South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nikki Cabus

Research Park at FAU recently announced the launch of The Smartest Place initiative

Read Time 5 Minutes

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® (the “Research Park at FAU”) recently announced the launch of The Smartest Place, an initiative to partner with FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Networks Systems Engineering (“I-SENSE”), creating a physical place for emerging IoT technologies to blend with real-time infrastructure, testing new technologies and locate deployment teams addressing common objectives.

Strategically located in Boca Raton, at the center of South Florida – the ninth largest metro area in the US – and adjacent to FAU’s flagship campus and leveraging a multi-million dollar, multi-year National Science Foundation (“NSF”) Engineering Research Center (“ERC”) grant to Florida Atlantic University along with four other collaborating universities and colleges, to create a rich ecosystem of streetscape applications built upon real-time, hyper-local intelligence to advance livable, safe, and inclusive communities, the Research Park at FAU will become a natural home and living test bed for the next generation of real-world smart infrastructure.

“We are excited to launch The Smartest Place initiative,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.

“We’re determined to bring the right partners to the Research Park at FAU and will be providing common shared office and laboratory space which will be set aside for participating smart infrastructure and IoT technology companies to use on a part-time or full-time basis.  In addition, we will aide in the deployment and trial use partners’ solutions and technology.”

The Research Park at FAU is creating a place for emerging IoT technologies to blend with real-world infrastructure, offering flexible office space to become not only a place to trial technologies but a place for companies to locate engineering and deployment teams in collaboration with their peers to address the needs and objectives of the NSF grant.

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is home to technology companies and research-based organizations working to support the research and development activities of Florida Atlantic University and to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Research Park at FAU hosts Global Ventures, an international soft-landing center for second-stage technology companies and FAU Tech Runway, a South Florida public-private partnership that serves as a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies.

The Research Park at FAU is a 70-acre destination for R&D companies to thrive, established in 1985, it is widely regarded as South Florida’s laboratory for new entrepreneurial ideas and technologies. The Research Park at FAU is governed by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district created by Palm Beach and Broward counties in partnership with Florida Atlantic University, organized under Chapter 159, Part V, Florida Statues.

A primary benefit of locating in the Research Park at FAU is the ability to collaborate with FAU’s research faculty and student body: Smartest Place partners will have the opportunity to work with I-SENSE faculty and equipment as well as commercial real-world spaces to deploy and study the outcomes of the technology.

“The Research Park at FAU has been a critical partner for I-SENSE since the institute’s inception in 2015. Today, we could not be more excited to see this partnership strengthened even further. The Smartest Place initiative reflects an incredible opportunity to deliver new tools and services to Research Park at FAU tenants, while fostering the future of public space, public interest technologies through the new NSF ERC for Smart Streetscapes (CS3). Access to this proving ground is an absolute game changer,” stated Jason Hallstrom, Ph.D., Founding Executive Director of I-SENSE (currently on IPA assignment).

FAU’s College of Engineering is among the top three fastest improving engineering colleges in the United States, sitting in the increasingly important South Florida marketplace. South Florida is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, rich in diversity and with a technology aware population in close proximity to the Latin America markets.

The IoT M2M Council, or “IMC,” is the largest community of qualified IoT adopters constantly measuring the pulse of their 25,000 rank-and-file members. They will be partnering with Florida Atlantic University. The IMC is comprised of companies providing solutions from all parts of the global Iot/M2M ecosystem as Sustaining Members. The organization has brought together large-scale connectivity providers, more dedicated network operators, systems integrators, equipment manufacturers, and chipware maker giants.

“Our data shows that the biggest hurdle the industry faces is getting IoT projects from proof-of-concept to larger scale, so the IoT sector needs more initiatives like The Smartest Place at Research Park at Florida Atlantic University®,” says IMC Executive Director Keith Kreisher. “We look forward to cooperating with industry participants of the Research Park at FAU initiative by providing access to IMC’s digital media channels and events in order to share The Smartest Place research, use cases, and success stories.”

IMC Adopter Members are qualified individuals that deploy IoT/M2M technology at companies as diverse as Fedex, Hyundai, Siemens Medical, Tata Group, Saudi Aramco, and the US Department of Defense. As of this writing, the IMC can claim to be the largest and fastest-growing IoT/M2M organization in the world, with over 25,000 Adopter Members on four continents, and growing at a rate of 300 Adopters per week.

The Iot Evolution Expo team will also be partnering with Florida Atlantic University. The recently hosted FAU at the expo in February as part of the larger annual ITEXPO to help make the announcement publicly. From IoT location solutions to securing the supply chain, IoT Evolution focuses on the IoT use cases around automation, security ESG, healthcare and more. There focus has been on AI and analytics and the role that plays in launching new innovative IoT solutions.

“The team from IoT Evolution Expo has been dedicated to fostering and growing the IoT ecosystem and South Florida market for many years. As the organizers of IoT Evolution, the industry’s longest continuously running annual trade show and educational event focused on IoT held each year in Fort Lauderdale, we were pleased to host the Research Park at FAU as they made their announcement from our keynote stage,” said Carl Ford, co-founder of IoT Evolution and conference co-chair. “As a trusted partner in the IoT ecosystem, IoT Evolution is delighted to collaborate with the Research Park at FAU as it creates a South Florida destination for IoT innovators.”

Interested IoT or smart infrastructure companies should contact Ryan Lilly at SmartestPlace@Research-Park.org or by telephone at +1 561-416-6092 Ext. 1401.

By Nikki Cabus

FAU announces winners of 2023 ‘Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition’

Read Time 4 Minutes

Florida Atlantic University has announced the winners of the 7th annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition.

Hosted by the Graduate College, this year was the first live and in-person ‘s 3MT® Competition since the pandemic. It was held at the Boca Raton Campus Student Union with students, faculty, and the public in attendance.

Developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008, the idea for 3MT came about at a time when the state of Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.

Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased, 3MT competitions are now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.
In November 2013, the first Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition. The 3MT® competition challenges graduate students around the world to pitch their research in only 3 minutes to a live audience.

FAU’s 3MT® is a venue for graduate students from various disciplines to interact with one another and discuss their research and its implications. The competition provides an opportunity for undergraduates, alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments, institutions and the community to gain exposure to high-level, cutting-edge research at FAU.

The goal of the 3MT® competition is for FAU graduate students from all colleges and departments to cultivate the ability to explain their research, including both breadth and significance, in a language appropriate to an audience containing both specialists and non-specialists in three minutes or less. The 3MT® competition provides FAU graduate students with the opportunity to sharpen their professional development skills, reignite their passion for discovery, promote preeminent research, and foster community.

  • Skills development for research candidates
    Participating in 3MT develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing research candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
  • Building research culture in universities
    3MT provides a valuable opportunity for HDR candidates to come together (live or virtually), get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which schools, institutes and universities can provide presentation skills training.
  • Building external relations for the university
    3MT winners may go on to represent their university at national and international 3MT competitions which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have benefited from invitations to a variety of other networking events following their participation in the competition.

At FAU’s annual competition, over $30,000 in scholarship prizes are awarded annually to winners from both the Preliminary Rounds and the Championship. Distinguished FAU community members serve judges and a public vote determines the People’s Choice winners. FAU’s 3MT® Championship Award is generously sponsored through the Dr. Eric H. Shaw 3MT® Championship Award Endowment Fund.

A panel of distinguished FAU community members determined the 2023 first-place, runner-up, and second runner-up championship winners. This year’s FAU 2023 3MT® Heat & Championship judging panel included: Dr. Stacy Volnick, President, Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Michele Hawkins, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Larry Faerman, Vice President for Student Affairs and Nikki Cabus, Chief Executive Officer, South Florida Tech Hub. More than 200 online votes submitted by public viewers named the People’s Choice Award winner.

“Conducting research is a critical component of graduate education, and being able to effectively communicate the significance of that research to a broad audience is a valuable skill,” says William D. Kalies, Ph.D., interim dean of the Graduate College.

“The graduate students at Florida Atlantic perform impactful research, and the Graduate College is honored to support this annual competition and provide a platform for students to gain experience presenting their research to the public while having the opportunity to earn scholarships.”

A total of 51 graduate students pitched their research projects to a live audience with 19 of them awarded scholarship prizes in the championship round. The championship winners of the 2023 3MT® competition are:

FAU championship winner and recipient of the Dr. Eric H. Shaw 3MT® Championship Endowment Award* (tie)

Title: “From Poop to Parent: Examining Paternity in Dynamic Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Populations in the Bahamas”
Presented by: Hayley Knapp, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Faculty Advisor: John Baldwin, Ph.D.
Title: “Corrosion is in the Air”
Presented by: Ingrid Santillan Barragan, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty Advisor: Francisco Presuel-Moreno, Ph.D.
FAU 3MT® runner-up and People’s Choice Award
Title: “So, You Wanna Build a Protein?”
Presented by: Amish Mishra, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Faculty Advisor: Francis Motta, Ph.D.
FAU 3MT® second runner-up
Title: “‘What Does A Surgeon Look Like?’: How Stereotypes May Negatively Impact Recruitment Into the Least Diverse Specialty in Medicine”
Presented by: Emmanuel McNeely, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Caceres, Ph.D.

The two (We had a tie!) championship winners and recipients of the $2,500 Dr. Eric H. Shaw 3MT® Championship Award also will represent FAU at the Conference of Florida Graduate Schools at the University of Miami from April 17 to 19 and present their 3MT® research. For more information on FAU’s 3MT® competition or to see all submissions and heat winners, click here.

Research Park at FAU recently announced the launch of The Smartest Place initiative
FAU announces winners of 2023 ‘Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition’