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Two UCF Business Incubation Program Companies Receive $529,000 From Space Florida and Israel Partnership

Geeks and Nerds and Semplatics awarded research and development funding in partnership with Israeli companies

Orlando, Fla., July 13, 2018 – In a unique method of providing innovation for the future, two UCF Business Incubation Program client companies have been awarded funding for aerospace technology research and development through a partnership program connecting Florida businesses with Israeli companies.

Geeks and Nerds and Semplastics were part of two of four partnerships selected for this year’s funding out of 14 partnerships that applied.

“This provides us a fantastic opportunity to create a new material system for space and aerospace applications,” says Bill Easter, CEO, Semplastics. “We look forward to doing our part to further the commercial space industry in Central Florida.”

The Semplastics partnership is with Israeli-based Polymertal. The two companies applied to develop a new class of material with high commercial value. They intend to merge their technologies and create unique, hybrid components with superior strength and high-temperature operating capabilities simultaneously reducing weight by 70 percent.

The award is valued at $240,000.

Geeks and Nerds’ partnership was with Israeli-based Astronautics, which has a significant presence in the commercial aviation industry. The plan is for Geeks and Nerds to develop a FlightShield product, which will be integrated into the electronic flight bag aboard air and spacecraft to prevent cyber-attacks while also providing on-board anomaly detection.

The Geeks and Nerds award is valued at $288,579.

“The Space Florida grant provides Geeks and Nerds Corporation a tremendous opportunity to utilize and enhance our cybersecurity technologies and bring them to the commercial aviation market,” said Jeff Frost, vice president, Geeks and Nerds. “The UCF incubator soft-landing program was an instrumental partner providing the collaborative support necessary to expand our Florida operations and realize this opportunity.”

In October 2013, Space Florida and Israel Innovation Fund created a $2 million recurring joint fund to support research, development and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida.

In a press release from Space Florida, Governor Rick Scott said: “Through the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership, we have worked together to support businesses that are helping strengthen Florida and Israel as global leaders for innovation. I’d like to congratulate today’s recipients and I look forward to seeing the innovation that is produced thanks to this partnership. We will continue to work with our partners in Israel to support projects that create new opportunities for our families.”

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