In 1996, a small team of the area’s leaders recognized the need for a more comprehensive proposal to secure the future expansion of a semiconductor plant in Orlando. To offset funding offered by its competitors, they engaged UCF and USF to develop a package that would facilitate research partnerships benefiting the company and industry over the next decade. The team’s success led to the founding of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (initially the “I-4 High Tech Corridor Council”) and the creation of a model for its Matching Grants Research Program, which would grow through the years to generate more than $1 billion in economic impact.
Dr. John Hitt, who was president of UCF at the time, played a key role in The Corridor Council’s formation. Pointing at a nighttime satellite image of the lights along Florida’s I-4 corridor, he predicted the region (which already housed more than half of the state’s population) would continue to grow.
He was right.