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As president and founder of his own company, CK solutions, LLC, and with more than 30 years of experience at Lockheed Martin Corp., Chester Kennedy has been selected as chief executive officer for the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research.

Kennedy, a veteran aerospace and commercial electronics executive, will be tasked with building ICAMR’s early entry into the highly competitive smart-sensor market sector — an industry that is expected to be worth more than $154 billion by 2020 — and facilitating the partnerships required to help industry transition to the new era driven by the Internet of Things, according to a press release.

“I am honored to have been selected to be a part of bringing this version to reality here in Osceola County. We are building a world-class consortium of global partners who want to be leaders in the next generation of microelectronics,” Kennedy said in the release.

ICAMR is an industry-led consortium dedicated to creating the type of research facility companies need to develop smart-sensor technologies. The consortium is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2017 in Osceola County, and it will be housed in the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center.

As CEO, Kennedy will focus on making it easier for targeted microelectronics companies, such as producers of sensors, processors and systems, to produce their products using cost-effective single chip manufacturing.

“Chester’s extensive experience in leading high-tech organizations and his reputation for connecting technologies and industries and building partnerships makes him the ideal choice to lead ICAMR into the next stage,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research & commercialization at UCF and the interim ICAMR CEO, in the release.

UCF, Osceola County, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Enterprise Florida and others have dedicated more than $162 million to develop the center, and Harris Corp. signed a letter of intent in September to be the first formal industry partner.

“Against strong competition, Chester was the unanimous choice of the recruiting panel,” Osceola County Manager Don Fisher said in the release. “Since he is from Central Florida, Chester fully understands and embraces what UCF, Osceola County and ICAMR are trying to accomplish.”

Kennedy has also worked closely with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, which also praised his selection as CEO.

“With Chester’s leadership, ICAMR’s local and statewide impact will continue to grow as it supports research pioneering new technology,” Corridor President Randy Berridge said in the release.

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Rachel Stuart is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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