Triumph Gulf Coast approves $98.45M for FSU’s aerospace initiative

by | Apr 11, 2024

The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors approved a $98.45 million funding contract for a Florida State University project aimed at advancing aerospace and manufacturing technologies in Panama City.

The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors on Wednesday officially sanctioned a funding contract channeling $98.45 million into a Florida State University (FSU) initiative aimed at pioneering aerospace and advanced manufacturing facilities in Panama City.

Per the Board, Triumph funds will be used for manufacturing and lab equipment, supplies, personnel, and contracted services. Through partnerships with industry entities and the federal government, InSPIRE intends to anchor novel Research and development (R&D) projects in the Panama City region, with a focus on advanced manufacturing and aerospace technology.

“The InSPIRE project holds so much potential and excitement for the area. Northwest Florida is booming and already has a great foundation in defense and manufacturing that we can build upon, and the InSPIRE project does just that,” said David Bear, chairman of Triumph Gulf Coast

In addition to the $98.4 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, FSU will contribute $65 million over the next 10 years 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.

InSPIRE intends to work alongside Original Equipment Manufacturers and the Department of Defense (DOD). The constructed facilities are planned to be capable of handling proprietary, sensitive, and classified projects with high efficiency. FSU states that the initial focus areas of the project include industrial-scale prototyping, advanced manufacturing, and aerodynamic and hypersonic testing and evaluation activities.

Moreover, the project also plans to launch new workforce training and education programs tailored for advanced aerospace and manufacturing sectors.

Triumph Gulf Coast is a nonprofit corporation that oversees the majority of the funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Triumph is required to administer the funds to projects in the eight counties that were disproportionately affected by the oil spill — Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla.


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