FloridaMakes and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (The Corridor Council) – an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF) – are partnering to expand their combined investment in the technological capabilities of the 23-county region’s growing advanced manufacturing industry.
FloridaMakes, an industry-led organization for the advancement of Florida’s manufacturing sector, will invest an additional $500,000 into The Corridor Council’s current Matching Grants Research Program (MGRP) at UCF. These funds are intended to further the development of advanced manufacturing technologies for commercialization. Available now, these funds will be combined to leverage investment from manufacturers in technical engagements with faculty and graduate student researchers. Following a yearlong pilot of the initiative, this partnership aims to grow its support of MGRP projects across all three campuses of The Corridor Council’s partner universities, including USF and UF.
“Our commitment to the Matching Grants Research Program is a natural extension of ongoing efforts to help companies optimize their performance by accelerating technological innovation,” said Kevin Carr, FloridaMakes’ CEO. “By expanding the current access to top researchers at the University, we are helping more companies remain competitive and ensuring the strength of Florida’s high-wage manufacturing economy.”
Since inception in 1996, The Corridor Council’s cornerstone MGRP has generated $1 billion in downstream economic impacts by supporting the commercialization of new technology within high tech companies in the 23-county Florida High Tech Corridor region through a minimum 1:1 match. Combined investment by the region’s companies and matching funds from The Corridor Council total more than $200 million to date.
More than 425 company participants have benefited from the opportunity to maximize their budgets while leveraging the research capacity of university faculty and graduate student subject-matter experts. Many form lasting partnerships with the universities and hire students who worked on their projects.
“Our alignment with FloridaMakes is designed to help companies develop the technologies needed to remain competitive and build a workforce of graduate student researchers who are prepared to leverage these innovations in the field,” said Ed Schons, president of The Corridor Council. “We’re excited to see how increased funding for technology commercialization at our universities will continue the region’s economic development.”
Companies interested in partnering with UCF researchers on a project through The Corridor Council’s MGRP may contact Vernet Lasrado, assistant director in the UCF Office of Research and Commercialization, at 404.769.5264 or Vernet.Lasrado@ucf.edu.
About the Florida High Tech Corridor Council
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (The Corridor Council) is an economic development initiative of three of the country’s largest research institutions: the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida. Chaired by presidents of the three universities, its mission is to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and innovation – and the workforce to support it – in a 23-county region known as the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor). By facilitating collaborations between partners in academia, industry and economic development, The Corridor Council creates communities with unlimited potential. Learn more at www.floridahightech.com and search “Florida High Tech” to connect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
FloridaMakes is an industry-led public-private initiative operated by Florida’s Regional Manufacturers Associations in partnership with industry, research, educational and economic development organizations, both public and private, at the state and national levels. Its mission is to improve the productivity and technological performance of Florida manufacturers by accelerating technology adoption, talent development and business growth, and to strengthen the state’s high-wage manufacturing economy. FloridaMakes, through its participating partners, provides services that are customized to meet the needs and opportunities of individual companies. FloridaMakes is the official representative of the MEP National Network operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the state of Florida. For more information about FloridaMakes, please visit www.floridamakes.com and www.nist.gov/mep.