EDC Secures $270,000 in State Defense Grants

Bulk of funding to go toward next-generation commercial flight safety infrastructure at the Cape

Brevard County, Fla. (January 28, 2014) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $270,000 in 2013-14 Florida defense grants. The awards are part of Governor Rick Scott’s announcement of $2.45 million in defense grants to communities and organizations that support Florida military installations.

The EDC received a $200,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant, one of just eight such awards issued statewide. The EDC also received a $70,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant, one of 14 reinvestment grants given in 2013-14.

“These investments are key to sustaining Florida’s military installations and the more than 758,000 jobs the military and defense industry supports in our state,” Governor Scott said. “I am grateful to Florida’s servicemen and women, veterans and military families for their sacrifices and dedication to protecting families across Florida and the nation. I am proud to announce these $2.45 million of grants that are necessary to protect Florida’s military sector and keep our state the most military-friendly state in the nation.”

The EDC’s Defense Infrastructure Grant, secured with support from Space Florida and clearance from the U.S. Air Force, will enable the design and integration of next-generation commercial flight safety infrastructure at the Cape required to support unmanned aerial systems as well as the launch and re-entry of a full spectrum of spacecraft.

“As we continue transitioning Brevard County’s heritage infrastructure to a commercially viable spaceport, the implementation of these latest-generation technologies will allow us to better compete with spaceports around the globe,” said EDC President and CEO Lynda Weatherman.

The $70,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant is designed to protect, enhance and retain Brevard County’s military installations and their contributions to the local economy.

“This grant will allow the EDC to more effectively engage with our local military operations in addressing the challenging impacts of sequestration and potential base program realignments,” Weatherman said.

Florida’s military and defense industry is responsible for $73.4 billion, or 9.4 percent, of Florida’s gross state product, which translates to jobs for more than 758,000 Floridians. Overseen by Enterprise Florida, the grants are awarded annually on a project priority basis.

“The Florida Defense Grants Programs are incredibly important for our military and defense programs and the communities they support,” said President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope. “The state’s economy benefits greatly from our military installations, and supporting them through these grants helps those installations to operate at their highest levels. Additionally, the grants strengthen Florida’s workforce through the skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market each year. Enterprise Florida is proud to support Florida’s extensive military and defense sector.”

The state awarded $1.6 million in Defense Infrastructure Grants and $850,000 in Defense Reinvestment Grants. In addition to the EDC awards, defense partners in Bay, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Highlands, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade Okaloosa, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa and Walton counties received grants.

About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.