Northwest Florida Roundup
Innovation Park of Tallahassee has named two winners of cash grants
Innovation Park of Tallahassee has named two winners of cash grants under its TechGrant Competition program. Manser Edbrooke Technology, which won first place and $15,000, develops prototypes that give customers the ability to explore and refine concepts for products and demonstrate features before paying to fully develop the product. “We aim to refine this technology and increase the rate and quality of rapid prototyping,” says Patrick Manser, MET’s CEO and co-founder.
Moye Consultants, which won $10,000, provides electrical engineering services and specializes in designing energy storage technology. The company also creates models for electrochemical energy storage devices and other electrochemical techniques, including water purification systems.
Since its inception in 2005, Innovation Park of Tallahassee’s TechGrant program has awarded more than $500,000 to more than 30 startup companies.
- The University of West Florida has awarded its first doctorate in its intelligent systems and robotics program. Taher Rahgooy received his doctorate in December. He was one of five first-time Ph.D. candidates under the 2-year-old program affiliated with the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
- The University of West Florida received a $3-million grant extension by the National Security Agency to expand the national cyber-security workforce development program CyberSkills2Work launched in 2020.
- HCA Healthcare has awarded Florida A&M University’s School of Allied Health Sciences a $1.5-million grant to fund scholarships aimed at attracting more undergraduates interested in careers in health care.
- Gulf Power transitioned fully into Florida Power & Light this year. The Pensacola-based power company was acquired by FPL’s parent NextEra Energy in 2019 for $5.75 billion. Gulf customers are now seeing the new FPL logo branding on their bills, as well as on company offices, service vehicles and uniforms.
- Fort Walton Beach-based TRS Capital now owns a majority stake in Alta Electronics, a Canadian supplier of wiring harnesses, cable assemblies and electrical component products for the automotive, telecommunications, defense, heavy equipment and aerospace industries. Robert Sires, founder and CEO of TRS Capital, an early-stage investment company, says TRS will help Alta expand its products in the U.S.
- Tyndall Air Force Base will receive $450 million in federal funding for new construction. A few miles south of Panama City, Tyndall had more than 500 buildings damaged in 2018 by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm. Eglin AFB will receive a $100-million allocation for construction, including $40 million for initial planning and engineering of a Weapons Technology Integration Center.
- FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance CEO Scott Luth says Circulogene, a medical technology company, will expand its operations into downtown Pensacola. The expansion is expected to create some 70 jobs. FloridaWest, along with the University of West Florida, has been working with the company since August 2020 to bring about the expansion of its cancer screening and diagnosis services.
- A 240-unit, high-end residential complex is under construction in downtown Pensacola. Plans by developer Kore Co. of Birmingham, Ala., include studio units, three-bedroom apartments and carriage houses. Holder Nevins, Kore’s principal, says construction of Garden Street apartments should be complete by the first half of 2023.
- Noble Investment Group, a minority-owned hotelier group based in Atlanta, has purchased Hyatt House Tallahassee from West Virginia-based Mountain Shore Properties, original developer of the hotel. The five-story, 120-room Hyatt House first opened in February 2020 and is located near the entrance to the Railroad Square Art District in downtown Tallahassee.