Marine Science and Data Analytics are two of the target industries in St. Petersburg (learn more at Grow Smarter). These areas have always been intertwined but they are converging in deeper and unique ways under the NEW Blue Economy. The NEW Blue Economy is “a knowledge-based economy, looking to the sea not just for extraction of material goods, but for data and information to address societal challenges and inspire their solutions” according to Dr. Richard Spinrad (EOS.org). The traditional blue economy developed around tangible resources (e.g., food and fossil fuel production) and critical services (e.g., shipping, coastal tourism). Data was often nothing more than a supporting function.
In the future, the role of data, information, and related disruptive technologies will be critical. The ability to acquire, transform and interpret data will drive policies, sustainability efforts, new business ventures, and more. The Innovation District is fortunate to have academics, government and private industry partners already embracing the NEW Blue Economy. The potential is tremendous! Stay tuned for future updates on how the District and its partners are making strategic plans to further the NEW Blue Economy.
Part of St. Pete’s booming research and technology sector, the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub had its official ribbon cutting in the Innovation District yesterday. Known as The Hub for short, the new center brings together under one roof the triple helix of innovation: industry, government, and academia.
Taking advantage of increased funding for maritime and technology solutions by the State and Federal governments, including the Department of Defense, The Hub leverages the unique attributes of the building such as a workspace with port access, rooms designed for secure communications, and wet/chemical laboratories.
The Hub attracts and develops impactful tenants
More than one dozen companies and counting have taken up residence in The Hub and joined into the collaborative and innovative workspace. While the focus of these companies is primarily in the worlds of maritime and defense, they are working in a wide variety of fields, such as climate change and coastal flooding, red tide, maritime awareness, national security, and energy storage.
Pole Star Defense, for example, develops support for critical Coast Guard missions. As part of the ribbon cutting ceremonies, Saildrone showcased unmanned surface vehicles and shared insights about sailing into a Category 4 Hurricane.
Gates Defense demonstrated Airbox Systems, which allows deployed military teams to have enhanced situational awareness of their environment. One near and dear to locals, PVM is a software engineering company run by returning St. Pete native and Navy veteran Pat Mack, who is passionate about providing opportunities in tech for underrepresented members of the St. Pete community.
Co-working spaces encourage collaboration
The Innovation District has curated this cluster of collaborative organizations whose leases are for a combination of dedicated office space and shared co-working areas. The selected sub-tenants are aligned to the Grow Smarter and County target industries, with particular attention on marine science and defense technology.
The Hub organizations are expected to engage as members of the Innovation District and the broader St. Petersburg community in efforts such as internships, peer mentoring of entrepreneurs/small businesses, and technical exchange events. Organizations will maximize their individual capabilities using the unique features of the building, while exploring cross-cutting solutions as members of the Hub Community.
Alongside the efforts of the city and organizations throughout Pinellas County, the official opening of The Hub is yet another sign of the incredible growth the area is experiencing in tech, as well as the desirability of the city for new or relocating companies. Learn more at stpeteinnovationdistrict.com.