The USF Research Park is a critical piece in the elaborate mosaic of high-tech economic development for the Tampa Bay region. While a number of people and organizations have successfully put in place many pieces of the mosaic, there has not been a mechanism that systematically links USF researchers to businesses in need of research partners. USF’s research park supplies this vital missing piece.
USF is focusing primarily on biotechnology and life sciences research and entrepreneurship. This represents an unprecedented vision and focus that USF President Judy Genshaft has brought to the university’s role in stimulating regional economic development. Even before she arrived at USF, Genshaft had already identified biotechnology and life sciences as research strengths for the university and envisioned building a biotech research park. She saw strong research programs in medicine, engineering and the basic sciences, and she wanted to maximize the partnerships USF already established with medical partners such as the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa General, All Children’s and the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital. Building upon these strengths, Genshaft said, is how she would lead USF into an ever-stronger national research university.
As she examined the strengths within USF, Genshaft also explored the existing high-tech strengths within the Tampa Bay business community. She saw that the Bay area was home to more than 370 medical device businesses that contribute about 51,000 jobs and more than $5 billion annually to the region’s economy.
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