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Taking another leap in our climate tech journey
How the federal tech hub designation can help make Miami a global leader
Join us for a conversation with CEO Daniel Betts, whose company was named by MIT Technology Review as one of the 15 Climate Tech Companies to Watch in the world, by registering here.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration recently named South Florida a Climate Resilience Tech Hub, providing important validation for efforts underway across Greater Miami and opening the door to the possibility of significant funding that can help propel the region’s emerging climate tech community in a big way.
South Florida was one of 31 inaugural tech hubs named across the country by the EDA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Each location has a specific focus. Lithium batteries in Nevada, Aerospace Materials Manufacturing in Washington state, Precision Medicine in Philadelphia, and Ocean Technology in Rhode Island, among others.
The Tech Hubs Program, enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act last year, aims to create new centers of innovation across the country and make the country more globally competitive in technologies that will be defining for years to come.
It comes at an important time for South Florida as the region’s climate tech companies are making important strides.
Top of the list is the startup Blue Frontier in Boca Raton which is revolutionizing air conditioning. MIT Technology Review recently named Blue Frontier as one of the 15 Climate Tech Companies to Watch in the world. You can meet Blue Frontier’s Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Betts next Wednesday, Nov. 15th, in our ongoing series, Conversations on our Future.
You can register for the event, which will start at 10 a.m. at Miami-Dade Beacon Council in Brickell, here.
This recent designation from the federal government provides the opportunity to take a giant step forward. But what does it mean and what’s next?
We gathered this past Friday for our ninth Opportunity Miami x Miami-Dade County Climate Tech Meetup to discuss this very question.
It’s important to underline the validation this represents and the time horizon expected. The Tech Hubs designation, according to the EDA, is “a strong endorsement of a region’s plan to supercharge a critical technology ecosystem and become a global leader over the next decade.”
As a next step, the designated tech hubs - including South Florida - are now charged with proposing three to eight projects. The deadline to submit them is Feb. 29, 2024. The funding that can be won is significant. Five to ten designated tech hubs will be selected with the possibility of receiving up to $75 million for the projects.
In the South Florida application seeking the Tech Hub Designation, four areas within climate tech were identified: coastal resilience and marine infrastructure, clean cement, energy-efficient buildings, and clean energy generation, transmission, and storage. The likelihood is that the three to eight projects proposed will fall into one of these categories. Though it doesn't have to be.
Meanwhile, in determining which projects to put forward, three boxes are to be checked. One, commercialization in the next 60 months. Two, address workforce growth and development. Three, provide global expertise and leadership.
Your input is welcome. You can see the slides here from Friday’s Climate Tech Meetup, which were presented by Francesca de Quesada Covey and Galen Treuer from the Miami-Dade County Office of Innovation and Economic Development, who are spearheading the effort.
The slides include contact info for the Miami-Dade County Office of Innovation and Economic Development, which is the place to follow up and share ideas on the projects to be proposed.
Two years ago this month we launched Opportunity Miami as a platform at The Beacon Council focused on Greater Miami’s economic future. From the start, we identified building a climate tech hub in Miami and making the region a leader in the transition to a net zero economy as critical to our future. You can read our first two newsletters, “Miami’s economic future depends on doing these three things well,” and “A climate tech future.”
The community has made great strides. From Seaworthy Collective and Endeavor Miami, with its EndeavorLAB program, propelling early-stage climate tech ventures. To convenings like Aspen Ideas Climate and the Climate Tech Meetups, telling the story about the entrepreneurs already here, and making the case for what’s possible. Last Spring 2150 VC’s Christian Hernandez, who is based in London and among the leading climate tech investors globally, participated in an Opportunity Miami x World Climate Tech Summit event and declared that “the opportunity for Miami to become *the* climate tech hub is clear.”
Now is the time to join in and help take another important step in building a globally-leading climate tech hub in South Florida.
Opportunity Miami is a platform for people passionate about Miami’s future. As always, we would love to hear from you. If you have a company or entrepreneur to suggest or an idea to share that relates to building Miami’s future, email us at email@example.com. We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our Interview and On Site video series featuring leaders shaping Miami's future. Please also follow us on our social media channels. If you were forwarded this newsletter, you can subscribe by clicking here. And if you are new to Opportunity Miami, you can learn about our mission and work here.
Hope to see you next week for our conversation with Daniel Betts, who is leading the effort to build South Florida's climate tech future.