6. A KNACK FOR TURNING CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNITIES
Gaston Cantens, government relations vice president for Florida Crystals Corporation, displays the sugar cane waste (“bagasse”) that already fully powers his company’s operations plus 60,000 homes, and can be refined into ethanol. [Photo: Jessica Klewicki]
Florida has seen its share of challenges over the years — real estate booms and busts, weather-related incidents, election snafus — but we have always emerged from them with gusto, strength and new ideas. Today’s Floridians are reinventing agriculture, aviation/aerospace and tourism — the industries that first made this state strong — while
incorporating new sectors into the mix, such as clean energy, life sciences, information technology, homeland security and emerging technologies (materials science, nanotechnology and marine science). Our public school system has gone from 31st in the U.S. to 10th in just three years, and our disaster preparedness and recovery program serves as a model for the nation. By turning citrus and sugar cane waste into ethanol, we’re making a name for ourselves in biofuels, and by harnessing the power of our most abundant natural resource — sunshine — we’re well on the way to positioning Florida as the world’s leader in solar energy generation.
Next page: A Proven Track Record of Success