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Sarasota County renews Innovation Station funding

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SARASOTA –– As part of their consent agenda Wednesday, Sarasota County commissioners unanimously extended funding for the University of Florida Innovation Station Sarasota County (UFIS-SC) through 2027.

The county’s grant of $1.2 million will be matched by the university.

The Innovation Station was formed in 2016 and is the first extension office for the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. It was developed to strengthen the region’s innovation economy, support the growth of high-tech, high-wage jobs, increase technology transfer and employee retention, and foster start-up opportunities in the Sarasota area.

“We know local industry is hungry for talent. It’s exciting to see University of Florida making a direct contribution to providing that talent,” Commissioner Mike Moran said through a press release.

Since its launch, UF Innovation Station has placed over 100 UF engineering interns at more than 40 local companies, and arranged 12 capstone projects with companies in the region. UFIS-SC also ushered 41 students majoring in Computer

Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Digital Arts and Science into the Gator Engineering at the State College of Florida during the program’s first three years.

This year, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering were added to the list of the program’s options to continue boosting the talent pipeline.

“The Gator Engineering at State College of Florida program has grown each year thanks to the support of the UF Innovation Station in student recruiting and internships,” Carol Probstfeld, president of State College of Florida, said. “Our partnership will continue to expand and educate even more of the engineers that help Manatee and Sarasota Counties grow and prosper.”

Warren Richardson
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