USF Takes Home "Emerging Research Park of the Year" Award

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2008) – The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) this morning at its 21st annual conference, held this year in St. Petersburg, presented the “Emerging Research Park of the Year Award” to the University of South Florida Research Park.  USF’s Karen A. Holbrook, vice president for research and innovation, Rod Casto, associate vice president, USF Research Foundation, and their team, accepted the award from AURP Vice President Harold E. Strong, Jr., and AURP CEO Eileen Walker.  The award is presented annually to an emerging university research park in operation less than five years and during which time has excelled in bringing technology from the laboratory to economic viability.


We are delighted and grateful that the USF Research Park has been recognized for this award,” said Holbrook.  “We are fortunate to have the park on our campus and to have the combination of companies that originate both with USF faculty technology and with other startup companies and established ventures.”


In the close to five years since ground was broken for the USF Research Park in January 2004, and as laboratory and office space has become available, biotechnology and life sciences tenants have moved into the park’s 230,000 square foot, two-building complex.


“The success of the park and its occupants is great testimony to the relevance of the research accomplished here and the vibrant atmosphere for faculty and students working side-by-side,” said Holbrook as she accepted the award.


According to the AURP’s Strong, who is also the director of Discovery Park and Technology Transfer at the University of North Texas, the mission of the AURP is to promote the development and operations of research parks that foster innovation and economic competitiveness in a global economy through collaboration among universities, government and industry.


“Our industry is unique,” remarked Strong, who with other AURP officials toured the USF Research Park on Thursday.  “And the USF Research Park has become a unique hub for the growth of science and technology in Tampa Bay and Florida, leading the way in clean energy research, medical device development, rehabilitation technology and other areas.”


“Ours is a relatively young research park to be so successful,” concluded Holbrook.  “The park’s success underscores hard work and community support.”


Noting the USF Research Park’s team effort, with award in-hand, Casto added that the “innovation business demands a lot of us.  Our team has earned a brief rest.”


The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

– USF –