SRTI Director Attends White House Briefing SeriesJuly 22, 2011
UCF’s Dale Ketcham, director of the Spaceport Research & Technology Institute (SRTI), took part in a unique opportunity designed to give Florida community leaders insight into President Obama’s policy initiatives as well as access to key administration staff.
Ketcham joined about 100 other influential leaders from throughout the state at the White House on July 15 to talk about the needs of Florida’s Space Coast, which is adjusting to a new economic reality with the retirement of the Shuttle program.
“The economic impact to East Central Florida has the attention of the administration and they are wisely seeking local input as to the best solutions and remedies.” Ketcham said.
Participants in the briefing heard from senior administration officials on issues ranging from the economy to the debt negotiations. Ketcham said he was particularly encouraged by the fact that the only individual federal agency that formally presented to the group was NASA. He said that was significant because the day before NASA awarded management of the national laboratory portion of the International Space Station to a partnership led by Space Florida. The management organization, called Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), not only offers opportunities for UCF researchers but also holds promise to raise the profile of serious research throughout the state, and for more high-tech jobs in the region, he said.
President Obama stopped in to spend some time and thank the group for their efforts. He had earlier that morning spoken to the crew on the Space Station.