State University System records $2.94 billion research spending, every school sees rise in expenditure

by | Mar 27, 2024

The State University System of Florida recorded $2.94 billion in research expenditures for the 2022-23 academic year, surpassing both the previous year’s total and projections, contributing to a $5.5 billion economic impact and the creation of 3,660 jobs.

The State University System of Florida (SUS) reported that its research expenditures for the 2022-23 academic year reached $2.94 billion, surpassing both the previous year’s spending and projected estimates.

The reported figure marks an increase of more than $400 million over the prior year, exceeding the $2.68 billion forecast made in 2019. The system is on track to meet or exceed its goal of $3 billion in research spending by 2025. According to SUS, the increase has had a significant economic impact, estimated at $5.5 billion, including $1 billion from state funding, and has been credited with creating approximately 3,660 new jobs.

“The increase in research expenditures would not be possible without the continued collaboration our institutions have instilled to secure research grants as well as our exceptional faculty and graduate and undergraduate research scholars who have competed for federal awards,” said Brian Lamb, Chair of the Florida Board of Governors.

Broken down by schools within the system, the University of Florida (UF) led with an increase of $164 million, followed by Florida State University (FSU) with a $58 million rise. The University of South Florida’s research spending went up by $56 million, and Florida International University saw a $35 million increase.

Meanwhile, the University of Central Florida reported a $32 million rise, while Florida Atlantic University had a $16 million increase. Both Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and Florida Gulf Coast University saw their research expenditures grow by $15 million each. The University of North Florida experienced a $7 million increase, the University of West Florida had a $1 million rise, and Florida Polytechnic University saw an increase of $0.7 million.

“Florida’s public universities have exceeded expectations by significantly investing in research to create new jobs and impact Florida’s economy for years to come,” said Chancellor Ray Rodrigues. “I look forward to what our outstanding faculty and institutions accomplish over the next five years.”

UF accounted for nearly half of SUS’ total expenditure, totaling $1.25 billion. The figure was largely driven by $530 million in spending on projects funded by the federal government and nearly $200 million in state and local government investments, both of which are 13 percent increases compared to the year prior.

UF also exceeded $1 billion in external awards for the first time in its history, comprised of contributions from the federal government ($792 million), state and local governments ($77 million), private foundations ($98 million), and industry partners ($61 million).

A substantial collective portion of UF’s research spending is concentrated within its six UF Health colleges. The College of Medicine utilized the highest level of spending with $378 million, followed by the College of Public Health & Health Professions ($34.9 million), the College of Pharmacy ($34.8 million), the College of Veterinary Medicine ($31.3 million), the College of Dentistry ($18.7 million), and the College of Nursing ($5 million).

North of Gainesville, FSU posted $400 million in expenditures, which represents a $75 million spike compared to two years prior.

“This is incredible progress that the university has made, and it’s the faculty,” FSU President Richard McCullough said during his ‘State of the University’ speech in November.

McCullough also told faculty members that FSU’s expenditure goal for next year has been revised to $500 million following 2023’s numbers and that the university would continue to build its research infrastructure to lend support to this objective.  

As FSU bolsters its internal research ambitions, outside entities have entered the fold, including the Triumph Gulf Coast Board, which in November greenlit the funding for a $98.4 million project to develop aerospace and manufacturing facilities in FSU’s campus in Panama City.

FSU will contribute $65 million over the next 10 years towards the project and aims to secure more than $230 million in contract and grant work. Economic analysts forecast that the project will generate $10 in economic activity for every $1 spent.


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