Touting the “power of partnerships,” Osceola County officially cut the ribbon Friday on the newest piece of the NeoCity campus, “The OC”, a 100,000 square-foot corporate office building.
The building, the third permanent structure built at NeoCity after the original Center for Innovation building and the NeoCity Academy school, will house BRIDG, the tech consortium tasked with bringing on worldwide partners, and imec, the Belgium tech giant that was the first of those partners. Their corporate offices will take up much of the new building.
With this building up and running, NeoCity is beginning to take shape, as are the county’s vision and investment in it, said County Commission Chair Cheryl Grieb.
“This is a first for this part of town, truly a new day for Osceola County,” she said. “We wouldn’t be here without our partners from all around the world in industry in academia.”
The University of Central Florida has been a partner since the early days of the project three years ago, and NeoCity Academy and Valencia College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Facility on Shady Lane just a few miles to the east are already in place to help train its workforce of the near future.
“We would not be standing here without the partnership and leadership of (UCF) to become a leader in smart sensors and optics. This is a showcase for emerging and innovative technology. They’ve seen this dream become a reality.”
Tasked with finding technology collaborators, BRIDG has secured agreements with the Harris Corporation, Siemens and Tokyo Electron, and Korean electronics power LG is considering a $5 million investment in NeoCity, Grieb said.
“I want to praise (BRIDG CEO) Chester Kennedy for his efforts in bridging the gap in bringing high-wage jobs to the county’s residents,” Grieb said. “I also want to recognize imec, for having a world-renowned technology research firm in house is a big deal. They are toward sensor technology that can monitor astronauts’ health in space.”
Kissimmee Utility Authority and Toho Water Authority have also had a hand in making NeoCity an infrastructure project. KUA built a $20M substation and feeders to bring power to the campus, and TWA is a partner on the pond feature that will eventually help with water quality in local lakes.
Bert Gyselinckx, imec’s director of Florida operations, tasked with leading the company’s nano-electronics design center at NeoCity, said the patience of all those involved is now being rewarded.
“At the end of the day we should be reaping the benefits of the people who got this thing started in the first place,” he said.
UCF President Thad Seymour said all of Central Florida, not just Osceola County, will benefit from what happens at NeoCity.
“This is a milestone in the evolution in the history and future of Central Florida,” he said.. “Partnerships drive ideas and talent in innovation districts, like NeoCity. It will be a catalyst for the evolution of the region’s and state’s economy.
“I see success here already with the activity of our partners’ smart sensor technology and advanced manufacturing.You don’t get big ideas like this without these partnerships, and we at UCF are committed to playing an important part in this going forward.”
PHOTO CRED: OSCEOLA COUNTY