September 30, 2014

A Florida TaxWatch economic report

Commercializing Florida's public research

| 3/26/2014

As Florida TaxWatch has explored in the past1, researchers at Florida universities and research institutes have made some of the most recognizable inventions in the U.S., and commercializing those inventions has brought millions of dollars to the state.

In many cases, the new product or process is licensed to a large company that may or may not be located in Florida. In other cases, startup companies (known as spinoffs) are formed, often with the inventor taking a role in the company.

Typically the inventor is either a faculty member or researcher who made the discovery, but who may lack the business skills and the time it takes to develop the product and fully commercialize it. In those cases, it is necessary to pair the researcher or inventor with partners from the private sector to form a company, develop the product further, and launch successfully into the commercial marketplace.

In Florida, there is a publicly funded organization whose goal is to work with inventors and entrepreneurs from universities and research institutes to create new companies and jobs in Florida.

The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) was created by the Florida legislature in 2007. The Institute works with the Technology Transfer Offices at the major universities and institutes in Florida to combine state funding with private capital, mentors, and advisors to help facilitate the development of spinoff companies and create jobs in Florida. The Institute works with companies that are typically at a stage that is too early to attract investors, and who need assistance in both funding and with obtaining the expertise needed to develop into a viable commercial enterprise.

Prevacus
Prevacus, a pharmaceutical company located in Tallahassee, has received support from the Institute for the Commercialization of Research.

1   Florida’s Universities and Technology Transfer. Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary, September 2011.

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