By Brittany Sylvestri
Research Park at Florida Atlantic University
The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University recently named the recipients of its fourth annual Research Park Annual Awards. The awards celebration will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Addison, 2 East Camino Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $125 per person.
The Research Park awards recognize distinguished contributions to the Research Park’s mission to create and sustain the ideal environment for innovation and invention, maximizing the academic and entrepreneurial talent and regional resources in South Florida to accelerate economic development and prosperity.
“The Research Park at FAU Awards highlight the work of our stakeholders to make the South Florida region more innovative and competitive in the knowledge economy and this year’s recipients personify the mission of the Research Park at FAU, each one is innovating and bringing new forces to bear which enrich our region,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.
The award recipients for 2019 are:
Distinguished Entrepreneur: Rodrigo Griesi is one of the driving forces behind DECORA, a Brazilian startup that was recently acquired by Creative Drive, a content creation engine. Griesi’s involvement at the Research Park at FAU and his participation in its economic gardening initiatives helped the company get noticed and acquired by Creative Drive in 2018. He has 20 years of experience building and running new businesses in the technology industry. Griesi started at DECORA in its early stages, as an angel investor, then became the country manager, bringing DECORA’s services to market.
Distinguished Researcher: Borko Furht, Ph.D. has several patents pending and interesting corporate interactions that will leverage patents. Furht is a faculty member in FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and is the site leader for the NSF-funded Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement, which has been joined by several Research Park at FAU companies. His current research is focused on software designed for the next stage of video compression technology.
Distinguished Organization: Junior Achievement of South Florida is training the next generation of business leaders and employees by educating students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness. Its mission is to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement delivers more than 20 unique programs to 50,000 students in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Distinguished Leader: Honorable Michael Udine is the District 3 commissioner in Broward County, a position he was elected to in 2016. He advocates for innovation and knowledge-based economic development, supporting regional organizations’ initiatives. When introduced to one of the Research Park at FAU’s entrepreneurs he immediately started business development for him. In addition, Udine is a director at Legacy Bank of Florida, a small community bank assisting small businesses in Broward and Palm Beach counties.