FAU’s Research Park Celebrates Productive Year During 30 Year Anniversary
By Casey Westfall
Florida Atlantic University’s Research and Development Authority celebrated 30 years last year, and as their recently released annual report suggests, that wasn’t the only reason to celebrate.
According to the report, the companies of the Research Park and startups of the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) accumulated $849 million for the regional economy in 2015.
In addition, over $53.5 million in private investment capital was raised, which is 8.4% higher than the previous year. Of the $53.5 million raised in private investment capital, $8 million of it came from the startups based out of the TBI, while $45.5 million of it came from the companies at Research Park.
It was also a productive year, in terms of research. The Patent and Trademark office awarded 27 new patents to tenants in the Research Park and TBI while 33 applications for new ones have been filed. This brings the total of patents held by companies and startups in the Park to 615; an 8% increase from 2014.
145 graduates from FAU became employees at companies in Research Park and startups at the TBI last year, which is a 29% increase from 2014.
In addition, 112 currently enrolled students were interning at the Park and TBI last year, and according to the report, both are expected to bring in 345 new employees, meaning student interns at Research Park and the TBI have a very good chance of getting moved to paid positions upon graduation.
The average salary at companies at Research Park and startups at the TBI last year was $70,506, more than double the average salary in the nation (according to data from 2013).
According to the data from the report, the vast majority of companies based out of Research Park specialize in healthcare, with 47.37% of tenants being healthcare or healthcare IT companies.
These companies were the second biggest employer in the complex, with 39% of jobs being in the healthcare sector. The largest amount of jobs in Research Park came from professional service companies, with 40% of employees at the Park working at these companies.
Of the 20 startups located at the TBI, two of them, Dioxide Materials and Be Power Tech, graduated to Research Park, and one of them, Modti, grew in size and moved to a larger space in Jupiter.
Two Research Park companies, Mobile Help, which specializes in cellular tracking devices for medical and emergency applications, and Modernizing Medicine, a medical records company, made it to Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 (Modernizing Medicine were named the 57th fastest growing company in North America, while Mobile Help were named the 90th), and Inc. 500’s list (Mobile Help were included for their second consecutive year, while Modernizing Medicine debuted at #311).
In addition, Mobile Help’s CIO, Jean Robichaud, was named South Florida Business Journal’s CIO of the Year, while Modernizing Medicine’s CEO and co-founder, Dan Cane, was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.
Robichaud and Cane weren’t the only executives from Research Park to be honored in 2015, though. Andrew Burki, the CEO of Research Park-based Life of Purpose, a research company dedicated to substance abuse treatment, was named the Association of Recovery School’s Recovery Philanthropist of the Year.
The report also states that FAU’s Research and Development Authority reached agreements with the governments of both Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton to provide funds for research and development conducted by tenants at Research Park and the TBI.