Central Florida has long been recognized as a top destination for entertainment and hospitality, but the region offers much more. It’s also a burgeoning global center for health care and life sciences. Four pillars of the Central Florida business community are pleased to announce the launch of IQ Orlando, an innovation-focused business partnership concentrated on recruiting and launching life science companies. The University of Central Florida, Tavistock Group, AHG Group, and Florida Hospital will harness their collective strength to provide an ecosystem to grow early and mid-stage companies.
“This is the realization that all four community stakeholders are committed to advancing life science in our community,” said Lars Houmann, President and CEO of Florida Hospital. “United, our efforts will accelerate the process and capitalize on opportunities that could not be achieved alone.”
Goals for IQ Orlando include improving the health of the population, increasing access to care for individuals, and lowering the cost of health care. As part of its mission, IQ Orlando is excited about the potential to partner with companies like SMRxt, a smart sensor and software technology that records, monitors and quantifies the time and dose of patient medication adherence behavior.
“We are evaluating sites across the nation, including Central Florida, in search of strong medical communities and tech hubs for the relocation of our corporate operations and manufacturing headquarters,” said Michael Huffer, CEO of SMRxt. “This region provides rich resources including Lake Nona Medical City, Florida Hospital Health Village, the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, and the UCF College of Medicine. These assets, accompanied by the collective strength of the IQ Orlando partners, would be excellent sources of support and collaboration for our pioneering medical adherence product.”
IQ Orlando is focused on recruiting and launching both national and international health-focused companies.
“These companies we are investing in are looking for a U.S. base to launch their products and services,” said Alan Ginsberg, CEO, The AHG Group. “They will utilize the IQ Orlando ecosystem to do everything from complete the FDA certification process to develop and advance their marketing capabilities.”
As another resource for companies, IQ Orlando is introducing a Digital Health Lab to provide start-ups with a platform to develop and test new enterprise and consumer applications in smart sensors, health care IT, and the Internet of Things. The Digital Health Lab will offer an integral asset to life science start-ups as technology advances. Life sciences have digitized the human genome, medical diagnostics, the medical record, and is now poised to do even more.
“I believe that what will distinguish IQ Orlando is the benefit of having a living lab so innovators can develop their solutions in concert with consumers,” said Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director of Tavistock Group, developer of Lake Nona, the 7,000 acre, award-winning, health-inspired community anchored by Lake Nona Medical City, one of the nation’s fastest growing life sciences innovation clusters.
IQ Orlando will harness the collective strengths of its founding partners in order to create an environment rich in real-life, functional health resources for companies.
“The power of partnerships drives virtually all of our successful economic development activities in Central Florida, including Medical City, the Florida High Tech Corridor, and the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola County, which will develop the next generation of smart sensors,” UCF President John C. Hitt said. “Through our newest partnership venture, IQ Orlando, we look forward to helping our local and state leaders attract high-tech, well-paying jobs that strengthen our innovation economy.”
This announcement took place during the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum, which attracted more than 250 of the nation’s top CEOs, health care innovators and thought leaders to Lake Nona Medical City for three days of collaborative conversation to inspire impactful health innovation.