Thursday, April 30, 2009

UCF Incubator listserve

To: Florida Photonics Cluster members

The UCF Technology Incubator has frequent programs that may be of interest to you or others in your company as an FPC member -- seminars, Lunch & Learn events, etc. If you are not on their email list, but would like to receive notices of these programs, most of which are free or very low cost, all you need to do is send your contact information (name, title, organization, address, phone, email) to:
Carol Ann Dykes
Site Manager, UCF Technology Incubator, Research Park

If you would like to see a list of past events and some on the near-term schedule, go to

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Annual Early Stage Venture Capital Conference

On May 15, 2009, the Florida Venture Forum will host its second Annual Early Stage Venture Capital Conference at the Omni Orlando Resort in ChampionsGate, Florida. The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s premier organization focused on assisting entrepreneurs of emerging companies as they develop their businesses and raise capital. The statewide organization is now celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The principal purpose of the Annual Conference is to showcase approximately 10-15 early stage, high growth private companies before a national audience of venture capitalists, angel investors, private equity investors and investment bankers. These selected entrepreneurial companies have talented management teams, proprietary technology and high growth potential and are currently seeking early stage funding.

Online Registration, Sponsorship Levels and hotel information are all available on the website or call 813-335-8116.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UCF ranks high in IEEE Patent Scorecard

In the just-released 2008 report that IEEE does on patent and commercialization activity and success, UCF ranks #7 in the top 20 universities, behind MIT, Caltech, and Harvard, but ahead of Stanford, Princeton, and Cornell. Nice company! And great job by the UCF faculty in patents filed and the UCF tech transfer folks!
See for the report, done in several categories.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reminder: OPTOmism Executive and Investor Forum & Technical Conference (May 18-20)

The OPTOmism Executive and Investor Forum & Technical Conference is coming soon! The Early Bird registration deadline has been extended to Friday, April 24, 2009. You can still register at the discunted partner association rate

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Florida Firms and Universities Among NASA STTR Grant Winners

NASA has selected 16 proposals for negotiation of Phase 2 contract awards in the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The selected projects have a total value of approximately $9.6 million. The contracts will be awarded to 16 hi-tech firms partnered with 15 universities in 18 states. NASA is one of the federal agencies required to reserve a portion of its research and development funds to award to small business. Florida-based winners include: Advanced Engineering Solutions of Ormond Beach (teamed with Oklahoma State University) for a project focused on Integrated Computational Environment for Airbreathing Hypersonic Flight Vehicle Modeling and Design Evaluation; and Mnemonics Inc. of Melbourne (teamed with the University of Central Florida) for a project focused on Wireless, Passive Encoded Saw Sensors and Communication Links. (4/15)

(Source: NASA)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CREOL highlighted in March and April issues of OPN

The March and April issues of OPN - Optics and Photonics News published by the OSA have articles on some interesting accomplishments at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, one of the supporting members of the FPC.

CREOL's Tech-Transfer success is highlighted in the March 2009 issue of OPN:
"The Center for Research in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University ofCentral Florida prides itself on its strong focus on technology transfer—and it has the multi-million-dollar success stories to show for it." See the full article at:

CREOL's Optical Diagnostics and Applications (ODA) Lab, led by Jannick Rolland and Anand Santhanam is featured in the April 2009 issue of OPN :
"Head-Worn Displays: The Future Through New Eyes". As display technologies shrink in size and grow in sophistication, digital “glasses” represent a next generation of mobile devices. For the full article, go to:

Optics and Nanotechnology in Arizona

I just learned about a survey published in January 2008 entitled "MOVING OPTICS AND NANOTECHNOLOGY FORWARD IN ARIZONA". It analyses the optics and nanotech industry clusters in Arizona. The report has some interesting and valuable information that we can compare to our cluster in Florida. To see the report, go to

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) were reauthorized at the last minute on March 18, following months of debate between proponents of House and Senate versions of the legislation. The current funding will expire on July 31 if Congress does not act. Key points of contention over the program include increasing grant size (and consequently, decreasing the number of potential recipients of SBIR/STTR funding), increasing the overall set aside amounts over a period of time, and the role of venture capital interests in SBIR activity under Small Business Administration (SBA) size-standards which currently limit eligibility to companies under 500 employees. For more information see the Small Business Technology Council web site.

Courtesy SPIE

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pelosi: Shuttle Retirement Date Could Be Settled in Conference Committee (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not taken a position on whether the space shuttle should fly beyond its scheduled retirement in 2010, but expected the White House would have a “strong role” in pushing that date. In its 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration noted it would continue a Bush-era policy of retiring the shuttle next year, a blow to Florida aerospace workers who had hoped that the new president would extend the shuttle and delay thousands of job losses.Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, inserted language into the Senate version of the 2010 budget that would allow for shuttle flights beyond 2010 and would give NASA an extra $2.5 billion in 2011 to conduct those flights. Under Pelosi's leadership, the House did not insert similar language into its budget proposal, which prompted U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, to break party ranks and oppose the bill. Pelosi said this issue would be settled in a House-Senate conference committee that would convene to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. But she warned that money is limited. (4/4)


Bill Posey Bill: Keep Shuttle Flying (Source: Florida Today)

Rep. Bill Posey introduced a bill Thursday that would continue flying the shuttle until its replacement, the Ares rocket, or another U.S.-made spacecraft, could immediately resume taking Americans into space. The measure represents the latest attempt by federal lawmakers to extend the life of the shuttle program beyond its scheduled retirement next year. Posey's bill calls for at least two shuttle missions a year, starting in 2010. "Or, they could have three (launches) one year, two the next," the Florida Republican said. "We just don't want to lose our launch team. We'll never be able to get back that kind of talent again."NASA estimates it would cost about $2.5 billion per year to keep flying the shuttle after 2010. Posey called that estimate high. He said he believes the price to be about $1.5 billion per year instead. Although his legislation does not include any funding, he plans to introduce a separate appropriations bill that would provide $1.5 billion for next year's fiscal budget "to get things started." Posey's bill also calls for various cost-cutting measures, including the possible retirement of one of the shuttle orbiters. NASA also would be required to cut back on shuttle upgrades not related to safe operations. (4/3)


Grayson Pushes Obama to Extend Shuttle (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, has urged President Obama to extend the space shuttle era, "preferably" until NASA is ready to fly a replacement vehicle that the agency hopes can one day return Americans to the moon. The freshman lawmaker also said he personally lobbied Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, for the extension. "Mr. President, the current schedule to end the Space Shuttle Program is too compressed, and therefore potentially dangerous to the crews. Moreover, terminating the Program so quickly, not only do we face losing a talented and dedicated workforce, we leave ourselves vulnerable to various threats that may arise that may require orbital launch capability and NASA-related expertise," wrote Grayson.His efforts build on efforts by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, who recently added language to a Senate budget resolution that would allow the shuttle to fly beyond 2010, a retirement date that was set by the Bush administration and was confirmed in Obama's 2010 budget. Retiring the shuttle in 2010 would create at least a five-year gap in which the United States would not have the capability to send astronauts into orbit aboard NASA spacecraft. The shuttle's replacement, dubbed Constellation, would not be ready until 2015 at the earliest. Its aim is to return American astronauts to the moon by 2020. (4/1)


Kosmas Votes Against House Budget Lacking Shuttle Flexibility (Source: Florida Today)

"The budget put forward by House Leadership outlines many priorities that are important for moving our country forward: comprehensive energy reform; a 21st Century education for our children; and access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Though there are areas of the budget that I support, my priority is helping Central Florida through these difficult economic times, and I believe the Senate's proposed budget does more to protect jobs in our community. Thousands of jobs at Kennedy Space Center and tens of thousands across Florida are at risk due to the pending spaceflight gap. Unlike the Senate version, the House budget does not give NASA the flexibility to fly the Space Shuttle past 2010." (4/2)