Research Partnership Hits Milestone in Program’s 13th Year
Heathrow, Fla. (August 25, 2009) –Three new grants approved by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s (FHTCC) Matching Grants Research Program (MGRP) have put the 13-year-old program over the 1,000 mark for applied research projects conducted in partnerships with companies in the 23-county Corridor area and the University of Central Florida (UCF), University of South Florida (USF) and University of Florida (UF).
With the goal of enhancing the energy efficiencies of power transistors, solar cells and LED-based lighting devices, the 1,000th grant funded a project between the University of Florida and Gainesville-based Sinmat, a semiconductor research company which had already taken advantage of the FHTCC’s Matching Grants Research Program twice before.
“Our previous Florida High Tech Corridor Council projects helped us successfully accelerate the commercialization of our technology,” said Deepika Singh, founder and president of Sinmat. “This project will help accomplish the same goals for our new lighting devices, which are 60 percent more efficient than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and for our energy-efficient solar cells that will be less costly to manufacture.”
This 1,000th grant is the 45th project on the University of Florida’s list of grants approved for funding from the Matching Grants Research Program; the institution joined the Council in 2005.
“In that first year, the University of Florida hit the ground running with the FHTCC’s Matching Grants Research Program, and we’ve joined our partners at UCF and USF each year in celebrating the results of this multimillion dollar effort,” said Erik Sander, director of industry programs and manager of the MGRP at UF. “This 1,000th grant is a testament to the success of this longstanding program and to the partnership among three world-renowned research universities who set aside competitive interests and collaborate with each other.”
The other partner universities of the Council, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida, continue the count past the 1,000th grant threshold with their latest awarded grants. The 1,001st grant funded the second year of an ongoing project between UCF and Petra Solar to develop affordable and reliable inverters for distributing energy back into the power grid, and the 1,002nd grant between USF and New Energy Solar Corporation is focused on the production of a flexible semi-transparent power foil that can be applied to windows to collect solar energy.
“Interestingly all three grants that helped us achieve this milestone were to companies exploring technologies in alternative energy,” said FHTCC President Randy Berridge. “In its 13-year history, the Matching Grants Research Program has seen incredibly innovative technologies come out of these partnerships, in sectors ranging from Simulation to Photonics to Aerospace. Exploring methods of producing viable ‘clean-tech’ is the wave of the future, evidenced by these three grants.”
Since its inception, the more than $50 million in funds that have been invested by the Council have been matched by corporate cash and in-kind investments of nearly $140 million, generating an additional $465 million in quantifiable downstream impacts, resulting in a return of more than $600 million and total project value of more than $650 million. Also, the program has involved more than 300 companies and institutions, more than 250 university faculty researchers and more than 2,000 graduate and post-doctoral students working on its projects. The program has led to 90 awarded patents and attracted 223 subsequent governmental or private research awards, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding.
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF). The mission of FHTCC is to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and the workforce to support it within the 23-county Corridor.
A partnership involving more than 20 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs) and 14 community colleges, the Council is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF. The Council includes the presidents of two of the community colleges, the president of Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry.
The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that involves matching funds research, workforce development and a marketing program leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis.
For more information, visit www.floridahightech.com.
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