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Emergent Technologies Institute


Florida Gulf Coast University

The Emergent Technologies Institute (ETI)


Relationship to University Mission: 

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) proudly presents the opportunity for qualified students to earn a degree and gain employment in areas of existing and developing disciplines with a focus on emerging technologies while contributing to the diversification of Soutwest Florida's economy. 

The FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute (ETI) links these two mission critical elements of an emerging technologies marketplace with applied research focused on real world commercial and residential applications.

Project Background:

1)     A recent Public/Private Partnership (P3) established with Mr. John Backe has provided to FGCU:

  1. an endowed Faculty Eminent Scholar Chair ($1,000,000 gift) currently held by Dr. Joe Simmons;
  2. gift of 6.5 acres of land located within the 240-acre Innovation Hub Park development ($1,200,000);
  3. permanent revenue stream in support of the Emergent Technologies Institute resulting from a portion of the rental/lease/sale of space within the Innovation Hub Park.

2)     Competitive grant ($200,000) awarded to FGCU in 2011 from the State University System (SUS) Board of Governors to support the activities of the Backe Chair.

3)     Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) award of $4.7 million granted in 2012 for Phase I of planning and development of FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute building.

Relationship to Job Creation and Regional Economic Development:

1) Job Creation:

     a) FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute = 215 jobs (see also page 3)

     b) 10-year build-out of full FGCU Innovation Hub Park (start-up R&D’s) = 1012 jobs (see also page 3)

2) Regional Economic Development:

     a)     Southwest Florida (SWFL) is engaged in a dynamic effort to establish a regional economic development presence to market opportunities for expansion of existing businesses, development of start-ups that diversify the local economy, and attract companies to relocate to the region.

     b)     SWFL is home to a population of more than 1,000,000 and a workforce that exceeds 500,000.

     c)      FGCU has been an active partner in branding efforts for improved regional marketing:

  1. Southwest Florida Economic Development Association (SWFEDA) (Lead Partner)
  2. Workforce Now (Lead Partner)
  3. Lee County Horizon Council (Member, Executive Council)
  4. Alliance of Educational Leaders

     d)     FGCU serves regional economic development as a:

  1. Integrator (linking education to business development)
  2. Facilitator (bringing people, agencies and businesses together)
  3. Provider (intellectual capital of faculty and staff, and meeting space)
  4. Catalyst (FGCU annually provides $400 Million of direct local economic input; grant activity; community service)
  5. Workforce Developer (2000 new graduates/year)
  6. Regional Economic Development site selection recruiting tool (the presence of a comprehensive university is an enormous selling point for business relocation in providing educational opportunities; arts/theatre; library resources; jobs for trailing spouses; etc.)
  7. Trusted Neutral Partner (integrity provided by public, not-for-profit institution of higher learning

3) Technology Incubation

“Techno-Tourism” - Visitors from across the US and the world will experience the demonstration of emerging technologies and their benefits as displayed in the FGCU ‘Techno Park’, an integral component of the Innovation Hub Park.


Research and Academics:

1)     Continuation of STEM degree programming and production in various fields of Engineering;

2)     Research collaborations leading to grant acquisition, R&D opportunities, patents, and commercialization of new intellectual property;

3)     Creation of a unique research asset available for collaborative use by the entire State University System.