There are shared spaces... and then there are shared communities. Spaces, while important, are will not yield results such as innovative products/services, new grant funding, or joint ventures unless you spend dedicated time building a community within the space. Connecting those in the space to each other and to those in other organizations is not a small feat. Our community is the most important part of the HUB. We talk about it a lot and reference it as if it is a living, breathing entity.
Over the last two months, the HUB hosted four events that illustrate the idea of community. The first was a tour with the International Marine Mineral Society. As part of their annual conference at the Vinoy, attendees learned about the technology being developed at the HUB and discussed future opportunities with HUB tenants.
The second event was a social as part of the annual program review for USF's Center for Ocean Mapping and Innovative Technology (COMIT). Members of the COMIT team, NOAA, and their partners had a chance to informally come together and continue to explore the future of ocean mapping.
The third was a Coastal Community Happy Hour. Sponsored by Integral Consulting Inc, it brought together 100+ individuals from the Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour, St. Pete Ocean Team, HUB, Innovation District, and entrepreneurial community. Over beverages at the beer bus and in the food truck lines, they were able to meet people they didn't know, talk about projects they were working on, and imagine collaborations.
The most recent event was held last evening as part of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program Summit. Sponsored by Woolpert, this social brought together private industry, academia, and government representatives. This informal time created connections, allowed for informal discussions about the day's meetings and set the stage for today's workshops.
It is daring to declare 2023 as the year of transformation for the St. Petersburg Innovation District. Especially since we reached new heights in 2022 that we had not even considered when the District began six years ago.
At the 5th annual State of Science and Innovation, five innovators from St. Pete were give only six minutes to share the work they are doing. Kudos to all of them - they did an amazing job!
Curious what can happen when the USF College of Nursing and the St. Pete Innovation District work together? Listen to this 15 minute podcast conversation between Dean Usha Menon and Alison Barlow.