Saturday, June 27, 2009

DoD SBIR/STTR: Missile Defense Agency's 5th Annual Industry Day

The Missile Defense Agency's 5th Annual Industry Day is being held August 11-12, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Long Beach, CA (200 South Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802). The conference is expected to draw representatives from small and large businesses in the high technology R&D sector. Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions with key MDA technical representatives and industry personnel as well as hear overview presentations from key MDA technology leaders.

By establishing this event, it is the goal for the MDA SBIR PMO to allow small businesses the opportunity to schedule one-on-one appointments with technical representatives where they can learn as much as they can about the technical aspects of the SBIR/STTR Program and the upcoming solicitations topics and research areas. A better informed small business community is more likely to submit stronger, more focused proposals and minimize duplication and mistakes - enhancing the SBIR/STTR process for MDA and the Small Business Community.

The Industry Day will focus on enhancing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Small Business Community. Research Area Leads will give briefings on the following technology areas:

Interceptor Technology
Manufacturing, Producibility & Field Sustainability
Radar Technology
Space Technology
Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC)
Directed Energy
Modeling & Simulation
Innovative Concepts & Special Focus Projects*

*Represents SBIR only

This is an opportunity to interact directly with key agency and industry personnel. Direct communication between potential bidders and topic authors is not allowed after August 23, 2009 - the last day of the SBIR pre-solicitation period. After the solicitation opens on August 24, 2009, all questions regarding topics must be addressed through the online SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS). For more information, visit Registration is available at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Senate Offers Compromise Bill to Keep SBIR/STTR Alive (Source: SSTI)

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has marked up S. 1233, a bill to reauthorize and expand the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Both programs are within weeks of expiring on July 30. SBIR, first authorized in 1982 and credited with providing startup and early-stage financing for several thousand technology and research-related firms across the country, has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support for each of its previous reauthorizations. The current effort has proven more problematic despite several positive evaluations by the Government Accountability Office and most recently the National Academies of Science.

The House and Senate were unable to craft a compromise bill before adjourning last year. Instead, Congress extended SBIR and STTR in their current forms until July 30, postponing discussion for a new Congress and new Administration. Currently, SBIR is a single program with 11 federal agencies more or less following the same rules spelled out in the authorizing legislation and the policy directive set down by the Small Business Administration. S. 1233 would alter the playing field, allowing the National Institutes of Health to make more awards to VC-backed firms than the other agencies. NIH, the venture capital community, and trade groups representing biotech and life science firms have been the most vocal advocates for more lax eligibility rules.

To date, the House version of SBIR reauthorization would be more generous - allowing VC-owned businesses full access to SBIR funding across all participating agencies. Opponents to that proposal argue the move would dilute the definition of a small business to the point of being meaningless (any large corporation could establish a SBIR shill, they argue) while also potentially putting small businesses without the financial and technical resources of VC-owned firms at a competitive disadvantage for winning awards. States without significant venture capital activity are among those seeing changes to the eligibility definition as potentially harmful to their efforts to stimulate tech-based economic development. (6/18)


Augustine Panel Plans Florida Meeting on Jul. 30 (Source: SPACErePORT)

The "Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee" (AKA the Augustine Panel) will spend July 30 on Florida's Space Coast for their next-to-final meeting. The specific location and time for the meeting has not yet been set. The panel is expected to submit their final report to President Obama in August. Click here for information on the panel's schedule. (6/19)

Courtesy SPACErePORT

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two Florida Lawmakers Lobby for NASA Bucks (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

Two lawmakers from Florida’s Space Coast urged Congress to increase funding for NASA’s human spaceflight program, warning that proposed budget cuts would mean job losses and a lengthy reliance on the Russians to get American astronauts into orbit. “Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake in our state and across the nation,” wrote U.S. Reps. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, and Bill Posey, R-Rockledge. Click here to view their letter to appropriators. (6/8)


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Optical equipment for sale

The Florida Photonics Cluster was contacted by Mr. Harold Smith (see below) to inform us that LaSys Inc., a Las Cruces, New Mexico firm, has ceased operations and is interested in selling a large array of optical equipment. A detailed list of the equipment that is available for sale with the current manufacturer's catalog prices shown can be obtained from Mr. Smith, who says all of the equipment for sale is in very good condition and that they plan to sell these items at 50-60% discount to the current catalog prices. I don't know the company or Mr. Smith, so this is just information and not a recommendation.

If you have interest in purchasing any of these items, contact Harold Smith (see below) by phone or e-mail. I have sent an email to the FPC members and also to the CREOL faculty and researchers about this.

Harold V. Smith
Nantal Inc., Genesis Center MSC 3ARP
Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
(575) 524-3664 E-Mail:

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Join OP-TEC at HI-TEC 2009

OP-TEC is a strong supporter of the FPC and our efforts to develop technician training programs. Since OP-TEC is serving as an Executive Producer of this year’s High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC), scheduled for July 19-22, 2009, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the FPC is helping publicize the event.

HI-TEC offers a wealth of practical information to help technicians further develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, while providing valuable networking opportunities. HI-TEC workshops allow technicians to gain hands-on experience with current and emerging technologies, while conference sessions and keynotes provide an up-close look at the ever-advancing tools, training demands, and recent developments in emerging and converging technology fields.

OP-TEC will be hosting a pre-conference workshop and conference session and will be exhibiting in the Technology Showcase. OP-TEC’s pre-conference workshop, Enhancing Technician Employment Opportunities in Photonics-Enabled Technologies, will describe photonics, the technical fields enabled by photonics and the curricula and courses needed for employment in these high-demand areas. Photonics retraining programs and courses for technicians employed in other fields will also be described. OP-TEC will also be participating in two renewable energy sessions - Technician Roles in Renewable Energy Fields and Technician Roles in Energy Conservation.

HI-TEC also explores emerging and converging fields including: advanced manufacturing; agricultural and environmental; biotechnology and chemical; engineering; information and security; learning and evaluation; micro- and nanotechnologies; and, optics and photonics!

To learn more about this conference, view the program or register online, please visit

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us! We hope to see you at HI-TEC 2009!

Dan Hull
Executive Director
OP-TEC: National Center for Optics and Photonics Education
324B Kelly Drive
Waco, TX 76710
Office: 254-741-8338 (x332)
Fax: 254-399-6581

Sunday, June 14, 2009

FHTCC’s Virtual Entrepreneur Center

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) has just announced the Virtual Entrepreneur Center (, which provides the latest information on services available to owners of small businesses categorized locally, regionally, and globally. The services on the VEC website are intended to help entrepreneurs find information to help them start, grow, or relocated their business.

The FHTCC is a member and strong supporter of the Florida Photonics Cluster. Photonics entrepreneurs should find the new website and resources very valuable.

UCF Business Incubation Program - Cash Flow Strategies for Entrepreneurs (click on image for details)

Friday, June 12, 2009

SAVE THE DATE: FPC meeting, Tuesday, July 21, 2009

SAVE THE DATE: FPC meeting, Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, 21 July for a meeting for FPC members and prospective members. The program will start at 4pm, and will include two seminars: (1) programs, capabilities, and products at our host company, Northrop Grumman Corporation – Laser Systems in Apopka; (2) status of several training programs for photonics technicians; a tour of the NGC/LS facilities; a hosted reception; and possibly a no-host networking dinner after the meeting.

Please RSVP by email to to indicate your attendance so we have a head count for the meeting, and also please indicate your interest in going to dinner after the meeting. More details on the meeting and dinner will be sent soon.

Jim Pearson
FPC Executive Director

Monday, June 8, 2009

Life Sciences a Winner in Florida FY09-10 Budget (Source: SSTI)

Gov. Charlie Crist signed Florida's $66.5 billion 2009-10 budget into law last week, providing a mixed bag of funding outcomes for the state's existing economic development programs. The two main components of the Florida Biomedical Research Programs administered by the Florida Department of Health emerge with large funding increases. They total $52.2 million, up from $18.9 million in the previous year. Enterprise Florida, the state's main economic development organization, will receive $12.4 million - up from $11.9 million in the previous budget. Space Florida, concentrating on aerospace development, will receive $3.8 million - down from $4.0 million in the previous budget. Just over $21.1 million will be used for the Qualified Target Industries Tax Refund Incentive, Qualified Defense Contractors Tax Refund Incentive, and the High Impact Performance Incentive programs, collectively a decrease of $500,000 from the previous fiscal year.The state's Quick Action Closing Fund, used by the state to arrange capital when competing for high-wage jobs, will receive $13.5 million in the FY09-10 budget, down from $26.5 million in the previous year. Gov. Crist originally requested $45 million for the Closing Fund in this year's budget request. Visit to view the budget bill. (6/4)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Business, community leader input sought for update of Florida’s strategic economic development plan

Regional meetings to gather feedback for state’s economic development Roadmap

ORLANDO, FL (May 20, 2009) - Enterprise Florida is calling on Florida’s business, education, government and economic development leaders to provide input into an update of the state’s strategic plan for economic growth.

Enterprise Florida’s board is charged with developing the plan and submitting it to the governor and legislative leaders. Every three years, the Roadmap to Florida’s Future -- the state’s blueprint for economic development -- is updated following competitiveness analysis and feedback from a broad base of community representatives. This approach enables the consideration of new ideas and strategies emerging from the “grassroots.” The final plan details Florida’s priorities for furthering its economic expansion and diversification.

Half-day workshops in eight Florida regions serve as the venue for discussion, viewpoints and recommendations.

“Perspectives from a wide range of industries and service areas can be fuel for sparking further growth and diversification of our economy,” explained former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, who serves as vice chairman of Enterprise Florida’s board of directors. “This valuable feedback will help us focus on the most important needs and set the right goals for making Florida more competitive and economically, much healthier.”

The workshops will enable high-level Florida officials to work with regional business and community leaders to determine economic priorities. Topics will run the gamut: from retaining, creating and attracting high-wage jobs to cultivating a talented and highly skilled future workforce; from upgrading infrastructure to increasing Florida’s global competitiveness.

Enterprise Florida is partnering with regional and local economic development organizations to present the workshops. “It’s important that we have involvement from all business and community sectors,” said John Adams Jr., Enterprise Florida’s president & CEO. “This is a grassroots effort, so, we want to hear the voices and opinions of everyone, whether they’re leaders in the arts, transportation officials or workforce providers, as well as from those who work in economic development."

The priorities in the current Roadmap reflect input from more than 1,000 participants in the last series of workshop, held in summer 2006. Attendees were an eclectic cross-section of stakeholders in Florida’s future – from educational organizations to chambers of commerce.

Beyond the regional workshops, other opportunities are available for public contributions to the Roadmap’s development. An Enterprise Florida microsite --
– will allow for feedback through several interactive features including a Roadmap survey and discussion board. Additionally, the site provides the current Roadmap, related progress reports and “save the date” announcements for each regional forum, and more.

Stuart Doyle
(407) 956-5689

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida's business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Headquartered in Orlando, EFI’s mission is to diversify Florida’s economy and create better-paying jobs for its citizens by supporting, attracting and helping to create businesses in innovative, high-growth industries. In pursuit of its mission, EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Product News from FPC member LightPath Technologies, Inc.

LightPath Technologies will be presenting the latest developments in Molded Infrared Aspheric optics at the Navy Opportunity Forum in Crystal City, VA from June 8th - 14th. LightPath Technologies, working under a Phase II SBIR from the U.S. Navy and under the direction of the Air Force Research Lab, has been expanding its molding capabilities for infrared (IR) lenses using chalcogenide glass. LightPath Technologies is transititioning this technology to provide infrared optics as part of thermal imaging, thermography, and gas sensing systems.

Information about the Navy Opportunity Forum can be found on the web at

LightPath manufactures optical products including precision molded aspheric optics, GRADIUM glass products, proprietary collimator assemblies, laser components utilizing proporetary automation technology, higher-level assemblies, and packing solutions. For more information, visit
Contact: Ray Pini, Director of Marketing, (407)382-4003, x336;