Update on Florida Legislative Space Initiatives

Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center

The good folks at the Florida Space Development Council have provided this handy update on the fates of space initiatives during the current legislative session. It looks like it’s been a good session overall, with most objectives achieved. All approved measures are subject to veto by Gov. Rick Scott.

Space Florida Ops Budget ($10 Million)Funded at $14.5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $14.5M in Senate/House conference budgetKeep Space Florida budget at same level as 2013. $4M in recurring base budget, $6M in nonrecurring funds.
Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Incentive Carry-ForwardHB-1209 bill died in committeeSB-1422 bill died in committeeAllows more than one year for QTI recipients (including aerospace firms) to use tax credit allowance, or sell credits to other firms.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M)Fully funded within Space Florida ops budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetRecurring budget item (from 2013) to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business. Included in base budget.
Space Florida Financing/Investment Fund ($7M)Funded at $5M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $5M in Senate/House conference budget$2M less than in 2013. Funding for financing deals for aerospace
expansion projects. Half can be used for infrastructure projects.
Space Transportation Infrastructure Funding ($20M)$20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018$20M is in FDOT annual work program through 2018Continued funding within FDOT budget for “TIP” program. $15M minimum is included in FDOT budget allocation.
Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M)Fully funded within Space Florida ops budgetFully funded within Space Florida ops budgetContinued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel. Included in Gov’s budget request.
Shuttle Landing Facility
Transition ($2.5M)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Allowed in Financing/
Investment Fund line (above)
Funding to transition/promote SLF for new commercial and govt users. $2.5M/year for two years suggested by some legislators.
Cecil Field Spaceport Infrastructure ($2M)Added to Space Florida ops budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetFunding for Cecil Field spaceport infrastructure. Added to budget in conference committee.
Quick Response Training (QRT) Incentive ($12M)Fully funded in House budget
Fully funded in Senate budget proposalMaintaining 2013 funding level for this workforce training incentive managed by Workforce Florida. Included in Gov’s budget request.
STEM Workforce Training ($30M)Did not happenDid not happenSTEM scholarships to state colleges and vocational schools. Maybe added as proviso language to budget later in session.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies ($1M)Funded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetFunded at $3M in House/Senate conference budgetRecurring budget item to support/expand network of high school aerospace academies in Florida.
Florida Tech space transportation research ($500K)Added to Space Florida ops budgetAdded to Space Florida ops budgetNew funding request for research on “efficient commercial space transportation system.” A larger request was vetoed last year.

Honeybee Robotics Receives 6 SBIR, STTR Phase 1 Awards

honeybee_roboticsNEW YORK (Honeybee Robotics PR) — Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation today announced it has received six NASA awards for technology development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The awards will fund new approaches to planetary sampling systems, spacecraft mechanisms, and unmanned ground vehicles for Earth and Lunar applications.


Embry-Riddle Aerospace Research Park Gets a Boost

Rod Castro

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (Embry-Riddle PR) — The development of Embry-Riddle’s 90-acre Aerospace Research and Technology Park in Daytona Beach has gained new impetus with the hiring of Dr. Rod Casto associate vice president for research and innovation.

Casto most recently held that same title at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, as well as serving as the executive director of the USF Research Foundation Inc. After joining USF in 2003, he transformed school land into a 115-acre research park that successfully attracted several high-tech growth industries. In addition, Casto helped start the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, creating more than 100 new high-tech businesses.


Embry-Riddle to Collaborate with FAA on Space Transportation Research


November 2, 2009

The Space Shuttle’s fast-approaching retirement is opening up new opportunities for commercial space transportation, and Embry-Riddle is making strides to support the industry’s growth under a new collaboration with the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. A new agreement with the agency identifies five space transportation topics that can be supported by Embry-Riddle faculty and student researchers:


Florida Space Research Institute Plan Advances in Legislature

Florida Space Transportation Institute Bill Passes Council

The Florida House Economic Development and Community Affairs Policy Council unanimously passed this week a bill to help keep Florida at the forefront of cutting edge space technology. That bill is co-sponsored by State Representative Dorothy L. Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Senator Evelyn Lynn (R-District 7).


Florida Looks For Ways to Retain Workers Post Shuttle

Space Coast jobs after shuttle might look to University initiative
Orlando Sentinel

The Brevard Workforce Development Board announced on Friday that it plans to work with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and its Space Transportation Research & Development Institute (STRDI) to explore employment alternatives to NASA and the Air Force for Space Coast workers facing job losses when the shuttle retires next year….

Among the handful of space bills under consideration in Tallahassee, it looks like STRDI is most popular and best positioned to move forward, with a total of 26 legislators putting their names on the bill as sponsors.

Embry-Riddle Space Transport Institute Gains Support

Embry-Riddle Press Release

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University today announced it is gaining support for a multi-university Space Transportation Research & Development Institute (STRDI) as space industry leaders gather in Tallahassee for Florida Space Day today.


Investigation: Space Florida Ineffective, Pissing Off Commercial Partners

On the heels of a critical legislative audit questioning its effectiveness, embattled Space Florida has been hit again with an investigation by the Orlando Sentinel that has revealed some not-very-complimentary facts about the agency chartered to promote the state’s aerospace interests.

The results are not pretty. Documents indicate that the agency is a sleazy, ineffective organization that has done little to attract jobs and investment while alienating some of the very companies it is designed to help.