Lack of funds may lead to lost opportunities for smart sensor group


The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, a $75 million, 109,000-square-foot smart sensor hub that opened in April, is expected to provide a huge economic impact for Osceola County — and perhaps all of Florida. But without consistent funding to support its research and development, partners may not see a return on investment as soon as they hoped.

The biggest challenge facing NeoCity — the 500-acre tech campus that surrounds the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center— is lack of funding, said Chester Kennedy, CEO of Bridging the Innovation Development Gap (BRIDG), the group that manages and operates the center. “The whole premise of this is structured around a public/private partnership where the public investment would provide the infrastructure leading to luring in the private sector. In Florida, maintaining the consistency in funding is a huge challenge.”