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Collaborations are Innovation Foundation

Over the last few months I have used this space in the newsletter to create a picture of what it takes to foster innovation.

November 2023 newsletter: Innovation is a team sport.  It requires diverse perspectives and experiences to find a creative solutions.   It requires courage to try things out and be willing to learn what won’t work as much as what will work.  It requires tenacity to keep going and going and going.

March 2024 newsletter: Ideas create the "spark" that fuels innovation.  Good ideas... bad ideas... ideas that need time to marinate... etc.

Today I want to add another facet to this picture: Trusting collaborations are the foundation to innovation. One of the roles the Innovation District plays is as a facilitator of collaboration. We excel in situations that require more than one entity to come together. This starts before the idea sparks and creative solutions are found.  It begins with the questions of "Who are you?", "Do I trust you?", "Do I want to work with you?"  Sometimes these questions are answered immediately - things just click. Sometimes it takes a little back-and-forth. This foundation must be laid before anything else.

Three examples of our latest work to create collaborations are:

  1. Morning Sparks: Innovation X-change breakfast series kicked off in April.  We had the opportunity to connect individuals working with artificial intelligence across life science, art, marine science, and more.
  2. We are preparing a national (with a strong concentration in the state of Florida) submission for a NOAA grant to support the development of BlueTech startups.  This is the next phase of our current work with Tampa Bay Wave and USF.  
  3. In the coming months we will be conducting our District Master Plan activity bringing together employers, business owners, land owners, neighbors and more to discuss the future spaces and places of the District.

Alison Barlow

Executive Director

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May 23, 2024
May 31, 2024

Thank you to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital (JHACH) for sponsoring and hosting our inaugural Morning Sparks: Innovation X-change breakfast. The event was kicked off by Alicia Schulhof, President of JHACH, and followed by an overview of the topic - Artificial Intelligence - by Dr. John Licato of USF's Advanced Machine and Human Reasoning Lab.

May 23, 2024
May 31, 2024

Kudos to the Volunteers of America Florida, City of St. Petersburg, and Pinellas County for the recent opening of the new downtown apartments, located in the Innovation District called Innovare. Innovare’s 50 apartments provide stable homes for individuals and families who earn 60 percent or less of the Area’s Median Income (AMI), including many who are transitioning from homelessness.

May 23, 2024
May 31, 2024

Kudos to the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a technology incubator, accelerator and coworking office operating the ARK Innovation Center in the Innovation District. They recently announced the startups that will participate in their spring accelerator program. These startups offer a variety of intriguing solutions, many based in the Tampa Bay region. Keep an eye out for a showcase featuring these companies in July.