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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 12, 2019 4 days ago

Coalition boosts coffers of fund for advanced manufacturers

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An additional $500,000 is available to help turn high-tech research into products.

There’s more to commerce in Florida than tourism, and an investment partnership among three of the state’s leading universities aims to reward the up-and-coming companies that key the Sunshine State’s future economic diversity.

FloridaMakes, an industry-led coalition, recently boosted the amount of grant money available to advanced manufacturing firms by $500,000. The Florida High Tech Corridor Council — an economic development organization created by the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida — manages and disburses the funds via the Matching Grants Research Program at UCF, an initiative founded in 1996.

The Corridor Council, according to a press release, intends the funds to be used for the commercialization of advanced manufacturing technologies. To date, more than $200 million has been awarded, generating $1 billion in “downstream” economic gains, the release states.

“Our commitment to the Matching Grants Research Program is a natural extension of ongoing efforts to help companies optimize their performance by accelerating technological innovation,” states Kevin Carr, FloridaMakes’ CEO, in the release. “By expanding the current access to top researchers at the university, we are helping more companies remain competitive and ensuring the strength of Florida’s high-wage manufacturing economy.”

The application period for FloridaMakes grants opened July 1. Spokeswoman Sarah Abdul says companies engaged in applied research with university faculty and graduate researchers are encouraged to apply.

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