Advocates of a new $60 million complex for the Central Florida Research Park say the region's delegation in Tallahassee has been receptive to their pitch for state tax dollars to fund the project.
Construction of the proposed facility — which would be shared by the University of Central Florida and military agencies in the park — is being touted as a way to save the Pentagon millions of dollars annually in lease costs. Proponents say it's essential to saving Orlando's simulation and training industry from potential Pentagon budget cuts.
And although it is still early in this year's legislative session, they have lobbied hard to get the area's representatives on board with the project, said Dan Holsenbeck, UCF's vice president for university relations.
"We've talked with easily every member of the Central Florida delegation to make our case about how critical this project is to the economy of the region and the state," he said. "All of them were extremely supportive."
UCF is part of a coalition of local business and government leaders seeking state funding to prevent any cost-cutting consolidation by the U.S. military that could shutter the military-training commands at the research park. That move could decimate the local high-tech training industry, which has an estimated 30,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in economic impact, according to economic-development estimates.
Advocates say building the new complex — rent-free for the military — would make it possible for the research park's current military commands to move out of leased space. It also would provide space where the military could relocate operations from elsewhere in the country as part of a potential consolidation. In effect, that would enable Orlando to a be a net winner instead of losing business, they say.
An Orlando-based military health-care contractor has secured a share of a $381 million Army program to provide nurses for military bases around the world.
Loyal Source Government Services LLC and six other companies from across the country were awarded the multiyear contract last week. They will provide nursing services to the Pentagon's Northern Regional Medical Command, which manages military health-care facilities in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Loyal Source was the only Florida company selected. The value of the deal for each contractor will be determined on a per-order basis, according to the Defense Department.
Radixx International Inc., an Orlando software company that develops and manages online airline-reservation systems, said it has partnered with Indra of Spain to provide advanced services to airlines around the world.
Radixx, which already operates in 40 countries on seven continents, will pair its market expertise with Indra's technology systems to deliver next-generation ticket-reservation services, the companies said.