This month has truly been a roller-coaster for the BRIDG team. We started the month excited that our efforts to educate our elected officials about the breadth and depth of what we are doing had resulted in appropriations that were well above recent year levels. I want to personally thank the members of the Florida legislature – Representative Mike LaRosa, Senator David Simmons, and many others – that took the time to develop an understanding of what BRIDG is doing and supported that vision with appropriated funding. The dimensions to this project are varied and complex and the members of the legislature who took the time to understand the project became supporters.
Unfortunately, we ended the month in disappointment when the governor chose to veto the majority of the funds that the legislature had appropriated to BRIDG. I am confident that if we had the opportunity for the governor to visit the site and allow us to explain in-depth the various facets and value propositions, see the physical infrastructure, and meet the dedicated team assembled, that he would have reached a different decision. He would have understood the gravity of what we are doing to develop a workforce for the next generation and expand the local and state economy, all while filling critical gaps in national security.
As a stand-alone economy, Florida has the 16
th largest GDP in the world. This positions Florida ahead of entire nations, including the Netherlands, Taiwan, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Singapore, and Israel—all of which are investing significantly larger dollar amounts into its silicon economy. These countries are making those investments because of the impact this industry has on the future. Moving forward, I ask your help as we collectively work to educate key decision makers across the state on the importance of building the silicon economy here in Central Florida as an element of strengthening the overall security and economy of the entire state and nation.
Despite the fact that the decision to veto our funds is detrimental to what we believe is the state’s most important economic development initiative, we remain committed to our role in elevating our nation’s global competitiveness in microelectronics manufacturing, ensuring our national security, and growing the U.S. innovation ecosystem. We look forward to one day having the governor and other legislative leaders visit our site to see the great work that is being produced from our facility.
On a positive note, we congratulate Space Florida and the Brevard County economic development team on the recent announcement of Boeing moving their space operations to Florida—less than an hour away from NeoCity! This news ties directly to the message we have relayed to Congress and the Department of Defense over the last two years: in spite of obstacles such as the one noted above, communities across the state are proudly building the infrastructure and ecosystems necessary to support the future expansion of leading edge technology in the United States. This development is key to ensuring our national security and our role in the global economy. I expect to see more of these announcements as the country discovers the breadth and depth of Florida’s critical infrastructure ecosystem—whether on the surface of the earth or deep in space.
Thank you for joining us on our journey. Together, we are building a stronger future here at BRIDG and NeoCity.
Wishing everyone a safe and memorable Fourth of July!