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February 12, 2016

Top 10 Reasons to do Business in Florida

1. A Leader in Innovation

Janet Ware | 9/21/2010


Florida’s innovators are preserving fragile ocean ecosystems, “growing” oil at algae farms and making discoveries through virtual simulation.


Florida’s legacy of innovation is long-standing and well documented.

Today, researchers at public universities and private laboratories all across Florida are making new discoveries in everything from disease prevention and cancer treatment to renewable energy and ocean reef conservation. Twenty-first century Floridians are reinventing the industries that first made the state strong while incorporating new sectors into the mix, such as cleantech, life sciences, information technology, aviation/aerospace, homeland security and defense, financial/professional services, manufacturing, and emerging technologies such as materials science, nanotechnology and marine science. Private research institutes with such recognizable names as Scripps, Burnham, Torrey Pines, SRI and Max Planck have found new “second” homes in Florida, giving rise to burgeoning clusters of like-minded innovators and entrepreneurs and attracting international attention.

All across the state, the move is on to address present and future power demands with innovative solutions and renewable alternatives. With more than $2 billion invested in solar power to date, Florida is on track to become the nation’s 2nd largest producer of solar energy.

In October 2009, Florida Power & Light (FPL) opened the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the world’s largest photovoltaic solar facility. Coming soon are FPL’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the world’s first hybrid solar facility, and the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center.

Elsewhere in Florida, Progress Energy customers who elect to temporarily cycle off power to select electrical systems in their homes during periods of peak demand can automatically contribute the money they save to the “SolarWise for Schools” fund. Created by Progress Energy Florida, this special fund is used to purchase photovoltaic systems for Florida schools and to provide resources for solar energy education.

Other energy sources are under development, too. Florida companies are growing algae for its oil and turning citrus and sugar cane waste into ethanol to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. And by har?nessing the power of the Gulf Stream just off our Atlantic coast, researchers at Florida Atlantic University are testing cleaner, more efficient ways to generate electricity.

To read more about individual researchers, their projects and the importance of innovation in Florida, see our special report, Research Florida: Focus on Innovation.

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