Cade Museum goes to Capitol Hill with ‘State of Innovation’ exhibit

Press release from the Cade Museum

For many, Florida means sparkling water and white sand, Disney World, candy-colored tourist shops, and the Space Program. But the state has brainpower propelling from points beyond Cape Canaveral, from the worlds of academia, medicine, tech, and engineering.

Inventions that have changed way we live sprang to life in labs, warehouses, and garages across the Sunshine State.

Gatorade, for instance, first quenched the thirsts of college football’s Florida Gators in 1965. Known then as Cade’s Ade, the electrolyte-filled sports drink was formulated by Dr. James Robert Cade and his medical team at the University of Florida.

The institution that celebrates Dr. Cade’s legacy as a lifelong educator, doctor and inventor — The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention — ignites the curiosity of the next generation through cutting-edge exhibits and programs and has now crossed state lines to take its mission to the U.S. Capitol this year.

The Cade exhibit In a State of Innovation can be seen at the Florida House in Washington, D.C., from May 2021 through December 2023. The State Embassy on Capitol Hill connects, celebrates, and champions the Sunshine State to the world.

Featuring colorful and eye-catching infographics, the exhibit introduces visitors to historic milestones, patents, and life-changing inventions from Florida. The exhibit also underscores the Cade Museum’s ongoing commitment to groundbreaking partnerships.

“The Cade seeks collaboration to build stronger communities,” said Stephanie Bailes, President and Executive Director of the Cade Museum. “In a State of Innovation is a perfect collaboration because this exhibit, made using the best that the Cade has to offer, helps Florida House fulfill its mission in representing all of the amazing things that Florida does.”

Visitors perusing Florida House’s In a State of Innovation can learn about Sunshine State-based inventors pioneering new solutions to big problems — such as Jacqueline Quinn’s conversion of toxins into harmless compounds or that the inventor of Spanx shapewear, Sara Blakely, is from Clearwater. On the sunnier side, Coppertone sunscreen was invented by pharmacist Benjamin Green in Miami.

In a State of Innovation also teaches us that Florida universities generate even more patents than North Carolina’s famously innovative Research Triangle. Eight Florida universities are considered R1 or R2 institutions, meaning they’re rated “very high” or “high” as research universities. Five of them are in the nation’s Top 100.

According to the Carnegie Institute, Florida ranks No. 8 in the U.S. for sea trade, with 15 deep water seaports. A recent Florida Ports Council Economic Analysis revealed that maritime cargo and cruise activities at Florida ports support nearly 900,000 “well-paying direct and indirect jobs” and generate nearly $117.6 billion in total economic value — activities contribute more than $4.3 billion in state and local tax revenues.

All told, In a State of Innovation shows us that there’s another spectrum of Floridian greatness, lightyears away from the wacky exploits of Florida Man and the state’s notoriously attention-grabbing news stories. Through this exhibit for the Florida House, the Cade Museum is changing visitors’ preconceptions of Florida, introducing them to a state of advancements, inventions, and big ideas.

“Florida House is proud to feature the tremendous work of the Cade Museum in our nation’s capital,” said Diana Wisler Beckmann, Executive Director for Florida House on Capitol Hill. “Florida has been at the forefront of innovation — from Gatorade to Centrix to Spanx – and continues as we look beyond our world to space. We are excited to invite Floridians and Floridians-at-heart to visit our State Embassy in Washington, D.C., to experience the depth of creativity and innovation that characterizes our amazing state.”

Floridians in the Sunshine State don’t have to visit D.C. to get a peek into the exhibit. The Cade will be hosting a series of virtual lunch sessions featuring Florida-based inventors.

The lunch sessions will be kicked off by Phoebe Cade Miles speaking about Florida as a state of ground-breaking inventions and her experience growing up in Florida as the daughter of the lead inventor of Gatorade. Dates and times will be announced in early June by Florida House.

Florida House is currently open to tours and small groups. The museum follows national and District of Columbia guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety, currently limiting groups inside to 10 people. For more information, call 202-546-1555 or email info@floridahousedc.org. For more information on the Cade Museum, visit cademuseum.org.