To highlight the state's vital multi-billion dollar modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) industry and Orange County's thriving MS&T cluster, Mayor Jacobs and the National Center for Simulation (NCS) hosted the Florida Simulation Summit in September at the Orange County Convention Center.
The region's robust MS&T sector contributes more than $4.8 billion to Florida's gross state product and directly employs more than 27,000 Floridians with an average annual salary of almost $70,000. The Central Florida Research Park, located next to the University of Central Florida, is the epicenter of the MS&T industry and fosters collaboration, cooperation and partnership between academia, industry and government. By working with our many industry partners, including Orange County’s interdisciplinary MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission, The Corridor, Team Orlando, Central Florida Research Park, the National Center for Simulation, the Metro Orlando Defense Task Force (MODTF) and the OCPS Tech Centers, Central Florida is investing in the future of this high-tech, high-wage, high-value cluster.
The Summit’s impressive brain trust included simulation experts on topics ranging from entertainment, medical, education, transportation and emerging technologies. Summit panelists included speakers from Universal Orlando, IDEAS, the University of Central Florida, EA Sports, Space Florida, Limbitless Solutions, Lockheed Martin Commercial Flight Training, Raytheon Co. and Duke Energy.
Keynote speakers at the Summit included U.S. Congressman John Mica; Waymon Armstrong, the President and CEO of Engineering & Computer Simulations, and Chairman of Orange County's Modeling, Simulation & Training Blue Ribbon Commission; Florida Simulation Summit Chairwoman Beverly Seay; and Walt Disney World Director of Technology and Analysis Michael Tschanz. U.S. Congressman Dan Webster spoke during the luncheon. President and CEO of the NCS, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Baptiste, provided the closing remarks.
The goal of the Summit was to raise awareness of the vast impact the simulation industry has on Central Florida. The impact of commercial simulation on Central Florida's workforce is priceless. From the creation of working limbs and 3-D printers to gaming and simulation applications of staggering sophistication, MS&T is a catalyst for jobs and capital investment throughout our region.