Mayor Jacobs with personnel for the Florida Simulation Summit

Third Florida Simulation Summit Highlights Advancements in Augmented Reality


Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the National Center for Simulation (NCS) hosted the third annual Florida Simulation Summit on Sept. 7, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center. The Summit highlighted advancements in virtual and augmented reality within the transportation and automotive industry, the architecture, construction and engineering sectors, as well as the medical robotics and simulation areas.

Orange County and the NSC partnered together for the third year to showcase the continuing progress, synergy and support for the modeling, simulating and training industry (MS&T) in Central Florida and statewide.

The goal of the Summit is to raise awareness of the vast impact that the simulation industry has on Central Florida and to capitalize on existing and emerging synergies. From the creation of simulated cutting-edge surgical procedures to sophisticated simulated medical applications, MS&T is a catalyst for jobs and capital investment in the region.

“We experienced great success with our legislative and anti-base realignment and closure initiatives, this year we’re continuing to focus on the commercialization of simulation technology, with a special emphasis on augmented and virtual reality,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Together with the private sector – with academia, with entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, dreamers and doers- we are creating a safer, smarter and thriving future.”

The lineup of speakers included experts from Orlando VA Medical Center, Luminar Technologies, Inc. (autonomous vehicles), the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project, Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort, PCL Construction, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Florida.

Elizabeth Baron, from Ford Motor Co., served as the keynote speaker for the event. Baron, a virtual reality and advanced technical specialist, spoke about immersive storytelling for vehicle design and engineering.

Dr. Christopher D. Prevel, associate chief of staff, surgical services and chief of surgery for Orlando VA Medical center, shared information on health and wellness innovation strategy within Medical City during the lunch keynote presentation. He also spoke about his experience as a renowned surgeon.

The panel discussions held throughout the day covered the integration of autonomous vehicles in cities, how theme parks and commercial space flight are related, architecture, engineering and construction and how virtual reality and augmented reality are revolutionizing medical training and procedures.

Chairman of Mayor Jacobs’ MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission Waymon Armstrong, Mayor Jacobs and Florida Simulation Summit Chairwoman Beverly Seay provided opening remarks and introductions. President and CEO of the NCS, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Baptiste provided the closing remarks at the Summit.

The robust MS&T sector contributes more than $6 billion to Florida’s gross state product and directly employs more than 30,000 Floridians with an average annual salary of almost $79,000. The Central Florida Research Park, located next to the University of Central Florida, is the epicenter of the MS&T industry and fosters collaboration, cooperation and partnership between academia, industry and government.

Dr. Michael Armbruster, Associate Superintendent for Career and Technical Education at Orange Technical College, said the Central Florida’s MS&T sector provides the ideal jobs for his graduating students.

“We heard from Ford today and that product development piece and collaborative efforts, that’s what we do with our students,” said Dr. Michael Armbruster, Associate Superintendent for Career and Technical Education at Orange Technical College. “We support this industry and fill the skills gap. Our duel enrollment programs, at our high schools, provide the hands on experience and the soft skills for the simulation, modeling and virtual reality industry.”

By working with the County’s many industry partners, including Orange County’s MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission, the Orlando Economic Development Commission, Florida High Tech Corridor, Team Orlando, the City of Orlando, Central Florida Research Park, the National Center for Simulation, the Metro Orlando Defense Task Force and the Orange Technical College, Central Florida is investing in the future of this high-tech industry.

Photo Caption: [L-R] Ford Motor Co. Virtual Reality & Advanced Technical Specialist Elizabeth Baron; Chairman of the MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission Waymon Armstrong; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Thomas L. Baptiste, Lt. Gen., USAF (Ret) President and CEO of the National Center for Simulation gather at the 2017 Florida Simulation Summit.  

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