- The University of South Florida (USF) is leading an initiative to establish Tampa Bay as a national technology hub specializing in cybersecurity and technology innovation.
- The Greater Tampa Bay Regional Technology Hub Consortium, consisting of 45 partner organizations, has applied for federal recognition and potential funding of around $15 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
- If selected, USF and other designated tech hubs may have the opportunity to apply for a second round of funding, with potential total funding allocations ranging from $50 million to $75 million.
The University of South Florida (USF) is spearheading an endeavor to establish Tampa Bay as a national technology hub focused on cybersecurity and technology innovation.
The Greater Tampa Bay Regional Technology Hub Consortium, a collaboration comprising 45 partner organizations across several counties, has formally applied for federal recognition and potential funding of approximately $15 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“The University of South Florida is focused on filling the talent pipeline for the Tampa Bay region’s employers and meeting the state’s workforce needs in high-demand fields such as cybersecurity,” said USF President Rhea Law. “The designation of our region as a technology and innovation hub would allow us to accelerate our efforts and position Tampa Bay as a global leader in these important areas.”
USF’s campus houses the Global and National Security Institute, academic programs in cybersecurity, partnerships with Cyber Florida, local cybersecurity firms, and research collaborations with the U.S. military. Tampa earned accolades in 2021 from Forbes as an emerging tech city, contributing significantly to Florida’s tech job market.
“USF is well-positioned to foster a burgeoning cybersecurity industry ecosystem to serve Tampa Bay and the nation,” said Sylvia Thomas, vice president of USF Research & Innovation and CEO and president of the USF Research Foundation.
If selected, the Economic Development Administration will invite USF, alongside the 19 additional designated tech hubs to apply for a second round of funding, with three to eight of them potentially receiving a total funding allocation ranging from $50 million to $75 million.
Last year, the U.S. military enlisted USF to help combat complex cybersecurity challenges. Last February the university was selected to partner with U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) — a spinoff of the National Security Agency (NSA). USF joined 84 universities and colleges nationwide to be part of the newest Academic Engagement Network (AEN) that works to enhance four primary lines of effort (LOE): future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics, and strategic issues.