Thursday, July 31, 2008

ANNOUNCING: Science Olympiad Coaches Conference

This is a great opportunity for you and/or others in your company to help promote S&T to kids in elementary, middle, and high schools. The conference provides instruction on how to serve as a coach for the Science Olympiad. Note the Orlando conference is in October at UCF.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Register Now for a Science Olympiad Coast to Coast Coaches Conference near you!

If you are new to Science Olympiad, or been coaching for a while, this a great opportunity to learn about the new Science Olympiad events for 2008-09. Open to teachers, parents, and students.

· All 23 Science Olympiad events are presented in multiple breakout sessions.
· Events correlated to state standards
· Exclusive access to a website with all presenters documents and handouts.
· Special New Coaches Session
· Special Student Session
· Includes Friday Night dinner, Saturday Breakfast and Lunch
· Free 2008-2009 Rules Manual

Dates and Locations:
· Sacramento State, Sacramento, CA – Sept 26-27, 2008
· University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL – October 17-18, 2008
· Milwaukee School of Engineering – Milwaukee, WI – November 7-8, 2008

Pick one near you! Registration Fee is only $125 per person. Register online via a link from -- click on Coaches Conference to select the site you would like to attend!

See you soon at the Coaches Conference!

Mike McKeeProgram Director, GO GK-12 Director, Florida Science OlympiadUniversity of Central Florida4000 Central Florida Blvd. Bldg. 53Orlando, Fl 32816-2700Phone: 407-823-6890FAX: 407-823-6880http://gogk12.optics.ucf.eduhttp://www.floridascienceolympiad.orgE-MAIL:

Call For Nominations: Metro Orlando EDC 2008 William Schwartz Industry Innovation Awards

The attached flyer is a call for nominations for the William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award. Please consider nominating your company, or another company that you may work with that is deserving of this recognition. The link to the nomination form referenced in the flyer is Nominations must be received by Friday, August 15, 2008.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

EDC Think Tank 2008

To make your reservations, please click the appropriate link below. BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE FIRST AND LAST NAMES OF ALL ATTENDEES in your email. If you are reserving a table or half table, but do not yet know the names of all attendees, simply state that in your email and we will contact you the week of August 4th to gather that information.

X Reservation for Individual(s)

X Reservation for Corporate Table of 8

X Reservation for Corporate Half Table of 4

If you prefer, you may make your reservations by calling Debbie Scott at (941) 748-4842, Ext. 126.

Please Note: Reservations not cancelled by August 11, 2008 will be invoiced as guarantees have already been made on your behalf.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SBIR 08.3 and STTR 08.B Solicitations Issued for Public Release

To: Florida Photonics Cluster members

An item of potential interest to you, in case you didn't receive it via another channel. Researchers at CREOL and other UCF units will be happy to discuss potential partnerships with you also.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

The SBIR 08.3 and STTR 08.B solicitations were issued for public release on July 28, 2008

The DoD SBIR 2008.3 and STTR 08.B solicitations were pre-released at on July 28, 2008. For SBIR 08.3 the Air Force, Army, Navy, MDA, DLA, and OSD and for STTR 08.B the Air Force, and MDA invite small businesses to submit proposals under these solicitations. During the pre-release period, which ends on August 24, you may contact the topic authors directly (contact information is listed with the topic) to ask technical questions about specific solicitation topics. The DoD will begin accepting proposals for both solicitations on August 25, 2008 and will close to proposals for both solicitations on September 24, 2008 at 6am EST. Plan ahead and submit your proposal early to avoid the risk of website inaccessibility due to heavy usage on the final day.

Technical Q&A through SITIS

Once DoD begins accepting proposals on August 25, 2008, no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed, but proposers may submit written questions through the SBIR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing. SITIS closes to new questions on September 10, 2008. All questions and answers will be posted through September 24, 2008. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS at during the solicitation period for questions and answers and other information relevant to the topic under which they are proposing.

DoD SBIR/STTR System Maintenance

Maintenance on the DoD SBIR/STTR system is planned for August 2008 during non-business hours. The first of two maintenance periods will be Saturday, August 2, 2008 from 5:00AM-9:00AM EST. During maintenance periods, the system may be unavailable. If you have any questions, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk.

Commercialization Update Effort

Please note that the definition of 3rd Party Revenue (previously 3rd Party Sales) has been updated. For more information, see Guidance for Completing the Company Commercialization Report: Instructions and Definitions on the Company Commercialization section of the DoD Submission site.

In order to properly evaluate your firm's commercialization efforts, as well as to reliably measure the performance and impact of the SBIR and STTR programs, you must review and ensure that your Company Commercialization data is complete, current, and accurate. The Company Commercialization Report must list every prior SBIR and STTR Phase II award received from any federal agency, regardless of whether the Phase II has commercialized to date. Phase III sales and investment figures, as well as manufacturing-related R&D and other commercialization information, must be updated within the last 12 months for all Phase II awards.

Password Security Policy

Effective measures to reduce system vulnerability and increase security include creating a strong password to your account and changing it frequently. This is your defense for protecting your firm's proposal information. Choose a strong password that does not contain easily recognizable information like firm names, phone numbers, addresses, or other information that someone could guess. Your new password MUST be at least 10 characters and contain the following: at least 1 upper case letter; at least 1 lower case letter; at least 1 number; and at least 1 special character (e.g. $, ?, !, etc.).

DoD SBIR Help Desk

If you have any questions please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at 866-724-7457 or by email at

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Message from the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)

Dear Florida Solar Companies,

Please find below SEIA’s most recent newsletter with the new Senate bill S. 3335.

Also, over the last few weeks in Florida, there have been major installations

· 35 MW from SunPower / FP&L
· 10 MW from SunEdison/ Florida Municipal Power Agency for Seminole Electric Cooperative.

All of the more reason to call Senator Martinez and urge him to vote yes on S. 3335!

Thank you again for your help.

SEIA Solar Action Alert –July 25, 2008


A vote is expected in the Senate as early as next Tuesday July 29, on S. 3335 the Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008. This Act includes 8-yr extensions of the commercial and residential solar ITC, allows the credit to be used against the AMT, repeals the utility exemption and doubles the residential cap to $4,000 among other provisions.

Please contact your Senators today urging a “yes” vote on S. 3335. It is extremely important that you let your Senators know that your company needs an extension of the ITC. Please ALSO continue to ask for complete elimination of the residential monetary cap.

If your Senator voted against the ITC in the past, please express the urgency for an extension of the ITC and explain how critical an extension is to your company.
If your Senator voted “yes” in the past, thank them and urge them to continue to push for an extension of this tax credit.

Contact your Senators today urging them to vote “yes” on S. 3335.
To locate your Senators’ Washington phone number, go to and click on your state under "Find Your Senators." Alternatively, you can reach your Senators’ offices through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.

· Not extending solar credits is a tax increase that will cost jobs and HURT our economy.

· Current solar credits spur the growth of solar energy and expire at the end of this year. Without the credits the industry will lose 39,400 jobs and $8 billion in investments: "Economic Impacts of the Tax Credit Expiration" -

· Within days your Senator will have an opportunity to extend solar tax credits. Time is running out to find a bi-partisan compromise. It is time to get the job done.

· Use the link below for SEIA’s new fact sheet on job and investment loss without an extension of the ITC:

Please forward this email to your company colleagues, family, friends, and others who support solar.

SSTI Weekly Digest: Study Says Florida Needs Skilled Workers and Early-stage Support for High-Tech Growth

From SSTI Weekly Digest:

Though the state of Florida has aggressively pursued research investment over the past few years, particularly in the life science, a new report finds the state is still struggling to build a sufficient pool of highly-skilled workers for its high-tech companies. The study, which was conducted at the behest of 19 local economic development organizations, finds the state has not yet made a complete transition from an agriculture- and real estate-based economy to one built on high-tech industry and innovation. Interviews with statewide stakeholders also confirmed there is a continuing need in the state to support innovations-based entrepreneurs through economic development organizations.

The study was conducted at the request of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Space Florida and several other local economic development organizations and companies. After a series of interviews, research into the state's programs and a benchmark analysis, they found that the most glaring obstacle facing the state was its weaknesses in human capital and talent development. The state’s K-12 educational system was perceived as inadequate to the task of producing a stream of high-quality college students and workers in high-tech fields. Although the state has done well in attracting talent, the available pool of highly-skilled workers remains low enough to discourage relocating companies.

The report also identified several other perceived gaps in the state’s innovation continuum. Entrepreneurs in the state lacked access to start-up and early-stage capital, which several interviewees suggested could be remedied by additional state assistance. One state program, the Florida Opportunity Fund, has been created to address this capital gap but has not yet been fully implemented. Lack of consistent legislative support for innovation programs also was seen as a persistent problem for development.

Not all of the news was bad. Despite problems with the K-12 educational system, many interviewees cited university accessibility, partnerships and collaborations as key advantages for Florida. The state’s community college system also is viewed as beneficial to the high-tech economy, particularly for its focused curriculum and alignment with business needs. Many STEM graduates for Florida educational institutions, however, seem to leave after graduation despite Florida’s high rating for overall quality of life.

The recent state effort to recruit major life science research institutions also was seen as a boon to the economy. As reported in the May 7, 2008 issue of the SSTI Weekly Digest, the State of Florida has invested almost $1 billion to lure life science research and development centers to the state through its Innovation Incentive Fund (IIF). Although the IIF is currently empty and will not receive any new funding this year, many of the interviewees involved in the study cited the fund as a positive development. The fund has demonstrated the state’s potential to attract West Coast and international life science centers. Still, many remain concerned about the state’s lack of support for smaller projects and for innovation in communities that cannot afford the fund-matching commitment required by the IIF. Others see the lack of funding for FY2008 as another indicator of the state’s government’s inconsistency in support for TBED initiatives.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Advanced Concepts in Laser Safety - Special Discount Only to FPC Members

LIA, as a member of the FPC, is offering a special discount only to FPC members of $300 off their Advanced Concepts in Laser Safety course to be held August 11-13 in Orlando at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics. Full information on the course and registration is available via the link in the announcement below.

Advanced Concepts in Laser Safety August 11-13 , 2008 Orlando, FL Sign up now!

Course DescriptionThis course is designed for engineers, scientists, and safety professionals who are assigned Laser Safety Officer duties and responsibilities. Individuals working in research and development centers, universities or manufacturing environments that desire an in-depth, expert knowledge of laser safety issues and calculations will benefit greatly from this course. This course meets all LSO training requirements outlined by ANSI, OSHA and ACGIH. Worth 3.0 ABIH CM Points, 16 CECs by AAHP and 3.0 BLS CM Points by the Board of Laser Safety.
Who Should AttendThis course is suited for Laser Safety Officers and laser safety professionals who desire an in-depth knowledge on laser hazard assessment and laser safety calculations. Persons attending should have knowledge of lasers and laser safety as well as formalized LSO training.
Course PrerequisitesIndividuals should have a fundamental knowledge of lasers and laser safety prior to attending this course. Having attended a formalized LSO with Hazard Analysis training course is also desirable. Familiarity with a scientific calculator is necessary. What You'll Learn
Changes in MPEs and the new Laser Hazard Classification Scheme
Updates and key changes to ANSI Z136.1 Safe Use of Lasers standard
In-depth Laser Bioeffects
Hands-on Laser & Optical Measurements
Updates on other Laser Safety Standards
In-depth Laser Safety Calculations of MPEs, NHZs, etc.
3 easy ways to register:
Click on this link Advanced LSO
Call the LIA to register over the phone (800) 34LASER.
Download a copy of our registration form [PDF]
If you have any questions please call us at 1-800-34-LASER or email

About Laser Institute of AmericaFounded in 1968, the Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the professional society dedicated to fostering lasers, laser applications and laser safety worldwide. Serving the industrial, medical, research and government communities, LIA offers technical information and networking opportunities to laser users from around the globe.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Laser Institute of America: Celebrates 40 Years of Advancing Laser Technology!

(Orlando, FL, June 30, 2008) — For 40 years, the Laser Institute of America (LIA) has been promoting the continued growth of laser applications and their safe use across the globe. LIA was formed in 1968 by a group of academic scientists, developers and engineers who were truly passionate about taking an emerging new laser technology and turning it into a viable industry.The founding members of LIA were in good company, with laser pioneers such as Dr. Arthur Schawlow and Dr. Theodore H. Maiman among the original board of directors. These first “members” of LIA believed in the importance of sharing new ideas about lasers. This belief, as it remains today, is to promote laser applications and their safe use through education, training and symposia. “Over the years, we have seen advancements in laser applications that our original laser pioneers could! have only imagined,” said Peter Baker, Executive Director of LIA. “There has been amazing progress in medical laser applications, as well as the development of more reliable and lower-cost lasers for manufacturing. With this rapid growth came an increased demand for laser safety training.”Today, LIA trains more Laser Safety Officers than any other organization in the world. With the goal of making laser safety education more accessible, LIA has made training available in the classroom, online, or even on-site at a facility. To further enhance LIA’s mission of fostering lasers, laser applications, and laser safety worldwide, it serves as the secretariat and publisher of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 series of laser safety standards. These standards constitute the foundation of laser safety programs nationwide. Gaining a global ! perspective has become increasingly important as LIA has expanded in its role as the international society for laser applications and safety. The first International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) was held in 1981. From its inception, ICALEO® has focused on laser materials processing and is now viewed as the premier source of technical information in the field. The worldwide initiative continued with the formation of the Pacific International Conference on Lasers and Optics (PICALO) in 2004, which was recently held in Beijing with record-breaking attendance. To meet the growing need for certified laser safety professionals in the workplace, the Board of Laser Safety was formed in 2002 as a nonprofit organization affiliated with LIA. It offers two types of certification, which are Certified Laser Safety Officer and Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer. Falling in line with the overall goal of keeping the workplace safe from hazards associated with lasers, LI! A formed an alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2005. The future looks bright for LIA, as laser applications become more versatile and global visibility for the organization increases. Demand from Europe and China continues to rise and is certainly at the forefront of future growth initiatives. As a result of LIA’s unwavering dedication to the laser industry, it continues to be the world’s leading authority on laser applications and safety—four decades since its inception.
Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the international society for laser applications and safety serving the industrial, educational, medical, research and government communities throughout the world since 1968. LIA is the secretariat and publisher of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 series of laser safety standards. For more information, visit

Contact: Jim Naugle 407.380.1553