Florida’s secondary education system is focusing on driving innovation through small business and entrepreneurship. Universities such as the University of Florida, the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University are involved in this drive through a statewide economic development called the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research.
This development was launched at FAU’s Research Park after the program was originally created at UF. The research these universities are creating is being fueled into small businesses that are changing healthcare and environmental sustainability. An example of this development comes from a University of Miami student Matthew Kim who was fueled to innovate after his mother was diagnosed with oral cancer. Kim was able to create a company called Vigilant Biosciences, which is now focusing its research on ways to detect oral cancer earlier.
Small businesses are now accounting for four out of five new jobs in Florida, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Institute for Commercialization of Public Research is able to generate enough private capital that some of the jobs being created are supporting an average salary of $74,000 per year. There are numerous other states that also have programs similar that support innovation, so creating an incentive for these Florida graduates to stay in state is the priority.