FIU Hosts webinar series on life sciences industry in Florida


When most people think high-tech, they think of Silicon Valley in California or the Research Triangle in North Carolina.

What many people may not know is that FIU is doing its part to put South Florida on the technology and research industry map.

Since 2010, FIU has led Life Sciences South Florida, a consortium of academic, economic development and research institutions dedicated to promoting the South Florida region as a life sciences industry cluster.

The LSSF initiative has a number of far-reaching goals: increasing investment in life sciences companies; promoting collaborative research in the region; and improving K-20 education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

One of the project’s shorter-term strategies is promoting awareness of the latest trends in life sciences through a series of educational webinars featuring talks by top scientists, researchers and innovators from around the state.

“We bring in industry leaders who can speak to the major trends and issues happening in the world today,’’ said Irma Becerra-Fernandez, FIU’s vice president for engagement. “We’ve covered everything from digital health care technology and pharmaceutical research to how to secure venture capital for your start-up.’’

This year’s series began with a presentation from Sherry Ambrose, director of business development for Enterprise Florida, the leading economic development organization for the state.

Ambrose discussed “Selling Florida” – specific ways the state promotes itself as a prime location for the life sciences industry – and what incentives are available for businesses looking to locate here or expand.

“Florida is quickly becoming a hot spot for life sciences innovation,’’ Becerra-Fernandez said. “We wanted to hear directly from the experts about how our partners can be a part of the life sciences industry growth and take advantage of the business opportunities that are out there.’’

All webinars are posted to the Life Sciences South Florida website for the public to access.

“This is a tremendous resource and it’s free and available to anyone – students, faculty and the general public,’’ Becerra-Fernandez said.

For more information on Life Sciences South Florida, visit To view previous webinars, click here.

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