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Embry-Riddle research park could pave the way to the future

It's not much to look at yet, but the cement and steel structure off Clyde Morris Boulevard could be home to the next Apple or the builder of the first manned spaceship to Mars.

Part research center, part business incubator, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex will serve as a melting pot, bringing together venture capitalists, scientists, students, faculty and engineers - innovators - who could discover or create the next big thing.

In a who's who of the Daytona scene, Congressman Mica and others spoke Tuesday to kick off the complex's marketing campaign. Mori Hosseini, ERAU's chairman of the board of trustees, gave the introduction.

"Welcome to Embry-Riddle Research Park," Hosseini said, slamming his fist down on the podium. Referencing the park's long road, he added, "My God, I never thought I'd say that."

The Mica complex - which anchors the west side of ERAU's 17-acre, roughly $32 million research park - will be equipped with a series of high-tech labs that will allow researchers to study everything from thermal energy to robotics.

The 50,000 square-foot, two-story building, known as the MicaPlex, is named after Rep. Mica, R-Winter Park, who championed Embry-Riddle to the Federal Aviation Administration for a NextGen Florida Test Bed, which produced more than $50 million in research funding. Mica also crafted a bill that curbs flight time requirements for university graduates.

The complex's primary purpose is research, said Karen Holbrook, ERAU interim president. Areas of focus include aviation, space, engineering, unmanned systems and the environment. Read full article here...

By T.S. Jarmusz, tony.jarmusz@news-jrnl.com 

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