UF Scientists Create Technique to Use Brain Tissue for Stem Cell Therapies
University of Florida (UF) scientists have developed a process that can select and separate neurons from other, less desirable brain cells. Called flow cytometry, the method allows scientists to sort cells according to size and internal characteristics, which can generate "pure" populations of cells that are the best for transplantation. The purified neurons are isolated in large quantities, leading to more efficient delivery of cell replacement treatments.
With the ability to control the dose of neurons in a treatment, scientists increase the chance of treatment efficacy for disorders such as Huntington's disease and spinal cord injury. The transplantation therapies are starting to move into clinical trials, and scientists hope the technology will contribute to the success of neural transplantation as a way to repair injured brain tissue.
For more information, visit http://news.ufl.edu/2011/07/06/brain.
UCF Leads Collaboration on Semiconductor Laser Breakthrough
A University of Central Florida (UCF) team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California at Riverside, has created a way to increase the use of ultraviolet semiconductor diode lasers. These lasers are widely used in data processing, information storage and biology, but have limited applications because of size, cost and power.
Researchers are investigating an alternate laser using zinc oxide nanowires, which up until now, lacked the right type of material (called positive type or p-type) needed by all semiconductors. UCF's scientists added an extra element to create the necessary p-type material and have seen success in experiments conducted through UCF's unique Scanning Electron Microscope probe station. If this new method proves successful, information storage could be increased and the ultra-small light beam from a nanowire laser could be used to alter living cells or purify drinking water.
For more information, visit http://news.ucf.edu/UCFnews.
USF Uses High Tech Simulator for Sports Injury Training Grounds
Just like players and coaches, athletic trainers are preparing for the upcoming football season. Trainers from local universities and professional sports teams, along with Tampa Fire and Rescue paramedics, gathered at the University of South Florida (USF) to participate in a day of hands-on medical practice. The star of the show was "iStan," a human body simulator produced by Sarasota-based Medical Education Technologies Inc. (METI).
iStan is capable of replicating the symptoms of a variety of serious injuries, from spinal damage to cardiac arrest. Throughout the day, trainers practiced the skills and procedures needed for a variety of situations, utilizing iStan's lifelike controls that imitate an actual player suffering sports injuries. USF's training staff even provided the voice for iStan, telling coaches and first-responders about symptoms "he" was experiencing.
Used in hospitals and educational centers and even model battlefields, METI's iStan is one of the most advanced medical simulators in the world.
For more information, visit http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news.
In Florida, the agricultural and natural resources industries, which comprise agritech-related sectors, generate $35 billion in net sales and employ more than 336,000 people. From biofuels to developing more efficient food systems, the Florida High Tech Corridor's thriving agritechnology industry is highlighted by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and a new collaboration to localize food distribution systems.
IFAS at UF is a federal-state-county partnership that works to enhance knowledge in agriculture and improve the quality of human life by making the information accessible. The Institute is composed of more than 2,000 employees and 1,213 buildings that cover 23,633 acres throughout the state. These buildings include academic departments, research centers and extension offices. According to the Institute's recent economic contributions report, it is estimated that for every one dollar of investment in agricultural research and extension, there is a $10 benefit to the state of Florida.
Farm to Flag is a recent initiative by Flagler, Putnam and St. John's counties to better provide locally grown foods to military bases and schools in the immediate region. The project focuses on economic issues facing our country, and new supply-chain management technology will increase distribution efficiency. The newly established First Coast Fresh will operate the project and receive technological help from Tampa-based Enporion, a Florida High Tech Corridor Council member's company that specializes in supply-chain management software. Including the objectives of improving military member's lives and promoting the development of local and regional food systems, the project also hopes to create a distribution model that can be reproduced throughout the U.S. and potentially worldwide.
The Florida High Tech Corridor has ample resources and research invested in the field of agritechnology, making the region an ideal location for this growing field to flourish.
FACES OF TECHNOLOGY
Christopher J. Reuter
Vice President of Science, Osprey Biotechnics
Osprey Biotechnics Inc. in Sarasota produces innovative microbial products for a wide variety of environment, agricultural and industrial applications.
Education: Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida
First Job: McDonald's
The Future: More and more, microbes will be the platform by which the majority of technological advances in our society are created.
Goal: In general, not to rely exclusively on those technologies that already exist, rather to continually search for new approaches to dealing with challenges.
Advice: The best advice I took was from my family, to continue my education in pursuit of my Ph.D.
Choice of Field: It was driven by my fascination with the complexity of microorganisms, from their molecular physiology to their impact on a global scale.
View Christopher's Faces of Technology video interview at http://www.youtube.com/user/facesoftechnology.
TAKE A BOW
Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center Team
Through this month's Take a Bow spotlight, we would like to recognize the efforts of the FLVEC team including Dr. Bob Williams, Steve Burley, Michael Zaharios, Roger Pynn, Kerry Martin, Randy Wadle of NetWise Technology and some 30 volunteers. This team has been the driving force behind the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center . a robust online resource for entrepreneurs now expanding statewide.
We specifically recognize the team's leader, Dr. Bob, who recently announced he would soon be leaving Daytona State College after a long tenure as senior vice president of Economic Development, where he formed solid relationships with regional partners across Volusia County and across the Corridor. In his role, Dr. Bob led the team behind the FHTCC-funded Virtual Entrepreneur Center (FLVEC) and devoted countless hours to building an online resource that provides entrepreneurs with the latest information on starting, growing or relocating their business. Now with the help of Corridor partners including the National Entrepreneur Center, FLVEC is expanding beyond the 23-county Corridor to provide localized information to entrepreneurs across the state.
Through the team's efforts, FLVEC continues to serve small business owners with a complete library of information. We thank the entire FLVEC team and wish Dr. Bob all the best as he enjoys time well-earned.
FACES OF THE COUNCIL
In this month's Faces of the Council, we recognize a man who found his life passion at the age of 16 and eventually created the mass market for orchids and bromeliads in the United States. Kerry Herndon, CEO of Kerry's Nursery and Twyford International, is a key representative regarding agritech issues and plant innovations on the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.
From its humble beginnings in the backyard of Kerry's childhood home, Kerry's Nursery now stretches more than 3 million square feet. Kerry's is known for transforming bromeliads and orchids from collector plants into affordable consumer items. Through modern mechanization, his company has reduced the price of the tropical plants by nearly 80 percent.
In 2005, Kerry's Nursery purchased Twyford International, a tissue culture lab and leader in developing new breeds of disease-indexed, high-performance starter plants. Through this partnership, Kerry's and Twyford hold hundreds of patents on plant varietals.
Thanks to his work in revolutionizing the horticultural industry, Kerry was appointed to the Florida High Tech Corridor Council in 2005 by President Machen when the University of Florida joined the partnership. His advice and counsel on agritechnology has helped support the mission of FHTCC and nurtured this growing industry to full bloom.
We thank Kerry Herndon for his contributions to the Council and look forward to his next breakthrough in agribusiness.
TECH BUSINESS PARTNER NEWS
A Look Inside UF's McKnight Brain Institute
The McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida (MBI) opened the doors to its world-class, $60 million building October 22, 1998. The institute was named in recognition of a $15 million gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation-the largest cash gift in UF history which was then matched by the State of Florida. Today, the MBI has four NeuroMedicine departments - neuroscience, neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry - that work to understand and cure nervous system afflictions.
The MBI features state-of-the-art facilities and resources, from "clean room" laboratories for experiments in gene replacement therapy to a radiosurgery research lab that explores new treatments for brain cancer. The Institute's medical imaging suites feature some of the world's most powerful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, and two new research core facilities were specially designed for the studies of molecules, cells and tissues involved in brain development and operation.
Collaboration thrives in one of the nation's most technologically advanced centers, as the MBI is represented by more than 300 faculty members from 51 academic departments and 10 colleges. The teamwork expands internationally as well, with missions such as the Regeneration Project, a think-tank of human therapy ideas to regrow tissue from world-renowned scientists.
The MBI looks to remedy neurological injuries altogether, but has focused its research into six cores: age related memory loss; brain cancer; chronic neurological diseases; central nervous system injury; brain development, regeneration and rehabilitation; and, mental health, neurobehavioral sciences and psychiatry.
Future plans for the Institute include developing new initiatives and programs aimed at translating diagnostic neuroscience to therapeutic applications. New multidisciplinary facilities are already being constructed along with new laboratories, and growth in the Institute's research areas will lead to discoveries and new approaches for neurological repair.
For more information, visit http://www.mbi.ufl.edu.
Florida 2011 TechXpo - Florida's Premier Technology & Innovation Exposition
The Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida will introduce the first-ever Florida 2011 TechXpo Tuesday, October 11, 2011. The event showcases technology and innovations in a single-day event that will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Industries represented include alternative and renewable energy, biotech and life sciences, defense, resilient technology, and composites and robotics.
TechXpo will host exhibits of emerging technologies and cutting-edge innovations, and will also include breakout sessions on technology resources such as intellectual property. The event features a Virtual Exhibit Hall that will allow those who register to view virtual booths of all exhibitors.
The event is sponsored by Harris Corporation of Melbourne and will be held at the Clemente Center on the Florida Institute of Technology campus.
For more information, visit http://floridatechxpo.com.
Inventors Council of Central Florida Hosts Inventors Fair
To celebrate National Inventor's Month, the Inventors Council of Central Florida is hosting workshops and exhibitions for an inaugural Inventors Fair to be held at the Orange County Main Library Saturday, August 13. Free for both exhibitors and attendees, the fair is designed to help inventors gain public exposure for their inventions, as well as transform their ideas into products.
Channel 6 news anchor Lauren Rowe will serve as the keynote speaker, with other presenters including Dr. M.J. Soileau, University of Central Florida (UCF) vice president for Research & Commercialization; Dr. Jason Martin, associate librarian at the UCF Libraries; Jim Bowie, site manager of the St. Cloud UCF Business Incubator; Paul Royal, president of the Patent Guild; and, Mark Tellam, project manager of the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
For more information, visit http://www.inventorscouncilcentralfla.us/inventors-fair.php.
TBTF Supports STEM Education and Recognizes Industry Achievement
This month, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) will hold its biggest party of the year-all to support scholarships and mentoring programs that encourage at-risk youth to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). On August 18, Tech Jam returns for its 10th year, and brings amazing food and cocktails, entertainment, a silent auction and the Battle of the Bands competition to the Ritz Ybor. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
As well, TBTF invites you to recognize leading organizations and individuals in the community by submitting a nomination for the Eighth Annual Industry Achievement Awards. Company awards include: Community Supporter of the Year, Excellence in Service, Emerging Technology Company of the Year and Technology Company of the Year. Individual awards include the Outstanding Leadership and Rising Star awards. You can nominate a company or individual you know, or submit a nomination application for you or your company. The event will be held Friday, November 4, at the A La Carte Event Pavilion.
For more information, visit http://www.tbtf.org.
.decimal Showcases High Tech Facility to "Future Engineers"
As part of the University of South Florida Polytechnic's Central Florida Gifted & Talented Institute, more than 50 young students took a tour of .decimal, the Sanford-based medical device manufacturer. With a personal tour from .decimal's CEO, Richard Sweat, the Polk County students learned about the personalized medicine industry and saw the daily operations of a major manufacturing facility.
UCF Associate Vice President Testifies Before U.S. Senate
Last month, Dr. Tom O'Neal, associate vice president of the Office of Research and Commercialization at UCF, was called to speak before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space in support of the nanotechnology industry. O'Neal discussed the revolutionary nature of nanotechnology and how UCF has succeeded in technology transfer and industry partnerships. He was invited to provide his expert testimony as the U.S. Senate considers reauthorizing the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
Moffitt Cancer Center Ranked 18th in U.S. News' Best Hospitals for Cancer List
For the 13th consecutive year, Moffitt Cancer Center has been ranked in U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals for Cancer list. The Moffitt Center was ranked 18th in the most recent list, which showcased 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Moffitt was also recognized by U.S. News as high performing in gastroenterology, gynecology and nephrology.
International Optics Center Honors UCF VP
Dr. M.J. Soileau, UCF's vice president for research and commercialization, will be the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Appreciation Medal issued by the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO). Luis Torner, director of the ICFO, credited Soileau with supplying the help, advice and support needed to establish a center capable of conducting cutting-edge research at the highest international level. Before being named vice president, Soileau served as the first director of UCF's Center for Research and Education in Optics and Laser (CREOL). Under his decade-long tenure, UCF has accumulated more than $1.05 billion in research funding.
UCF Incubator Network Opens Newest Facility in Daytona Beach
The UCF Business Incubator at Daytona Beach International Airport, in partnership with Volusia County, opened the doors to its 8,000 square-foot facility in the airport's international terminal. The center already has one tenant and eight other applications, and can host up to 20 startup companies. This is the ninth UCF business incubator in Florida. The program started in 1999 and has an 87 percent success rate, which means 87 percent of company graduates are still open five years later.
The following events are taking place across the Corridor's 23-county region or in the surrounding area:
Inventors Fair 2011
Presented by: Inventors Council of Central Florida
Saturday, August 13 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Orange County Public Library, 101 E. Central Boulevard, Orlando
For event information, visit http://www.inventorscouncilcentralfla.us/inventors-fair.
Presented by: The Suncoast Technology Forum
Tuesday, August 16 from 12 to 1 p.m.
Polo Grill and Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch
For event information, visit http://www.suncoasttechnologyforum.com/CalandarofEvents.
Clean Tech Ventures Technology Entrepreneurship Webinar Seriesn
Presented by: The Technological Research and Development Authority
Wednesday, August 17, 10 a.m.
For event information, visit http://www.trda.org/workshops.
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 http://www.internettechnologysummit.com.
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 http://i2florida.com/i2-showcase-event.
2011 FESC Summit
Presented by: Florida Energy Systems Consortium
Tuesday through Wednesday, September 27-28
University of Florida Reitz Union, 1080 SW 11th Street, Gainesville
For event information, visit http://www.floridaenergy.ufl.edu/?page_id=1342.
Presented by: Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida Inc.
Tuesday, October 11
Florida Institute of Technology, Clemente Center, 150 W. University Boulevard, Melbourne
For event information, visit http://www.melbourneregionalchamber.com.
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 http://www.bioflorida.com.
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 http://www.lia.org/conferences/icaleo/conference.
CORRIDOR INDUSTRY NEWS
County May Give Boost to Business Incubator
By Bill Thompson
Marion County commissioners are considering pumping as much as $500,000 into a new effort to give local entrepreneurs a leg up in getting their ideas off the ground.
At a commission workshop Friday, Jaye Baillie, president and CEO of the Ocala-Marion County Chamber of Commerce, presented a plan for a local business "incubator" program that finances people looking to launch their own business.
For the full article, click here or visit http://www.ocala.com.
Mini 'Crop Copter' Could Be Godsend for Citrus Growers, Farmers, says UF Professor
By Martin E. Comas
The small black-and-white device with rotating blades at the end of six arms looks like an alien spaceship from a science-fiction movie.
But this contraption is no fantasy for citrus growers. It quietly shoots straight up into the air, zips toward an orange grove and then hovers hundreds of feet above the trees, sounding much like a distant swarm of bees.
For the full article, click here or visit http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news.
Small Lakewood Ranch Company Building a Future in Disease Detection
By Michael Pollick
Operating below the radar, a Lakewood Ranch-based biotech company with two dozen employees has positioned itself to become a leader in the fast-growing field of instant disease diagnosis.
For the full article, click here or visit http://www.heraldtribune.com/article.