South Florida Tech Hub gets $19 million for climate resilience, job creation

by | Jul 2, 2024

The Biden-Harris Administration awarded approximately $19 million to the South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub as part of a $504 million initiative to support regional technology hubs across the U.S., facilitating job creation, economic growth, and the development of advanced concrete technologies for climate resilience.

The Biden-Harris Administration awarded approximately $19 million to the South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub on Tuesday as part of a broader  $504 million initiative to support twelve regional technology hubs across the United States facilitating job creation and economic growth.

Key projects within the South Florida hub include the development of advanced concrete technologies with reduced emissions, specifically designed for low-lying areas prone to extreme weather. The hub will also establish workforce development programs, offering certifications, training, and apprenticeships to diverse groups. The hub additionally aims to foster collaboration among government entities, climate advocates, startups, corporations, capital partners, and academia.

This funding is the first phase, with an additional $50 million being raised to meet the hub’s goals. Initial contributions of $500,000 have been secured from the Knight Foundation and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin.

“Every American deserves the opportunity to thrive, no matter where they live. Today’s announcement that the Department of Commerce is investing $504 million in Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs across the country will ensure that the benefits of the industries of the future – from artificial intelligence and clean energy, to biotechnology and more – are shared with communities that have been overlooked for far too long, including rural, Tribal, industrial, and disadvantaged communities,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “These Tech Hubs will give regions across our nation the resources and opportunities necessary to lead in the economy of tomorrow while creating good-paying jobs for American workers.”

The initiative is expected to create 23,000 green union jobs with an average salary of $83,000 over the next five years, and generate $41 billion in economic growth over the next decade.

Partners include Florida International University, which will lead research on “clean concrete,” and Miami Tech Works, overseeing engineering and construction training. The hub will provide access to facilities like FIU’s “Wall of Wind” for testing technologies under hurricane conditions.

“We are one of twelve nationwide winners of catalytic funding to grow our tech ecosystem and develop innovative solutions to climate challenges,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Thank you U.S. Economic Development Administration for supporting local innovation and jobs in South Florida!”

President Joe Biden in October formally declared South Florida, alongside 31 other sites nationally, as a climate resilience tech hub as part of the federal Tech Hubs program. The South Florida Climate Resilience Tech Hub, with the Miami Dade County Innovation and Economic Development Office serving as the lead agency, works to advance sustainable and weather-hardened infrastructure in the region, which frequently faces large-scale hurricanes and coastal flooding.

“Building off the region’s unique combination of resources such as its coastal and marine infrastructure, cluster of clean cement and energy efficiency building industries, and academic and research institutions, this Tech Hub will jumpstart Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SRI) innovation by developing, commercializing, and scaling SRI technologies focused on climate adaptation and mitigation,” the Hub’s U.S. Economic Development Administration said in October.

Chosen among 400 Phase 1 applicants, the White House referred to South Florida as having “high potential” within the infrastructure manufacturing sector.

“The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers,” the federal government said in a prepared statement. 


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