Technology park to attract new business and research

New businesses and research partners will possibly be relocating to USF in August.A plan, dubbed the Center of Excellence for Bioengineering and Life Science at a Board of Trustees meeting in January, could provide economic prosperity to the Tampa Bay area.Michael Reich, media relations director for USF, said there will be two buildings that will make up this new technology park They are designed to house several interdisciplinary labs, an incubator (office spaces) and several of USF’s research partners. The buildings are expected to take 15 months to complete, Reich said.

The university, Reich said, is expecting to break ground on the 87-acre facility by fall. The buildings will be located across from USF’s Engineering Building and to the side of Fowler Avenue and Leroy Collins Boulevard.

Carl Carlucci, chief financial officer and executive vice president of USF, said these buildings would allow biology students to work together with other science degree-seeking students.

“One of the buildings will be specifically used to house an incubator for USF researchers and business partners, and the other building will be used for interdisciplinary research,” Carlucci said.

Reich said the two buildings will have a total area of 200,000 square feet and will cost a total of $40 million.

The USF Foundation, a fund-raising division for the university, will pay for the first building, and the second building will be funded by research grants and business partnerships that will be held in the building, Reich said.

“The goal for building these facilities is to advance the issue of making USF a stronger national research university and to provide students research opportunities,” Reich said. “These new buildings will allow more opportunities for new businesses; it will bring in more research partners and more money for additional research.”

Along with the expansion of USF’s research potential, USF President Judy Genshaft said she hopes to increase the business potential as well. According to a St. Petersburg Times article, Genshaft said the project would lure biotech businesses to the new facilities.