Osceola Secures Spot as One of Nation’s Top 10 Regional Innovation Engines, to Receive $15 Million Over 2 Years, Possible $160 Million Over 10 Years

Osceola Secures Spot as One of Nation's Top 10 Regional Innovation Engines, to Receive $15 Million Over 2 Years, Possible $160 Million Over 10 Years

Osceola County has been named as one of the ten inaugural Regional Innovation Engines in the nation, a significant recognition by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This designation is a part of the NSF’s initiative to bolster regional technology hubs and drive innovation and economic growth across various sectors. “The inaugural NSF Engines awards demonstrate our enduring commitment to create opportunity everywhere and enable innovation anywhere,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “Through these NSF Engines, NSF aims to expand the frontiers of technology and innovation and spur economic growth across the nation through unprecedented investments in people and partnerships. NSF Engines hold significant promise to elevate and transform entire geographic regions into world-leading hubs of innovation.” Each NSF Engine is set to receive an initial funding of up to $15 million over a span of two years. The NSF’s initial investment of $150 million across these 10 regions is garnering a matching contribution at nearly a two-to-one ratio, inclusive of commitments from state and local governments, additional federal agencies, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector. Teams effectively advancing towards specific milestones may be eligible to receive a substantial sum of up to $160 million each from the NSF over a decade. This funding aims to stimulate the regional economy by leveraging NSF support to attract further investments into the area. This strategic move aligns with the bipartisan objectives set forth in the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” effectively setting the NSF Engines program into motion. The Central Florida Semiconductor Innovation Engine, led by the nonprofit Bridg, or the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR, Inc.), is a testament to Osceola County’s commitment to advancing cutting-edge technologies and fostering a vibrant ecosystem for research and development. This initiative is not just a feather in the cap for Osceola but also a major stride towards transforming the region into a self-sustaining, technology, and innovation-driven economic powerhouse. “Over the last eight years, Osceola County, Florida, had the foresight to make key strategic investments in semiconductor talent pipelines, develop industry partnerships with global leaders in the semiconductor industry, and build an unprecedented county-owned fabrication facility on a green industrial park with space to grow. Today, the region has developed a physical infrastructure and talent advantage in an emerging subfield in the semiconductor technology sector focused on advanced semiconductor packaging, which is essential to computational computing, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and other highly complex and computationally-intensive technologies,” as stated on the United States National Science Foundation website. Osceola County was recently awarded a $289 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, earmarked for NeoCity. This funding aims to propel the county into the forefront of microchip production, reinforcing Osceola’s vision of becoming a national leader in high-tech innovation and manufacturing. With these collaborative efforts and strategic investments, Osceola County is well on its way to forging a future that’s not only technologically advanced but also economically robust, promising a brighter, more innovative tomorrow for its residents and the nation, and the c0unty has is taking a multi-generational approach. NeoCity Academy, part of the School District of Osceola County and located on the NeoCity 500-acre campus, is undergoing a large-scale facility expansion, that once completed, will have doubled the tech-school’s student capacity.