BRIDG Monthly Newsletter | April 2018
Chester Kennedy Headshot
I am frequently asked about the roller coaster ride of standing up a unique public-private partnership and thought it might be interesting to share some insights of the peaks and valleys along this journey with you.

One question often asked is, “How is BRIDG able to make the progress that it has made with such limited staff and resources?” This is typically followed by, “You need more staff.” The short answer is that we have an extremely dedicated team. From my time in industry and from the perspective of many industry colleagues who regularly interact with BRIDG, industry would have assigned at least 150% of the dedicated personnel currently at BRIDG to a task of similar magnitude, plus provide them access to common pools of specialized resources. Perhaps the reason we continue to make significant progress with limited staff is best understood in the context of a recently completed leadership exercise where staff members were asked to summarize why they chose to work at BRIDG. The common element in the answers was the belief in the vision of BRIDG to be the catalyst for a new economy for the region and the desire to personally contribute towards the creation of those new opportunities. Our team’s passion and dedication is overcoming many obstacles to accomplish so much with such a small team; that includes wearing multiple hats and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

Another question I frequently get is, “How can I help?” To answer that, I need to provide some historic background. The entity now known as BRIDG was conceived to be a public-private partnership. With a combination of local and state investment, the fuel to attract industry members and industry-funded projects will steadily grow over time towards self-sustainability. The long-term payback on those investments will be through the creation of high tech jobs from companies who come to Florida (NeoCity) because of the BRIDG infrastructure. The local public investment through Osceola County and the University of Central Florida has been there at every turn. The state rides its own roller coaster and funding is often short of the need, as it was this past legislative session. The lack of consistent state funding drives us to redefine subsets of the tremendous market where our capabilities align. So, my answer to this very important question is to be an educated voter. Ask those who solicit your vote and support in elections what they know about BRIDG and NeoCity and how they are going to help ensure that it is funded at a level which allows it to achieve the maximum impact. What we have is of great value to i ndustry, but it will be of greater value with consistent state funding.

Thank you for your continued interest in BRIDG. Please be sure to check out the stories below on how the tech industry poured into Osceola County last week and about the initial processing of our first wafer in our fab!

Chester Kennedy
BRIDG Begins Tool Qualification Process
We are excited to announce that BRIDG officially began tool qualification procedures in our wafer fab last month. On one of the first tools being qualified, the very first test successfully used a metal e-beam evaporator to deposit a thin titanium film on silicon and fused-silica wafers. By enabling film deposition processes first, we ensure that the other processing capabilities of the fab can be qualified using our own deposited materials. This is a major milestone and we couldn’t be prouder of our dedicated team of individuals at BRIDG!
Osceola Hosts Tech Industry
We recently welcomed the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing (DCS) conference back to Orlando. With the conference held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, it provided the perfect opportunity to not only exhibit at the show but to also showcase our facility and the opportunities that a location at NeoCity has to offer companies. In partnership with the SPIE, imec, the Orlando Economic Partnership, and Osceola County, we welcomed distinguished guests from one of the leading global technical conferences, courses, and exhibitions focused on sensing, imaging, and photonics technologies for defense, security, industry, health care, and the environment to the BRIDG facility. Thank you to all that joined us, and thanks also to Jimmy Bear’s BBQ, Breeze, and Dan O’Toole Photography for the perfect complement to the evening – complete with a perfectly-timed rocket launch, as well!
UCF Receives Nearly $600 Million Technology Grant from Siemens
The University of Central Florida and Siemens recently strengthened their partnership of over 30 years with one of the largest single investments Siemens has ever made: an in-kind technology grant of Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software, which is used by nearly a dozen companies in Central Florida and over 140,000 worldwide, will now be available to all the students in UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. We are excited to see R&D continue to build momentum in the region! 
Bert Gyselinckx, Vice President and General Manager, Imec USA
Bert Gyselinckx is vice president and managing director of imec USA – a nanoelectronics design center for photonics and high-speed electronics, located in Kissimmee, Fla. Imec USA focuses on non-visible imaging systems including THz, LIDAR, and mm-wave imaging systems. Bert is a pioneer by birth and electrical engineer by training. Together with his teams, he has developed Wi-Fi systems, smart watches, health patches and brain monitors of diverse ingenuity. The technolgies he has co-invented are deployed by innovative semiconductor and consumer electronics companies and start-ups he helped establish: Lifesense (incontinence management), Bloom Technologies (pregnancy monitoring), and Septentrio (satellite navigation).
Commissioner Viviana Janer and HCCMO Visit BRIDG
BRIDG hosted Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer and the Government Affairs Committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) on April 6. HCCMO is the largest business-related organization representing the Hispanic community in Central Florida and has been an essential voice in the community for over 20 years.
Three Groups in One Day
April 11 turned out to be a popular day at BRIDG as we hosted three very special groups onsite – Leadership Osceola County, the Central Florida STEM Education Council, and Mayor Jose Alvarez (City of Kissimmee) and guests. Thank you to everyone who joined us throughout the day!
Mayor Jose Alvarez (City of Kissimmee) and guests learn about the benefits and opportunities for locating at NeoCity’s 500-acre technology district.
Leadership Osceola County Economic Development Day. Over the course of the program day, participants learned about the variety of economic engines that drive growth and redevelopment in Osceola County. 
Central Florida STEM Education Council General Council Meeting. Attendees had the opportunity to tour the site and ask a panel of leaders from BRIDG, Harris, and PhotonX about importance of STEM. 
SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 
BRIDG recently joined our partners at imec in exhibiting side-by-side within the Florida Photonics Cluster section at SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing . This year’s conference brought over 4,500 attendees to the region. Thank you to SPIE for bringing this important conference back to Orlando. We look forward to hosting the show again in 2021. 
CREOL Industrial Affiliates Symposium 2018
Immediately following SPIE’s DCS conference, BRIDG joined several distinguished speakers and guests at CREOL's 2018 Industrial Affiliates Symposium held at UCF on April 19-20. Focused on Advances in Optics and Photonics, more information on the program and its speakers can be found by clicking here .
Junior Achievement Inspire – May 17, 2018
BRIDG will participate in  Junior Achievement Inspire , an interactive exploration of local career pathways attended by 8th grade students each year. Led by Junior Achievement of Central Florida, this program initiative brings together educators and industry leaders from Central Florida to provide students with career mentorship from a variety of fields.   This program will be held at Osceola Heritage Park from 8:30am to 2:00pm in Kissimmee, Fla.
  BRIDG is located at NeoCity in Osceola County, Florida.