FICPR Hosts Florida Innovation Caucus Meeting: Leaders Convene to Discuss Development of State's Knowledge-Based Economy

 

Boca Raton – January 30, 2009 -The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (The Institute), Florida’s one- stop-shop for new venture creation, announced today that on January 23rd it hosted the meeting of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Innovation Caucus, a group of business and academic leaders who gather each month to encourage development of Florida’s innovation clusters and a knowledge-based workforce. The Caucus was formed a year ago following the development of Vision 2030: Florida in the New Economy and the identification of the six pillars of Florida’s economy including talent, innovation, infrastructure, business climate, governance and quality of life.

The Innovation pillar is focused on capturing a corner of that global economy for Florida by promoting efforts to bring together start-ups and venture capitalists, while also harnessing the job-creating power of research and development. The Institute is Florida’s clearinghouse for investors, entrepreneurs and other partners who seek to identify new opportunities based on technologies developed through publicly-funded research, and matches promising technologies with experienced entrepreneurs who then create and develop new companies.

“The Innovation Caucus is a key component to revitalizing the State’s economy, and the collaborative partnership with the Institute generates a positive synergy between state-wide organizations that is vital in achieving this important goal,” stated Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Leaders gathered in Boca Raton to discuss the challenges and opportunities we face as we transform Florida’s economy, and we left with some very concrete action steps that we will take moving forward.

“As a partnership between the eleven state universities focused on creating new companies based on publicly funded research, the Institute was delighted to host the Caucus meeting and help to advance the discussion on how to build Florida’s innovation clusters and a knowledge-based workforce”, stated Gary Keller, Institute Executive Director. “This was the first of what we hope to be many joint meetings, and we look forward to working with the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation to achieve our goals.”

This meeting focused on building collaborations, with the objective of creating a shared vision for a knowledge economy that has innovation clusters and talent as its engine. A series of panel speakers, discussed a broad legislative agenda, and were led by industry and academic leaders including who covered areas such as technology transfer, venture capital investment, and entrepreneurship. The meeting provided a greater understanding of cluster development and new venture creation while serving as a foundation for future dialogue.

About the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a research organization and problem-solver, working in partnership with state business leaders to advance and fund activities in public policy research in order to promote a healthy Florida economy. Founded 39 years ago by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Foundation has been a critical voice for improved public education and a pro-business, pro-Florida business climate that allows Florida to grow and prosper.

About the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research

The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (The Institute) was established through legislation passed in 2007 to stimulate growth of science and technology-based companies in industries that are driving the global economy. Related initiatives include the availability of gap funding targeted towards universities to help take new ideas through the “proof of concept” stage, and the creation of the Florida Opportunity Fund for increased investment in existing, early-stage ventures. The Institute links the two, taking proven technologies from the universities and identifying funding and other resources required for commercial success. Senator Jeremy Ring (D- District 32) was instrumental in passing this legislation that promises to have a significant impact on Florida’s innovation economy.

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