The Florida Research Consortium (FRC) was founded as a 501(c)(3) corporation in October 2001 through the collective efforts of the Governor’s office, select legislators, university officials and the business community. Initially, the consortium’s primary mission was to advise the Florida Legislature and Office of the Governor on strategic policy initiatives for expanding and strengthening Florida’s high-tech industries.
Together with collaborative organizations, FRC was instrumental in the creation and passage of the Technology Development Act of 2002, a legislative initiative which embodied Florida’s desire to position itself among the nation’s foremost innovation economy centers. An integral part of that Act was the establishment and funding of University Centers of Excellence on three Florida campuses. By helping to focus attention on the critical role that universities play in research discovery, business innovation, and job development, this action represented an important first step in diversifying and strengthening Florida’s knowledge-based innovation economy.
Over the years, FRC has expanded its mission beyond the university campus to include the research activities of private research institutes and the business community. Thanks to FRC advocacy and additional legislative appropriations, Florida’s Centers of Excellence program has grown from the three original centers to a total of eleven statewide. In addition, FRC has assisted with the development and implementation of many more initiatives supporting knowledge-based economic development in Florida, including the 21st Century World Class Scholars program, the Innovation Fund, the State University Research Commercialization Grant Program, the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute, and the Florida Opportunity Fund.
And we’re just getting started. Together with concentrated industry presence, a strengthened work force, and a supportive entrepreneurial environment, FRC continues to advocate for innovative programs aimed at creating a critical mass of self-sustaining economic development that will generate thousands of high-wage jobs. FRC recognizes that Florida’s future depends on continued cooperation at the most senior levels of state government and in universities and private industry. Working side-by-side and through the Florida Research Consortium, representatives of education, business and government are continually exploring new ways to make their dream of positioning Florida among the nation’s top-tier innovation economies a reality.