Harris Corp.’s deal with Osceola’s high-tech facility is bigger than you think

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It may not be such a daunting task to attract more national, well-known firms to sign on with Osceola County’s planned high-tech manufacturing and research facility now that Harris Corp. has broken the ice.

Melbourne-based Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) announced on Sept. 14 that it would become the first corporate member of the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research. The consortium will manage Osceola County’s $75 million, 100,000-square-foot Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center that’s now under construction and will be completed next year.

Signing on Harris Corp. is the international consortium’s first definitive step toward mimicking the tech cluster created by a similar consortium, Sematech of Austin, Texas. Sematech was formed in 1987, and since then, has generated $25 billion in economic activity and 36,000 jobs.