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A few months ago, there was a lot of fanfare about Digital Domain moving to Port St Lucie on the East Coast - between Orlando and South Florida. The urban legend is one of the owners grew up in Florida... don't fact-check me on that. Now the former mayor of West Palm Beach has worked a deal with Digital Domain and FSU's much-sought-after film school to open a campus down there.
An unnamed source compared it to the MIT Media Lab. I think this is an apt comparison, as many of the Media Lab's projects are funded by private industry or government research budgets. This is the old in-house R&D model being carried out at Universities. Hopefully this will also cause several startups to spin up out of this program, and add to our "high-tech corridor" or "mega-region" or something very Richard Florida-y.
We have great amenities, and South Florida (specifically Ft Lauderdale and Miami) are very gay friendly, and very diverse racially, which factor very high on Richard Florida's Creative Cities Index. Now if only we could get some public transportation to link South Florida to other parts of the state, that could spur some hard core innovation.
Sarasota has also been making a lot of noise recently - their award-winning animation program, along with some generous funding, is spinning up a film post-production studio in Sarasota on the Ringling campus.
There would be another great candidate for cities that should be linked by transit. I wonder if the federal government has got a couple billion dollars they'd like to drop in our lap to make that happen?
The workforce people must be popping the champagne right now. I don't know how much they had to do with these two deals, but I'm sure it makes them look good. Creating jobs, educating people, professional certifications, high-wage positions, things that demand a lot of training. From what I can tell, these are the Pavlovian Bells that make Workforce and Economic Development salivate.
They make me salivate too, but because it means the place where I live gets that much more awesome.