Forum Focuses on Growing ‘Tech Beach’

Hundreds of civic leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and educators gather at UM to discuss Miami’s burgeoning tech and innovation ecosystem.

By Jessica M. Castillo
UM News

President Julio Frenk addresses the fourth annual One Community One Goal meeting, held on the UM campus.

President Julio Frenk addresses the fourth annual One Community One Goal meeting, held on the UM campus.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 21, 2016)—University of Miami President Julio Frenk kicked off the fourth annual One Community One Goal meeting, held on campus last Thursday, by highlighting the Hemispheric Innovation and Technology initiative, which aims to unite top thinkers, designers, and resources at the University with complementary counterparts throughout the hemisphere.

“Universities have a duty to translate science into solutions,” Frenk told the 600 civic leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, and fellow university presidents gathered at the Shalala Student Center to discuss the progress of The Beacon Council’s five-year blueprint for local economic development. “Miami can be the convener and hub of innovation for all of the Americas.”

As Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency, The Beacon Council launched the One Community One Goal initiative in 2012 to foster economic diversification and spur the creation of jobs in seven target industries. This year’s meeting focused on Greater Miami’s burgeoning tech and innovation ecosystem, which Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said the area is ideally suited to grow.

While investors and entrepreneurs initially may visit for the sunny beaches and laid-back atmosphere, Gimenez said, they will stay for Miami’s rich and varied cultural and economic ties across the Americas.

“We’ll be Tech Beach, not Silicon Valley,” Gimenez said, noting that he has championed decreasing regulatory barriers for local startups because “where Miami has historically struggled is in scaling up ventures.”

In addition to hosting the meeting on campus, UM was a program sponsor and had several booths displaying some of its innovative research and technologies. Featured were the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Shark Tagging Research Program, the collaborative “organs on a chip” technology from the Miller School of Medicine and the College of Engineering, and the School of Architecture’s Responsive Architecture and Design, or RAD-UM, Lab’s algae bio-reactor.

As envisioned, the Hemispheric Innovation and Technology (HIT) initiative, which Frenk unveiled at the eMerge Americas technology conference in April, is designed to build and sustain an “innovation ecosystem” where basic research progresses into the testing, development, and launch of innovations that generate funding to “restart the engine of basic research.”

Positioning the University as a hemispheric innovation hub aligns with all four aspirations Frenk unveiled during his January 2016 inaugural address: to be the hemispheric, excellent, relevant, and exemplary university. With new investments in science and engineering, including a $100 million gift from longtime UM benefactors Phillip and Patricia Frost, the University aims to transform innovations into solutions for relevant world problems.

“We should be inward-looking through knowledge translation but also outward-looking by serving as a hemispheric hub,” Frenk said.


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Arun Sharma Named Interim Vice Dean for Graduate Business Programs

Special to UM News


Arun Sharma

 The School of Business Administration has named Arun Sharma, a professor of marketing, as interim vice dean for graduate business programs and executive education. Sharma, whose appointment is effective August 1, fills the position vacated when Anuj Mehrotra stepped down from that post to serve as interim dean of the business school July 1.

As interim vice dean, Sharma will oversee the School’s MBA and other master’s degree programs, custom and open enrollment executive education programs, and graduate student career services.

“Arun’s talent and extensive experience, deep knowledge of business education and dedication to the success of the School of Business Administration, make him the ideal person to serve in this key leadership position,” said Mehrotra, who is serving as the School’s interim dean while the University conducts a global search for a permanent dean.

“I am delighted to lead our graduate business and executive education programs, which have seen significant growth and recognition in recent years,” said Sharma. “I look forward to working with the School’s leadership team, our professional staff and our friends in the community to build upon these successes.”

Sharma, who joined the School of Business in 1987, has previously served as vice dean of strategic initiatives and chair of the Department of Marketing. His research, which focuses on understanding markets, marketing strategy and productivity, and firm value creation and management, has been widely published in leading academic journals. Sharma has also consulted for such companies as Accenture, American Express, Audi, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Citrix, Ericson, Exxon, Goodyear, HP, IBM, MasterCard, MoneyGram, Motorola, Siemens, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Italia Mobil, Visa International, and Western Union.

Sharma’s awards include membership in the University of Miami Iron Arrow Honor Society.



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ACC Network to Enhance Miami Athletics

ACC NetworkIn a move that UM Director of Athletics Blake James says will “enhance the stature and visibility” of Miami athletics, ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the much-anticipated ACC Network, a multi-platform network that will give fans access to hundreds of exclusive live conference events via a digital channel available next month and more than 1,300 events in 2019 when the linear network launches.

With UM women’s head basketball coach Katie Meier and head football coach Mark Richt joining representatives from Notre Dame and the 13 other ACC programs on stage, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper announced the launch of the new network at the conference’s annual ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Thursday.

The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.

Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via the digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year. More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms three years from now when the linear network launches.

Linear Network Programming
The linear network will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27-sponsored sports, plus a complement of news and informational shows and original programming. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, plus women’s basketball and conference sports matchups, as well as all ACC championship events.

“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.

“On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives, and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches, and institutions.”

Additional details about the network will be announced in the coming months.

Here’s how UM coaches are reacting to the news:

“This is a tremendous day for our league and our institution. I would like to congratulate Commissioner John Swofford and his staff for finalizing this historic deal. The exposure of the ACC Network will significantly enhance our league’s visibility nationwide.”
— Mark Richt, Hurricanes Head Football Coach

“We are very excited about the league’s continued partnership with ESPN and the exposure the league will receive through the new ACC Network. The launch of the ACC Network is very beneficial for the University of Miami and the continued growth of our basketball program. Our fans will also love the extensive national television coverage the ACC Network will provide for the Hurricanes. The ACC is the best basketball conference in the country and we keep getting better and better.”
— Jim Larrañaga, Men’s Head Basketball Head Coach 

“The ACC is the most competitive conference in college baseball, and the opportunity to showcase that product nationwide on the ACC Network will provide a tremendous lift to all of our programs.”
— Jim Morris, Miami Hurricanes Head Baseball Coach

“This is an exciting day for the entire ACC and especially so for women’s basketball. We have consistently been the nation’s best conference and it is time for us to take advantage of this amazing platform. Our league is so tough and it spans so many interesting cities, regions, and university communities. I’m thrilled that people all over America will be able to watch my team and all the teams from The U. This will help us both with recruiting and expanding our footprint.”
— Katie Meier, Women’s Head Basketball Coach

“The ACC Network will be a great addition to an already elite conference. It is exciting to know that our program, as well as the rest of the programs at Miami, will have the opportunity to receive the coverage that the ACC Network will provide.”
— Jose “Keno” Gandara, Miami Hurricanes Volleyball Head Coach

“This is a great opportunity to showcase our sport in the most competitive conference in the country. Every game is played at a high level and now fans across the nation will have the chance to see that on a regular basis.”
— Mary-Frances Monroe, Miami Hurricanes Soccer Head Coach

“Today’s announcement of the ACC Network is groundbreaking for the University of Miami, the ACC, and for our fans, and is indicative of the overall strength of our conference. The network will enhance the stature and visibility of Miami and the ACC, and with the expanded digital platform on ESPN, I am excited about the addition of new Hurricane fans from around the country.”
— Blake James, Miami Athletics Director


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Join the Conversation about the Roadmap to Our New Century: Hemispheric Innovation Hub

Innovation 2The Hemispheric Innovation Hub initiative, which outlines a vision for the University of Miami to be a catalyst for innovation, new ventures, and product development, proposes providing increased seed funding for startups, developing more facilities to support innovation, and building a team to leverage external resources and pave the way for developing innovative ideas. Share your thoughts about this or any of the other seven proposals and weigh in on the questions below via the Roadmap Initiative website, through the hashtag #UMRoadmap, or email.

  • How can UM best position itself as a hub for innovation throughout the hemisphere?
  • What existing services on campus should be expanded and how?

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Hurricane Researchers Honored for Best Paper

Dave Nolan

David Nolan

Special to UM News

MIAMI—The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science research team led by Professor David Nolan has been awarded the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) prestigious Banner Miller Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the science of hurricane and tropical weather forecasting published in an international journal during the previous four years.

Nolan, whose research focuses on the dynamics of hurricanes and the improvement of hurricane forecasts, and his team received the biannual award during the AMS Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology meeting, held recently in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for an article, “Development and validation of a hurricane nature run using the Joint OSSE nature run and the WRF model,” which appeared in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems in 2013.

The article describes the development of an extremely realistic computer simulation of an Atlantic hurricane and its validation by comparisons to observations in real hurricanes. This “nature run” computer simulation is currently used by more than a dozen research groups in various Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE). OSSEs are used to determine the effectiveness of new instruments, such as new satellites or unmanned aircraft, in improving hurricane forecasts before they are actually deployed, which potentially saves millions of dollars.

“Part of the success of this project is that we made the nature run freely available for anyone to download,” said Nolan, professor and chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. “In addition to OSSEs, it has been used by several groups for basic research on hurricanes.”

Nolan’s coauthors include Rosenstiel School graduate students Kieran Bhatia and Lisa Bucci and Robert Atlas, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Atmospheric and Oceanic Marine Laboratory in Miami. The NOAA Office of Weather and Air Quality and its Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program supported their work. Bhatia is now a postdoctoral fellow at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.

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