Researchers are investigating the potential of new technologies and methods to bolster the resilience of food, energy and water supplies in Central Florida. The International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR) is a public-private partnership between universities and business groups in the region that is spearheading this initiative. The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a major player in this effort, having been established to help the United States win the space race. The Central Florida Innovation District (CFID) is a hub for high-tech manufacturing, with the Florida Polytechnic University and SunTrax campuses located within its boundaries.
SunTrax is a 475-acre autonomous testing center operated by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Central Florida Development Council (CFDC), the region's economic development agency, has reported that many companies are drawn to Polk County due to its proximity to these technology centers. The Creative Village in downtown Orlando is another example of how technology is transforming Central Florida. This digital-media-focused district is situated near UCF and Valencia College, and has seen considerable investment from both public and private sources.
Ni-Bin Chang, an engineering professor at UCF, is leading an international study that examines how Miami, Marseille (France) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands) manage their urban infrastructure systems. The research focuses on how a strategic approach to sustainable development related to the nexus between food, energy and water can be implemented in different landscapes. Technology centers such as urban agriculture, water filtration, solar energy, windmills, energy storage, low-impact development, stormwater reuse, and more are being developed to make communities self-sufficient. The state and Florida Turnpike Enterprise have provided millions of dollars in funding and grants to support the growth of companies such as SunTrax and Florida Polytechnic University. To stay up-to-date on industry diversification and innovation in Central Florida, follow Cenfluence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.