AIF, Space Florida and FloridaMakes team up to connect manufacturers with businesses

Connex Florida is free to use for Florida-based manufacturers.

The Associated Industries of Florida, Space Florida and FloridaMakes have teamed up to launch an online database for Florida manufacturers to connect with businesses in need of their products.

Connex Florida was developed in the wake of Hurricane Irma for disaster risk mitigation, but its functionality is just as suited to the chronic woes of coronavirus pandemic as it is the aftermath of a storm.

The statewide manufacturing supply chain, workforce and R&D connection platform is free to use for Florida-based manufacturers, educational institutions, and manufacturing research and development outfits.

“Recognizing a critical need for Florida businesses during the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic, this partnership between AIF, Space Florida and FloridaMakes will allow more than 20,000 Florida manufacturers to connect with public/private organizations through a platform for this essential exchange,” AIF President and CEO Tom Feeney said.

“As Florida’s official affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, we thought this was the best way we could do our part in helping manufacturers across the Sunshine State have the opportunity to compete for business by connecting them through this database to other Florida businesses in need of their much-needed materials and supplies.”

While many businesses have shuttered in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Florida manufacturers are deemed essential and are still churning out products.

As such, the triumvirate have begun compiling a database on industrial assets, capabilities and capacities that those businesses draw upon at this time of critical demand.

“Space Florida is delighted to offer its support to mature the industrial base of Florida for a robust recovery, and to better equip our supply chain to respond crisply to future crises,” Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said. “This capability will be a major competitive advantage for Florida.”

FloridaMakes CEO Kevin Carr added, “We are proud of our partnership with AIF and Space Florida on the Connex Florida database. It is imperative that we have a functioning industrial base as we respond to the COVID-19 emergency, including innovative solutions to help our supply chain here in Florida and across the nation.

“Together, all three organizations represent a cross-section of manufacturers of all sizes across the state for which this tool is tailored to meet their needs by collecting their capabilities and capacities to efficiently connect them to businesses in need of their supplies.”

Connex Florida also plugs in to the Manufacturers Marketplace developed by AIF and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), as well as the COVID-19 Response Tool.

All three databases are available at no cost through the duration of the pandemic to help streamline critical connections within the supply chain. Businesses can request access on the Connex Florida website. They can grab more information with an email to [email protected].

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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