April 23, 2024

Central

Surf's Up

Surfing in Orlando? That's the idea behind a surf park that's being proposed for a landfill site in west Orange County. The $45-million Orlando Surf Park would feature a 15-acre pool with patented wave-making technology. Read more »
Published on 3/25/2024

Ballpark Upgrades

The Daytona Beach City Council agreed to spend $30 million on upgrades as part of a new 20-year lease with the Daytona Tortugas, the minor league class A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds. The agreement includes a pair of five-year renewals. Read more »
Published on 2/29/2024

Monitoring Indoor Crops

Despite its promise, the vertical farming industry is facing a range of challenges. While indoor farms don't have to contend with weeds, pests and unpredictable weather conditions, the industry lacks the technology needed to maximize smaller footprints because of outsized power demands. That's making it difficult to turn a profit while scaling smaller operations upward. Read more »
Published on 12/31/2023

Testing Ground

Draper, a non-profit engineering research company based in Cambridge, Mass., is building a 5.3-acre aerospace and defense campus near the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Titusville. The 37,000-sq.-ft. facility will house one of the world's largest centrifuges and serve as the company's test site for guidance, navigation and control technologies. Read more »
Published on 11/30/2023

Tracking Close Encounters

Researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach have developed a new way to count and analyze close encounters between drones and airplanes. The method will mean more accurate data — and safer operations — at airports, they say. Read more »
Published on 10/24/2023

Making Progress

As Florida focuses on growing its economy, experts say one of the most productive places to expand is in manufacturing. The sector pays about 117% of average annual wages in Florida, creates both blue and white-collar jobs and has one of the highest multiplier effects for return on investment. Every $1 in manufactured goods produces $3.60 across all other sectors. Read more »
Published on 10/17/2023

Tech Focus

The Orlando Economic Partnership has spun off its development efforts in the technology sector to create Innovate Orlando, a non-profit that will promote its MetaCenter concept. David Adelson, who served as the partnership's chief innovation officer, will serve as Innovate Orlando's CEO. Read more »
Published on 9/27/2023

Optics Tech Training

Valencia College is launching a 15-week accelerated training program in September to meet growing demand for skilled precision optics and photonics technicians in Central Florida. Read more »
Published on 8/23/2023

Saving Sea Cows

Brevard County has been at the center of a historic wave of manatee deaths in recent years: More than one-third of the 1,900 sea cows that died in Florida between 2021 and 2022 were recovered in Brevard County, where algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon have decimated the seagrass that the mammals rely on for food. Read more »
Published on 7/26/2023

Age-Friendly Care

AdventHealth is growing its primary care program geared toward the 65-and older set. First launched in 2021 in Daytona Beach, the AdventHealth Well 65+ program offers patients everything from longer appointments — up to 60 minutes instead of the typical 15 minutes — to on-site lab work, same-day and next-day appointments, video visits and the ability to reach a team member by phone or online, seven days a week. Read more »
Published on 6/30/2023

Food Chain

Looking for ways to drive more foot traffic to a Kissimmee flea market he purchased in 2015, Nadeem Battla met with Syd Levy, who once owned Flea World in Sanford. Levy told him that people went to Flea World for the food, and they stayed for the shopping, says Battla. Read more »
Published on 5/25/2023

Boardroom Boost

SPOTLIGHT Only 11% of non-profits in Central Florida have Black board members, but a program launched last year by the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Black Boardroom Leadership Institute is working to... Read more »
Published on 4/24/2023

Business in a Box

Ben Gaskill and Dan Doromal, both veterans of food service manufacturing, founded Everest Ice & Water Systems seven years ago. Their Apopka-based ice machine company has sold almost 1,000 of its patented ice vending machines, and Gaskill predicts they'll double sales this year. Read more »
Published on 3/31/2023

It takes a community

Maynard Evans High School wasn't always a troubled school. When it first opened in the 1950s in Pine Hills — then a bedroom community of Orlando for workers at Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) — it was considered one of the best in Orange County. But by the mid-2000s, crime and poverty had risen in Pine Hills, and Evans was a shell of its former self. The school building was riddled with peeling paint, creeping mildew and other signs of decay. It had some of the worst dropout, suspension and graduation rates in Central Florida. Read more »
Published on 3/1/2023

Health Care House Calls

The Seminole County Fire Department is using paramedics to help fill health care gaps. Read more »
Published on 2/28/2023

Central Florida's economic forecast for 2023

“Nationally in 2023, we expect the health care industry to grow faster than the overall economy, reflecting health care's continued expanding share of the nation's GDP. Interestingly, health care costs have not been growing as fast as other consumer staples such as food and gas. This is partially the result of health care prices being set in advance through federal and state programs and through contracting with private insurance payers. Health systems are under pressure through higher labor and supply costs. As a result of these cost pressures and other factors, expect to see additional health system consolidation across the state and nation.” Read more »
Published on 1/1/2023

NanoRAD takes on germs with powerful new non-toxic anti-microbial disinfectant

Three-year-old Orlando-based Kismet Technologies has developed a patent-pending nanotechnology called NanoRAD that aims to revolutionize infection control for the health care sector and other industries. Read more »
Published on 12/27/2022

Award-winning filmmaker Todd Thompson produces movies he hopes will inspire, enlighten audiences

Todd Thompson knew at a young age that he wanted to make films. He caught the bug when he was about 8, when his father took him to see Star Wars. After that, he started experimenting with his grandfather's 8mm camera and making his own “homemade, independent” films using the money he earned cutting grass to buy film. “It would take me months because it was expensive for a little kid back then,” recalls Thompson. Read more »
Published on 11/25/2022

Orlando International Airport debuts its new $2.75-billion,15-gate terminal

Orlando International Airport debuted its new $2.75-billion, 15-gate terminal, which features a slew of technological touches. Among the highlights are: Read more »
Published on 10/31/2022

Non-profit created by children of doctors helps seniors stay connected with their physicians

The shift to telemedicine has been heralded as one of the silver livings of the COVID-19 crisis, but it hasn't been a simple shift for everyone, says Arjun Verma, a 2022 graduate of Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando. His parents are both doctors, and “many of their patients, especially elderly patients, didn't have access to the devices they needed to connect to their virtual health care appointments” during the pandemic, he says. Read more »
Published on 9/13/2022

NASA selects two UCF scientists to lead robotic exploration mission to the moon

INNOVATION Probing a Lunar Mystery NASA has selected two planetary scientists at the University of Central Florida — Kerri Donaldson Hanna and Adrienne Dove — to lead a 2026 robotic... Read more »
Published on 8/12/2022

Marc Koska, the inventor of single-use syringes, expands focus to prefilled injection devices

INNOVATION Moving the Needle The inventor of a single-use syringe turns his attention to prefilled injection devices. In the 1980s, Marc Koska invented a single-use syringe called the K1 that... Read more »
Published on 7/31/2022

Oviedo-based X-Batt found a way to recycle graphite from spent lithium-ion batteries to create new batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are a common power source for everything from laptops to cell phones and increasingly cars — but at the end of their useful lives, 95% of them end up landfills. Looking to change that, Oviedo-based X-Batt has found a way to recycle graphite from spent lithium-ion batteries to create new batteries. What's more, the graphite they recycle performs better than it worked in the original batteries. Read more »
Published on 6/21/2022

SpaceKids Global aims to steer kids into space careers

Sharon Hagle caught the space bug in 2007, when she and husband Marc took a zero-gravity flight at Kennedy Space Center to celebrate their wedding anniversary. A sales team from Virgin Galactic happened to be on the same flight and sold the Hagles on another experience — two tickets aboard one of Virgin's future suborbital space flights. Read more »
Published on 5/31/2022

Port Canaveral's cruise business is charting a record pace

More than two years after the pandemic brought cruising to a standstill, the industry is making a comeback. Roughly 741,000 passengers sailed out of Port Canaveral on multi-day cruises during the last quarter of 2021, and the port is poised to break a 4.6 million passenger record set in 2019 if the post-pandemic trajectory holds, port officials say. Read more »
Published on 5/19/2022

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One of the oldest manatees in Florida dies
One of the oldest manatees in Florida dies

She captured the hearts of so many people as one of the oldest manatees on record. But sadly, Zoo Tampa is mourning the loss of their beloved sea cow, Juliet.

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