Leading the nation in tourism and Photonics Technology

Orlando has a uniquely competitive position for optics and photonics companies due to its longstanding history in aerospace technology and manufacturing. The region’s assets like the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics & Photonics (CREOL) and Central Florida Research Park give these companies a competitive advantage compared to other locations around the world.

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Casey Evans

Senior Director, Economic Development

  • 10,000 Annual Graduates in Related Fields

    IPEDS via Lightcast, 2021

  • icon money

    19% Employment Growth, 2018-2023

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via Lightcast

  • 60,000+ Relevant Workers including Electrical Engineers, Semiconductor Processors and Other Related Functions

    7-County Region, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via Lightcast, Q4 2022

The home of happiness

From innovation and initial concepts to manufacturing the final product, Orlando’s ecosystem of talent and attractive cost of doing business supports a thriving cluster of companies developing semiconductors, microelectronics and optics and photonics technology.

FARO Technologies

FARO Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and supports software driven three-dimensional (3D) measurement and imaging solutions.

Company: FARO Technologies


A high-technology, research and development corporation based in Kissimmee, Florida that specializes in the furtherance of 3D optical sensing and…

Company: Photon-X

Industry: Optics and Photonics

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L3Harris Technologies

L3Harris Technologies (L3Harris) is an American technology company, defense contractor and information technology services provider.

Company: L3Harris Technologies

Industry: Aviation, Aerospace and Defense

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Lightpath Technologies

Company: Lightpath Technologies

Industry: Optics and Photonics

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Luminar Technologies

Luminar is a sensor and software company with the vision to power every AV by delivering the only LiDAR capable…

Company: Luminar Technologies

Industry: Electronics

Company Size (Employees): 100-500

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a global aerospace and defense technology company.

Company: Northrop Grumman

Industry: Aviation, Aerospace and Defense

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Ocean Insight

Ocean Insight’s facility in Central Florida Research Park encompasses the company’s corporate headquarters as well as manufacturing, engineering, and administrative…

Company: Ocean Insight

Industry: Optics and Photonics

Company Size (Employees): 100-500

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OptiGrate is a manufacturing facility.

Company: OptiGrate

Industry: Optics and Photonics

Company Size (Employees): 0-50

"Orlando is one of only four major optics & photonics clusters in the U.S. It’s like a Silicon Valley here in Orlando focused on optics and photonics technology."

– Steve Buckley, Ph.D., General Manager at Ocean Insight

Serving Up Savings like Sunshine

An Orlando location just makes cents when you add up the affordable industrial market, lack of state income tax, and overall business-friendly climate. Both office and industrial space in Orlando is significantly cheaper than other major metropolitan areas.

Thanks to millions of visitors each year, Orlando’s cultural amenities and accessibility are on par with some of the biggest cities around the world – plus, an affordable cost of living translates into costs savings for your business when it comes to hiring top talent.

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For every one graduate from the Orlando region there are 11 regional jobs.

Compare to the San Francisco region – there is one graduate for every 30 jobs.


Specialized Workforce

Lockheed Martin was taking advantage of Orlando’s specialized tech talent pool well before Disney arrived, and cluster of aerospace that has developed in proximity to the Space Coast has attributed to the region’s top STEM and manufacturing job growth (Forbes). Large companies including Northrop Grumman, Mitsubishi Power and Siemens have brought advanced manufacturing jobs to the Orlando area, steadily growing its robust engineering and tech talent pool. Orlando possesses a high concentration of talented employees with the education and experience necessary to meet the skill needs of the region’s companies.

It’s a Smart world After All

From industry partnerships at the K-12 level to nationally recognized university programs, companies find the talent they need in Orlando without facing the fierce competition their peers encounter in other cities. 


University of Central Florida

A world leader in education, research and industrial partnership.

The College of Optics & Photonics (CREOL)


Center for Lasers and Fiber Optics Education

Trains students across the United States to become laser and fiber optic technicians and partners with 34 colleges and more than 250 companies.

Program led by Indian River State College


Orlando is a cost-effective location, whether you plan to build, buy or lease. 

Central Florida Research Park

The Central Florida Research Park is a campus-like environment for business, located adjacent to the University of Central Florida. Businesses that desire a “university relationship” can purchase land in the Research Park on which to construct a facility or can lease space for office, office/lab or light manufacturing uses.



Way beyond a traditional research park, NeoCity is a master-planned mixed-use research and technology district and community. Connected to a regional network of research and educational facilities, recreational amenities and corporate partners through an excellent transportation network, NeoCity is anchored by a versatile and state-of-the-art 200mm microelectronics fabrication facility.

Industry Assets

Orlando’s established industry cluster has grown due to supportive R&D and industry partners and assets.

Connect with a Subject Matter Expert

Get in touch with Casey Evans, Senior Director of Economic Development, to learn more about how Orlando can support your talent and workforce needs.

Call her today: 407.902.2411

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