Florida A&M University (FAMU) has reached another milestone in its continued successes in research and development.
Last week, Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., and FAMU administrators met with Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, chair of the Leon County Research and Development Authority (LCRDA) and LCRDA members to sign an agreement that names FAMU as the new owner of the Centennial Building, a research facility, and 26.8 gross acres of developed and undeveloped land at Innovation Park. Seventeen acres of the land are ready for development.
“This agreement represents a significant moment in FAMU's rich history. Acquiring ownership of the Centennial Building and the 26.8 acres of land transferred from Leon County and the LCRDA will allow us to expand our research, business development and community outreach activities,” Robinson said. “It also better enables faculty to compete successfully for research awards and allows us to attract top students and faculty from around the nation. Providing state-of-the art facilities to conduct world-class research and engage in entrepreneurial activities will lead to positive economic impacts in Leon County and the State of Florida.”
Innovation Park is a hub for economic development, scientific research and commercial development activities in Leon County and North Florida. The signing ceremony completed a transaction that restructures the Park, including a provision that also provides 17 acres of developable land to Florida State University (FSU) and allowing the Authority to retain an approximate total of 68 acres of land. The three entities will form a development review committee to coordinate further development of the park and the LCRDA will continue to manage it. The university previously utilized the Centennial building for physics research under a lease agreement.
“This restructuring creates a clear path forward for the Authority and the Park, and will position the Authority to be a key partner in the economic development future of Leon County,” said Dozier. “This agreement is only the first step and all the partners have begun planning for new developments and programs at the Park. I’m excited about what the future holds for the Authority and I believe our renewed partnership with FAMU and FSU is stronger than ever.”
The newly acquired space and land will become a part of FAMU’s main campus and will be used to assist the university with carrying out its mission of advancing knowledge, resolving complex issues and empowering citizens and communities through research and development.
“The acquisition of the Centennial Building and the undeveloped land at Innovation Park by FAMU will go a long way in relieving our institution’s shortage of research spaces for now and many years to come. The acquisition of these premium properties sends the right message to our researchers that FAMU is committed to hands-on research activities on- and off-campus,” said Ken Redda, Ph.D., interim vice president for research.
Proposed space usage includes: laboratory space for teaching and research; housing FAMU’s Research and Development Centers of Excellence, developing a facility that can accommodate large research-related groups for training, education and conferences, offering additional computer labs for graduate, postdoctoral and faculty research and developing space for technologically innovative start-up companies.