With ITFlorida.com, industry will have a more focused influence on the IT developments of state and local governments
The private sector is expected to have a much more focused influence on
the information technology developments of Florida's state and local governments
through the recently formed ITFlorida.com Inc., a new business-led advocacy
The new organization also plans to launch the Florida Research Consortium
as a strategic partnership between Florida's universities and the technology
sector. It will work to strengthen the state's high-tech resources by improving
research programs and increasing technology transfers between universities
and IT entrepreneurs.
The state government previously had received private-sector input through
the Information Technology Task Force, which was created by Gov. Jeb Bush
and the Florida legislature, but this is the first time the private sector
has organized to represent its views on high-tech issues to government,
said David Bishop, a spokesman in the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade
and Economic Development.
"The governor had been very interested in the high-tech industry overall
and in seeing how it could be used to diversify the economy," he said. "Believe
it or not, government doesn't have all of the answers, so it needs a forum
such as ITFlorida.com through which it can speak to industry."
Rules governing the new organization and what kind of direct or indirect
influence it will have on government policy-making have not yet been determined,
In general, ITFlorida.com representatives said the group will promote
the common interests of its members by advocating and formulating policy
recommendations to government, serving as a clearinghouse for technology-related
information and sponsoring statewide conferences and symposia.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
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