Florida Trend posted an editorial on June 18th entitled, “Florida’s talent pool is too lightweight.” It makes some excellent points about the state of Florida’s intellectual assets, and the news is not good.
Unpleasant as it may be, we have to recognize the facts about technology in Florida if we are to improve the situation and bring Florida back to its former position of excellence. We have too few PhD’s, too few professors, too little research funding support and too little investment funding.
The editorial made the good suggestion that the state put its limited funding for research in a single pool, to be applied to the best projects, regardless of where they come from. Rather than politicians doling out money to please their local interests, that would help insure the money goes for the best, most effective project, thus maximizing the benefits. If we don’t have enough money, at least let’s spend what we have as effectively as possible.
This is reflective of a broader issue, the need for effective collaboration within the technology community in Florida. Rather than silo our assets by county lines, university loyalty, technical focus or management interest, we need to encourage collaboration, at least regionally. That way, the assets we have, and we do have many, can be leveraged in synergistic ways to they bring the maximum benefits.
Rivalry is fine for the football field but it is counter-productive within a technology community that needs all the help it can get.
President, South Florida Technology Alliance