ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County and Mayor Teresa Jacobs held a major summit of the area's simulation industry at the Convention Center to highlight what the region is going and how to grow it. Military simulation has been the dominant player in the area's simulation industry but has been under attack from places like Alabama and Virginia. Mayor Jacobs understands how intense that competition is.
"The best approach to competition is a really strong offense. That's what this is about. Defensive approach has been to go the Legislature and get funding so we can provide free office space to our military commands."
With $28 million from the state to buy that office space in the University of Central Florida's Research Park, Jacobs says it is time to expand to other areas of simulation. She wants to start on I-4.
"What if instead of being warned there was an accident and you were going to be delayed, what if you were warned ahead of time?"
The CEO of Engineering Computer Simulations, Wayman Armstrong is already working on synergy between the military and another growing sector of simulation, medical. He believes in the growth of the cluster of bio tech and medical facilities at Lake Nona.
"We are happy to train half a million combat medics using our TC3 tactical combat simulation care application."
A half a dozen high school students from Timber Creek high in Orlando showed up as well to show off their work in robotics, each hoping to land a future job in the simulation industry. Armstrong told me they are on the right track.
"What Hollywood is to the movies, Silicon Valley is to processors, you look to Orlando as modeling and simulation."