University of South Florida breaks ground on $42m research facility

WCN Editorial Team 11 Mar 2020 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

The University of South Florida has broken ground on its newest facility at its Research Park located at the gateway to Tampa campus.

Expected to cost nearly $42m, the new research facility is expected to bring together researchers, patent officers, entrepreneurs, financial investors and companies to enhance and commercialise the technology.

The three-storey, 120,000ft² will be home to laboratory facilities, office, meeting space for innovators, both for established and start-up firms and retail and dining spaces.

It will be located at the northeast corner of Spectrum Boulevard and Fowler Avenue and will increase the Research Park’s space inventory by 34%, from 349,807ft² to 469,807ft².

The project is being financing through USF Financing Corporation, with $27m in debt and $15m in cash equity contribution from the USF Research Foundation. The building is expected to be completed by the fall of 2021.

University of South Florida president Steven Currall said: “Higher education has a responsibility to serve as a catalyst for regional economic development and upward economic mobility. This facility will enhance our efforts to grow the region’s innovation and knowledge-based economy.”

The USF Research Park sits on 112 acres of land on the north and south sides of Fowler Avenue, under the operation of the USF Research Foundation.

The university’s incubator is home to over 65 resident and affiliate companies, along with its Student innovation Incubator’s dozens of student-led startups.

More than half of the incubator companies focus on life sciences and nearly half are claimed to be commercialising technologies developed by USF researchers.

USF research, innovation & knowledge enterprise senior vice president Paul Sanberg said: “Over the past decade, we’ve worked strategically to create a thriving culture of innovation for our students, faculty and staff, and to engage the wider community in all that we do.

“Our aim is for great ideas and new technologies to move from the lab to the market where they can benefit the most people. Through the USF Research Park, we’ve worked to create a place where big ideas flourish and big things happen.”

After a competitive process, a design and build team from Skanska and consulting firm Gensler were selected for the construction of the building.

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Image: Artist’s rendering of the new research facility at the University of South Florida. (Credit: University of South Florida.)

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