The 3rd Annual Florida Medical Device Symposium: A Confluence of Medical Manufacturers

The Biomolecular Identification and Targeted Therapeutics (BITT) initiative is one of five centers of excellence in the state of Florida. The Center’s primary goal is to develop state-of-the-art biotechnology and biomedical technologies that support targeted therapeutics. In addition, BITT partners with FLATE to support workforce development needed to transfer BITT technologies into their manufacturing stages, increase biotechnology awareness within the public school system, and promote the establishment of a firm biotechnology market base in Florida. Since this BITT/FLATE partnership’s inception in fall 2008, FLATE has launched a series of initiatives dedicated to gauge educational and training needs of the biotech industry in Florida, and to initiate curriculum development that matches BITT’s technology workforce needs.

As part of its ongoing efforts to build and promote each of these initiatives, BITT/FLATE attended the 3rd Annual Florida Medical Device Symposium. The Symposium was held April
7-8 at the Tampa Marriott Hotel, and was hosted by the Florida Medical Manufacturers Consortium—an organization dedicated to promote the interests of medical manufacturers throughout Florida. It featured prominent keynote speakers who discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from latest developments in FDA and state regulations; product design and development; and entrepreneurship to issues related to exporting and outsourcing.

The symposium was beneficial to BITT’s mission on several counts. First, it provided an opportunity to showcase some of its programs highlighting the current needs of the biotech industry among key target audiences. Second, it introduced BITT to industry representatives from various parts of the state. Third, it provided opportunities for direct industry feedback on partnership activities that included curriculum development, recruitment/career awareness materials, and verification that the educational effort underway are aligning community college and high school programs to targeted current industry standards. Kimberly Wilson, project manager for BITT at Hillsborough Community College said “The Symposium provided excellent opportunities to network/build strategic partnerships with industry professionals and local biotech companies committed to fostering research and development of biotech products” Moreover, “It also helped raise brand recognition of BITT’s overall goals and missions”.

For more information about BITT’s applied research, or the BITT/FLATE partnership contact Kimberly Wilson at 813.253.7845/wilson@fl-ate.org.