Industry organizes for Florida IT

IT Florida

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

group.

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,

Bishop said.

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.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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