Robert Salonen

Robert E. Salonen is Director, Global Business Development for the Florida Institute of Technology connecting the talent and technology development capabilities of the university to community and corporate interests worldwide. Rob consults with companies, organizations and government to foster partnerships with the principal offices of Florida Tech, develop programs to support advanced industry and facilitate co-location in the central Florida region. Rob is serving on the Florida Tech leadership teams for University Corporate Alliance for Success (UCAS), the Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Innovative Design (CAMID) and the Florida Tech Research Park.  He is also a contributor to the successful 2015 EDA grant application supporting the infrastructure development of CAMID.  In addition, Rob has developed the “Global Opportunity Acquired Locally” (GOAL) pilot program on the Space Coast to enhance trade education and training for regional companies and organizations. During the course of his career prior to joining Florida Tech, Rob was a member of the executive team that founded the Southern Aero Medical Institute.  Through the Economic Development Commission, he also was a team member and a leader of multiple economic development projects to include Embraer, the Navy’s Strategic Weapons Systems Ashore, CEV – LMCO Orion, Boeing CST 100, Boeing X-37B, Space X, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman.  In addition, Rob traveled nationally and internationally to support manufacturing and business development programs, and helped build public private partnerships such as NASA-KSC Tech Transfer and the Certified Production Technician pilot program directly addressing the skills gap on the Space Coast. Rob is a distinguished Eagle Scout, a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BA in English and Business Management and currently enrolled in the MPA program at the Florida Institute of Technology.  He is also a graduate of Leadership Brevard and credentialed as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council in Washington D.C.  Rob serves as a member of the International Task Force for the Central Florida Partnership, on the executive committee for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and the chair of the government relations council for the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a board member for Circles of Care, the Eau Gallie Arts District and the National Space Club – Florida Committee.

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