The University of South Florida (USF) recently opened a new state-of-the-art research center that will provide a link between innovative companies, the university and Tampa Bay’s business community.
Located at the USF Research Park on USF’s Tampa campus, the three-story, 120,000-square-foot mixed-use building features advanced laboratory facilities, as well as office and meeting spaces for new and established companies.
The expansion comes as Tampa continues to flourish as Florida’s tech capital as leading innovators, entrepreneurs and science and technology firms are being drawn to the area, thanks to a robust talent pipeline generated by USF.
“The University of South Florida’s new Research Park building marks a new era in the university’s robust and renowned research enterprise – the opening of a vibrant home for solving problems in our community, our state, our country and beyond,” said USF President Rhea Law. “It will serve as a catalyst for bringing together leading researchers, entrepreneurs, financial investors and corporations at an ideal time for USF and the Tampa Bay region’s rapidly expanding innovation economy.”
The $42 million project has allowed the university to significantly expand its Research Park, providing much-needed space. In a Wednesday press release, USF noted that the facility is home to more than 65 companies and dozens of additional student-led startups as well as university, state and federal research labs and has been consistently at capacity in recent years.
“The USF Research Park has long been a thriving community bridging research and innovation for our faculty, students and partners,” said Sylvia Wilson Thomas, interim vice president for research & innovation. “Bold, ambitious new technologies have always found a home here. This incredible new building is a catalyst for our inventors and partners, helping them flourish in a modern marketplace and contribute to an innovation ecosystem to change the world.”
USF’s innovation enterprise generates more than $582 million in statewide impact each year, sustains more than 4,000 jobs and returns more than $71 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal coffers, according to a 2019 analysis from the Washington Economics Group, a leading national firm.
Eighty-two percent of the jobs created by USF innovation statewide are in the knowledge-based services sector. The research enterprise is a key element to USF’s annual economic impact of more than $6 billion.