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Florida Innovation Hub opens this fall
The Florida Innovation Hub at UF recently gave the world a sneak peek during its topping off ceremony (when construction companies typically celebrate completion of the top of a structure). The Innovation Hub is a 50,000 sq.ft. “super incubator” and the first component of Innovation Square – a 40 acre public-private development project in Gainesville that brings together science and technology, business opportunities, and retail and residential space in one 24/7 live-work-play research environment.
Its first tenants this fall will be UF’s Office of Technology Licensing and UF Tech Connect, the main commercialization offices for the university who are relocating to help anchor the ongoing “Austinization” of Gainesville. Innovation Square has also been favorably compared to similar projects at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Purdue University in West Lafayette, North Carolina State University in Raleigh and Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
The next two Innovation Square buildings scheduled for construction were announced last month by University of Florida President Bernie Machen at the UF Technology and Innovation Conference in Gainesville:
- Infusion Technology Center– a 120,000 sq.ft. building that will house existing science and technology companies. (It will share an atrium with the Innovation Hub.)
- A “start-up dorm” for entrepreneurial students. This first-of-its-kind residence hall is designed as an entrepreneurial-based academic community, complete with a penthouse suite for visiting CEOs and venture capitalists to stay and interact with students.
This new urban research park environment will complement UF’s Progress Park in Alachua, home to 30 companies and 1,200 employees. Businesses so inclined will be able to choose an urban setting for offices while keeping manufacturing and distribution in Alachua.