© 2024 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Central Florida semiconductor corridor secures $160 million for development

Orlando Economic Partnership

Ten years from now Central Florida could be known for a lot more than theme parks and hotels. Local leaders are working towards making the region a semiconductor factory for the nation.

On Monday, the BRIDG-Led Coalition – a group of Central Florida organizations – received a multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the semiconductor corridor known as NeoCity. Semiconductors are a key ingredient in creating smart technology in phones, computers, and vehicles.

The 500-acre area in Osceola County has been the focus of BRIDG’s development for the last 10 years investing in resources to cultivate the area into a workforce-focused manufacturing critical technology. With the NSF grant as well as the site area leaders are hoping NeoCity will become the country’s major semiconductor manufacturer, said Tim Giuliani is the president of the Orlando Economic Partnership..

“We're making Central Florida, one of those places where people are going to be able to whether it's through an accelerated training program at Valencia, whether it's through an undergraduate graduate or Ph. D program at UCF, or even University of Florida, are going to be able to enter an entirely new industry for us here in Florida, in semiconductor manufacturing,” Giuliani said.

Tim Giuliani is the president of the Orlando Economic Partnership. He's overseen the development of NeoCity as the president of the Orlando Economic Partnership for the last seven years.
Orlando Economic Partnership
Tim Giuliani is the president of the Orlando Economic Partnership. He's overseen the development of NeoCity as the president of the Orlando Economic Partnership for the last seven years.

BRIDG is composed of Osceola County, Florida High Tech Corridor, imec, Orlando Economic Partnership, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Valencia College, and CareerSource Central Florida.

The NSF announced Monday the first ever 10 recipients of the “regional innovation engine” awards, providing them with $15 million grants over the next two years, and potentially $160 million over the next 10 years to fund projects in energy, advanced materials, disaster prevention, and water. The other winners included: North Carolina Textile Innovation and Sustainability, Great Lakes Water Innovation, Southwest Sustainability Innovation, Louisiana Energy Transition, Upstate New York Energy Storage, Colorado-Wyoming Climate Resilience, El Paso Del Norte Defense and Aerospace Innovation, Piedmont Triad Regenerative Medicine, as well as North Dakota Advanced Agriculture.

The NSF “engines” program was made possible by the CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2022. CHIPS sought to create new manufacturing jobs in technology such as semiconductors. The Biden administration said 75% of global semiconductor production comes from East Asia.

“America invented the semiconductor, but today produces about 10 percent of the world’s supply—and none of the most advanced chips,” the Biden Administration stated in a press release. “The CHIPS and Science Act will unlock hundreds of billions more in private sector semiconductor investment across the country, including production essential to national defense and critical sectors.”

In 2021, the United States imported about $62.1 billion of semiconductors, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. The BRIDG coalition has received half a billion dollars in the last 18 months to make a domestic semiconductor market from

The coalition won the grant for its proximity to aerospace and defense companies as well as its plan to empower the local workforce, Giuliani said.

“Making sure that we're making these opportunities available to people that live here, and really have a transformative story to tell of some of the lowest wages in Florida, you know, is where this new technology is being developed,” he said.

The first portions of the grant will arrive Mar. 1 and will be used toward workforce training and NeoCity infrastructure development.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
Related Content