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June 21, 2018
RTI Surgical

RTI Surgical's autoclave operators use high-powered steam to clean supplies used in tissue processing.

Photo: RTI Surgical

Innovation Hub

Innovation Hub Incubator

HiPerGator supercomputer

The HiPerGator supercomputer can process 150 trillion calculations per second, greatly speeding the time it takes to identify safe drugs.

Photo: University of Florida

Prioria Robotics

Prioria Robotics, founded by UF business and engineering graduates, makes drones.

Photo: Prioria Robotics


North Central Florida is dotted with backyards like this one belonging to a home on Lake Santa Fe in Earleton.

Business Florida 2014 - The Regions

North Central Florida

Alachua, Gainesville, Jasper, Lake City, Ocala, Perry

| 9/27/2013

North Central at a Glance

North Central Florida

Demographics for the North Central region can be found at Business Florida's interactive map of Florida.

• College of Central Florida
• Florida Gateway College
• North Florida Community College
• Santa Fe College
• University of Florida

• Gainesville Regional
• Ocala International

Innovative ideas and entrepreneurial activity thrive in North Central Florida, a region known for its competitive cost of living, accessibility and abundance of natural resources. As home to the University of Florida — the nation’s 12th largest public research university and one of two officially designated preeminent research universities in Florida — this region offers a highly skilled workforce and the supportive environment emerging companies need.

A well-developed transportation network ensures that businesses have ready access to vital markets via two major interstate highways and multiple additional roadways, rail systems, commercial airports and deepwater ports in Jacksonville, Fernandina and Tampa. In Columbia County, where I-10 and I-75 meet, ground will soon be broken on a 2,600-acre inland port near Lake City.


Highly educated North Central Florida’s labor force is among the state’s most highly educated. In Gainesville alone, close to 44% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the national average of 28%.

Eager to innovate University of Florida is a research powerhouse and catalyst for economic development. In 2012, its faculty snared $644.4 million in research grants, up $25 million from 2011. At the same time, UF’s Office of Technology executed 79 licenses/options and helped start 15 new companies based on university research.

Broad appeal Gainesville is one of "Six Best Cities for Young Professionals to Start a Career," says, citing a "vibrant culture of innovation and entrepreneurship" and attractive starter salaries; on Forbes’ list of "25 Best Places to Retire in 2013" for its low cost of living and reasonable home prices; and, according to, the second fastest-growing U.S. city by population, percentage of employed residents and median income for workers.

Tags: Business Florida

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Scam nearly puts South Florida shoe company out of business
Scam nearly puts South Florida shoe company out of business

A South Florida entrepreneur who claimed he was scammed out of about $15,000 worth of merchandise is warning others and asking any potential victims to come forward. 

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