June 13, 2020
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
"Florida is an ideal location for modeling and simulation. Due to our strong, continued growth in Orlando, we are adding staff to our vibrant team. We’re grateful to our partners at the state and local level for supporting us and helping to grow this vital industry.” - Kay Stanney, President and Founder, Design Interactive, Inc.
Being the most military friendly state in the U.S. is a reputation that Florida works hard to maintain. For decades, global leaders in defense, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Pratt & Whitney, and Northrop Grumman, have chosen Florida for its strong research partnerships and skilled workforce, including a substantial talent pool of highly-trained veterans.
These resources have allowed Florida to create one of the nation’s largest defense and homeland security industries, with 20 active military installations, three unified combatant commands, and approximately 17,900 private sector defense companies in the state.
Florida is also host to the world’s largest Modeling, Simulation & Training (MS&T) cluster, located in Orlando. Centered around seven key military training and research institutions, the cluster encompasses more than 100 companies that provide simulation, training, modeling as well as virtual, augmented and mixed reality research for both defense and commercial purposes.
Design Interactive (DI) is just one of many MS&T companies that have found success in Florida. When DI owner, Kay Stanney, made the decision 10 years ago to open a location for human factors engineering labs and a testing facility, she discovered that Orlando was the perfect location.
With a workforce comprised of several Ph.D.’s from diverse academic backgrounds, including a software team, psychologists, human factor engineers, computer engineers and industrial engineers, DI uses behavioral and physiological diagnostics to create interactive design tools and training solutions for defense and homeland security applications.
In addition to the company’s beneficial affiliation with the MS&T cluster, DI has developed an invaluable partnership with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation & Training that has led to research collaboration and employment opportunities.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the state’s principal economic development organization, worked with DI to expand its facility in the heart of Central Florida Research Park. As a result of DI’s growth, the company will increase its workforce by 50 percent and more than double its capital investment in the region.