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Gov. Scott visits Gainesville, speaks about importance of technology

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Move over, Northern California. Gainesville is ready to be the new Silicon Valley.

That’s what Gov. Rick Scott told about 50 people today at the future home of Prioria Robotics in downtown Gainesville.

Scott visited the company, founded in 2003 by University of Florida engineering and business graduates, and spoke about how state universities are helping Florida become a mecca for technology.

“If you look at our commitment to science, technology, engineering and math degrees,” Scott said. “If you look at the talent of workforce we already have….We’re becoming the global player for trade. So you look at all those things, (and) it’s logical for us to be the next Silicon Valley.”

Scott credited the state university system, and UF specifically, for preparing students for new jobs focusing in science, technology, engineering and math.

In Gainesville, Prioria Robotics is part of a collaborative effort to bring technology to the city, Mayor Craig Lowe said.

Innovation Gainesville is a cooperative initiative by the chamber of commerce, the CEO, the city of Gainesville, University of Florida, Santa Fe College and other entities in the area to promote Gainesville as an area for technology and green energy development,” he said.

Prioria CEO Bryan da Frota explained that Prioria Robotics works on unmanned aircrafts to give the aircrafts more autonomy. Prioria has both national and international clients, but it hopes to build a unmanned-aerial-vehicle industry in Gainesville.

“Our robotic technology goes into the planes to make them smarter, to allow them to fly with more autonomy,” da Frota said. “So as airspace opens up, and there are more commercial applications for UAVs, we’re going to be building a UAV industry centered here in Gainesville.”

Hana Engroff wrote this story online.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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