2023 Florida Simulation Summit A Forum for Collaboration
On May 10, 2023, Orange County Government, the National Center for Simulation and Duke Energy hosted the 8th Annual Florida Simulation Summit — Digital Transformation and Airport of the Future at the Hyatt Orlando International Airport. The summit highlighted the strong progress, synergy and development of our region’s multi-billion-dollar modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) industry, as well as the collaboration between local businesses, researchers and the U.S. military.
This year’s theme was “Harnessing Our Region’s Simulation Expertise to Solve Today’s Challenges.” Highlights included a program and tour of the Brightline Fast Train. Panel discussion topics included Digital Transformation Technologies and Their Uses, and Increasing Value through the Application of Digital Transformation.
“We have a bourgeoning growing tech industry here, and keeping that communication ongoing with the Department of Defense, as well as with our entertainment friends at Disney and Universal, will serve to advance this technology forward,” said George Cheros, summit co-host and president and CEO, National Center for Simulation.
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings gave welcoming remarks, and keynote addresses were given by Will Roper, CEO, Istari; Simone Babb, Orange County Chief Innovation & Emerging Technologies Officer; Bradley Friel, Senior VP of Multi-Model Planning and Environment, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority; and Christine Kefauver, Senior VP of Corporate Development, Brightline.
Roper, former U.S. Air Force Acquisition Chief, shared how he was drawn into the MS&T industry. While looking for ways to build things faster and more competitively for the U.S. government, he stumbled upon Formula 1 racing and how they engineered race cars digitally.
“They were designing, testing and certifying cars without having to go through the slow, expensive process of physically prototyping and testing, and we were able to apply this to building airplanes and missiles digitally,” he explained. “I became a convert, realizing this was going to move across all industries and make technology more environmentally conscious. All of this is predicated on modeling and simulation.”
Summit Chair Bev Seay, Southeast Regional Director, National Security Innovation Network, DoD, talked about the importance of not only showcasing the technology that comes out of the Department of Defense, but also showcasing how Central Florida uses that technology in many different industries, from healthcare to tourism to transportation.
Simone Babb, Orange County Chief Innovation & Emerging Technologies Officer, talked about how the collaborative process helps Orange County build strategies and processes to address community challenges. “We’re incredibly fortunate to be in Orange County, home of one of the world’s most prominent MS&T hubs, including the University of Central Florida, a world-class research institution,” she asserted. “Our public-private partnerships are increasingly important because it’s an opportunity to put our heads together. No one person can solve community challenges alone; we need to hear from experts, and this summit brings together the forum to do just that.”
To watch the entire summit, go to 2023 Florida Simulation Summit — Digital Transformation and Airport of the Future.
Photo Caption: Will Roper, Founder and CEO or Istari, provides the opening keynote address at the 2024 Florida Simulation Summit hosted by the Orange County Government and the National Center for Simulation.