CREOL Summer Camps
Presented by: University of Central Florida CREOL
Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 24
CREOL Building, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando
For event information, visit

Internet Technology Summit 2011
Presented by: Florida Technology Journal
Wednesday, August 31 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin Street, Tampa
For event information, visit

I2 Capital Acceleration Program Showcase Event
Presented by: Space Florida and Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA)
Wednesday, September 7
Radisson at Port Canaveral, 8701 Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral
For event information, visit

BioFlorida 14th Annual Conference
Presented by: BioFlorida
Sunday through Tuesday, October 23-25
Marriott Tampa Waterside, 700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa
For event information, visit

Presented by: The International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics
Sunday through Thursday, October 23-27
Hilton in the Walt Disney World® Resort, 1751 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista
For event information, visit


Army's Orlando Agency to Provide Simulation-Training for VA Hospitals Nationwide
Orlando Sentinel
By Richard Burnett

In a landmark deal, the Army's Orlando-based training-and-simulation agency has won a $5 million contract to provide medical-care training systems for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' new Orlando medical center and for VA hospitals nationwide.

For the full article, click here or visit

UF Startup Florida Sustainables Wins Cade Prize for Innovation
Gainesville Sun
By Anthony Clark

A startup company with a biodegradable plastic invented at the University of Florida was the winner of the second $50,000 Cade Prize for Innovation. Florida Sustainables was announced as the winner at the end of Cade Prize Night at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall.

For the full article, click here or visit

Florida Budget Success: Watch USF Poly Bloom
The Ledger

After years of frustration, Polk County can celebrate both the Legislature's and governor's approval of funding $35 million for construction of the first permanent building on the new campus of the University of South Florida Polytechnic in northeast Lakeland.

For the full article, click here or visit



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