We all know our cell phones have more computing capability than mainframe computers had when the space shuttle was first launched in April 1981. But did you know that NASA approached Black & Decker to develop a lightweight device for the Apollo astronauts to collect samples on the moon? The company then used that technology to create the DustBuster in 1979.
The fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in today provides entrepreneurs with endless opportunities. The advancements being made in technology are amazing, and they are leading to major changes in industry and will continue to do so.
All kinds of technology, from scratch-resistant lenses to CAT scans, has come from research brought about by NASA and space exploration. Today, sensor technology is making a big impact on modern product creation in everything from the automotive industry, with advancements in autonomous vehicles, to smart cities, where technology will help aid optimization of functions such as disaster recovery.
We’re seeing companies like UniKey Technologies and Aviana Molecular Technologies, which are both featured in this issue of the magazine, that have taken advantage of these new advancements and are building upon them and using them in development of new products.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the University of Central Florida as one of the 10 most innovative in its annual list of best colleges in the nation. In 2014, a group of UCF engineering students set out to build a bionic arm for a 6-year-old boy, and today Limbitless Solutions is using that technology to provide prosthetics to children across the nation. This is just one example of how the university’s innovative programs are connected to industry.
“UCF has embraced the power of place-based innovation clusters that offer impactful new learning experiences for our students, and expanded research opportunities for our faculty,” says Thad Seymour, UCF’s vice president of partnerships and chief innovation officer, who was quoted in a press release about the ranking. “Our growing presence at Lake Nona Medical City and in the heart of downtown Orlando will demonstrate how universities and their community partners can drive economic and social transformation in the 21st century.”
The inevitable fact is we will continue to see these major advancements impact our lives. It’s exciting to see how so many entrepreneurs recognize the possibilities and embrace innovation. They are courageous individuals, stepping out in faith and belief in the impact of their work. Their companies are truly making a difference in the lives of others.