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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region (News Briefs)

TAMPA BAY, Fla., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- News briefs concerning economic and business growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay Partnership:

USF Poly Unveils Plans for Two Incubator Facilities

University of South Florida Polytechnic announced plans to open two business incubators this fall. The facilities in Lakeland and in Winter Haven, which will be launched under the name Blue Sky, will be the first public business technology incubators in Polk County. USF Poly plans to initially seek information technology companies interested in software, networking and developing specific IT projects for its incubators. (Contact: Thomas Hagerty, 863-667-7077,

Moffitt Ranked Among America's Best Hospitals for Cancer

Tampa Bay-based Moffitt Cancer Center ranked No. 16 on U.S. News & World Report's list of America's Best Hospitals for cancer. This is the 11th year in a row that Moffitt has appeared on the news magazine's cancer rankings. (Contact: Patty Kim, 813-745-7322,

Tampa Bay Manufacturer Ships "METIman" Wireless Patient Simulators to Canada

METI, a Sarasota-based manufacturer of medical simulation products and educational software, announced it has begun shipping orders of its brand new, wireless patient simulator, METIman. "METIman cries, bleeds, talks and has a bowel movement, but he's no ordinary man," according to a release from the company. The technology operates wirelessly through a laptop computer and Web-based software and is available in two models, one built specifically for nursing education and one for pre-hospital training. At only $27,000 each, METIman is the lowest prices simulator available today. More than 5,000 METI simulators are in use at organizations around the world, including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, Cornell University and Stanford University. (Contact: Tess Mitchell, 941-504-3255,

Tampa Bay Veterans' Hospital Slated for $22 Million Renovation

James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, the nation's busiest polytrauma hospital, is slated to receive $22 million in federal funds, it was announced recently by Rep. Kathy Castor. Nearly $10 million of that will help pay to renovate existing ward space into private rooms suitable for polytrauma patients - patients who suffer severe injuries serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another $8.4 million is slated to renovate and expand the Sterile Processing and Distribution Service, which will make Haley more efficient. The remainder will be used to acquire land for, design and construct a new parking garage for the hospital which is the busiest of the nation's four polytrauma hospitals. (Contact: Dr. Edward Cutolo, 813-979-3645,

Roskamp Enrolls First Students for Doctorate Program

Sarasota's Roskamp Institute announced the first enrollment of students in Florida's first three-year neuroscience research doctorate program. Through the program, students will conduct full-time laboratory research with direct mentoring from internationally-recognized scientists. Roskamp is an Affiliated Research Centre (ARC) of the United Kingdom's Open University and was recently granted a license from the Commission for Independent Education within the Florida Department of Education to begin this program. The first class of students in the program will pursue dissertation research on Gulf War Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer's disease. (Contact: Kristen Bridges, 850-545-1917,

Tampa Bay Community Hauls in Business from 'Deadliest Catch' Captains

Two Manatee County companies have landed a pretty big fish: graphic design and label printing for a new product launched by Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, captains of the Time Bandit fishing boat on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch reality TV show. The celebrity captains watched the presses run at Sarasota Labels in Manatee County on July 6 for the first 35,000 labels for the brothers' Capt. John's Bloody Mary Mix. The label was designed by Trinity Design Group, also located in Manatee County. Capt. John's Bloody Mary Mix is being produced and packaged in Lakeland. (Contact: Robert Smithson, Trinity Design Group, 941.355.2636,

LoadMaestro Band Carts

High school and college marching bands across the United States are hustling on and off competition fields more efficiently using specialized carts created by Manatee County's Dulond Tool & Engineering Inc. The company, which moved into a new 13,000-square-foot facility in June, has sold its patented LoadMaestro carts to schools from Alabama to Texas and from the Carolinas to Michigan. What started out as a project to help a local high school move equipment on and off the field more efficiently during competitions is now becoming a substantial part of the company's business. (Contact: Jeff Benson, Dulond Tool & Engineering Inc., (941) 758-4489,

Florida ranks No. 4 for innovation

Florida ranks fourth in the nation in terms of high-tech employment, with 20,000 doctoral scientists and engineers and more than 276,000 high-tech workers, according to a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center. The study looks at the importance of intellectual property and innovation in America, as well as the roles that innovation and creativity play in each state. University research and development expenditures in Florida were more than $1.6 billion in 2007, leading to more than 800 patent applications, 171 granted patents and 135 patents for commercial use, according to the report. It notes that Florida innovators received 2,358 patents in 2007, ranking it 11th in the nation in patents granted. (Contact: Global Intellectual Property Center, 202-463-5601,

SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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