CS/CS/HB 983

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the Florida Research Commercialization
3Matching Grant Program; creating s. 288.9552, F.S.;
4providing legislative findings and intent; creating the
5program; providing eligibility guidelines for applicants;
6providing for a program administrator; providing for
7program administrative costs; specifying eligibility
8requirements; providing a schedule for the review of
9applications; providing for awards; requiring the Florida
10Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research to
11submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature;
12amending s. 288.9625, F.S.; revising the purpose of the
13Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research;
14deleting a requirement that Enterprise Florida, Inc.,
15contract with a state university to fulfill the purposes
16of the institute; revising the institute's powers and
17duties; requiring the institute to administer a matching
18grant program to provide financial assistance for certain
19early stage companies; providing an appropriation;
20providing an effective date.
22Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
24     Section 1. Section 288.9552, Florida Statutes, is created
25to read:
26     288.9552  Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant
29     (a)  The purpose of the Florida Research Commercialization
30Matching Grant Program is to increase the amount of federal
31funding available to this state for producing the kind of
32distinctive technologies that drive today's knowledge-based
33economy. By leveraging federal, state, and private-sector
34resources, the Legislature intends that the program accelerate
35the innovation process and more efficiently transform research
36results into products in the marketplace.
37     (b)  The Legislature specifically intends for the matching
38grant program to be a catalyst for small or startup companies to
39take advantage of federal and state partnerships in order to
40accelerate their growth and market penetration by helping them
41to overcome the funding gap faced by many small companies based
42in this state. The specific goals and objectives of the program
44     1.  Increasing the amount of federal research moneys
45received by small businesses in this state through awards from
46the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small
47Business Technology Transfer Program of the Office of Technology
48of the United States Small Business Administration.
49     2.  Accelerating the entry of new technology-based products
50into the marketplace.
51     3.  Producing additional technology-based jobs for the
53     4.  Providing leveraged resources to increase the
54effectiveness and success of applicants' projects.
55     5.  Speeding commercialization of promising technologies.
56     6.  Encouraging the establishment and growth of high-
57quality, advanced technology firms in the state.
58     7.  Accelerating the rate of investment and enhancing the
59state's investment infrastructure.
60     (c)  The Florida Research Commercialization Matching Grant
61Program is created for the purpose of accomplishing the goals
62and objectives specified in this section.
63     (2)  ADMINISTRATION.-The Florida Institute for the
64Commercialization of Public Research shall develop programmatic
65policy, ensure statewide applicability of the matching grant
66program, establish criteria for grant awards, approve grant
67awards, and review the program's progress and results.
68     (3)  ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES.-A qualified applicant must:
69     (a)  Be a business entity that is registered with the
70Secretary of State to operate in this state. A qualified
71applicant must also have its primary office and a majority of
72its employees domiciled in the state, and its principal research
73activities must be conducted in the state.
74     (b)  Be a small company for which a state matching grant is
75necessary for project development and implementation.
76     (c)  Have received a Phase I award under the federal Small
77Business Innovation Research Program or Small Business
78Technology Transfer Program and have received an invitation to
79submit an application for a Phase II award. If a Phase II award
80has already been issued, the end date of the federal award must
81be identified and justification must be provided as to how these
82additional funds will enhance, not supplant, the existing award.
83     (d)  Use federal, local, and private resources to the
84maximum extent possible. Total project funding must demonstrate
86     1.  Private-sector investments offset the total cost of the
87project; and
88     2.  At least 75 percent of the project's total funding is
89from sources other than the state grant.
90     (e)  Conduct the project funded by the matching grant
91program in this state.
92     (4)  PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR.-Subject to legislative
93appropriations, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization
94of Public Research shall serve as program administrator. The
95institute may contract for the performance of a technology
96review and related functions with a third party. Not more than 5
97percent of a legislative appropriation may be used for
98administrative purposes. The responsibilities of the program
99administrator include, but are not limited to:
100     (a)  Coordinating and supporting the grant review,
101approval, and contracting activities;
102     (b)  Administering the grant-selection process, including,
103but not limited to, issuing open-call requests for grant
104applications and receiving, reviewing, and processing grant
106     (c)  Serving as grant contract manager for recipients of a
107matching grant;
108     (d)  Reporting program progress and results; and
109     (e)  Establishing a mechanism by which information
110regarding grant projects may be made available to facilitate
111additional investment by individual investors, investment for
112early start-up costs, or venture capital investment.
113     (5)  APPLICATION REVIEW.-An application for a matching
114grant award must be reviewed and approved or denied within 45
115days after receipt.
116     (6)  FIDUCIARY.-The Florida Institute for the
117Commercialization of Public Research shall award a grant to a
118qualified applicant if:
119     (a)  The qualified applicant demonstrates that it has
120obtained a Phase II award under the federal Small Business
121Innovation Research Program or Small Business Technology
122Transfer Program; and
123     (b)  The qualified applicant executes a performance
124contract with the institute.
126The institute shall release the grant to a qualified applicant
127upon completion of all contract requirements.
128     (7)  AWARDS.-The matching grant program may provide one-
129time awards of up to $250,000 per project to a qualified
131     (8)  REPORTING.-Beginning December 1, 2011, and annually
132thereafter, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of
133Public Research shall submit a report relating to the grants
134awarded under the program to the Governor, the President of the
135Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the
136previous fiscal year.
137     Section 2.  Subsections (8) through (12) of section
138288.9625, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (7)
139through (11), respectively, and present subsections (2), (7),
140(8), and (9) of that section are amended to read:
141     288.9625  Institute for the Commercialization of Public
142Research.-There is established the Institute for the
143Commercialization of Public Research.
144     (2)  The purpose of the institute is to assist in the
145commercialization of products developed by the research and
146development activities of universities and colleges, research
147institutes, and publicly and privately supported organizations
148within the state, and individuals. The institute shall operate
149to fulfill its purpose and in the best interests of the state.
150The institute:
151     (a)  Shall be a corporation primarily acting as an
152instrumentality of the state pursuant to s. 768.28(2), for the
153purposes of sovereign immunity;
154     (b)  Is not an agency within the meaning of s. 20.03(11);
155     (c)  Is subject to the open records and meetings
156requirements of s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution, chapter
157119, and s. 286.011;
158     (d)  Is not subject to the provisions of chapter 287;
159     (e)  Shall be governed by the code of ethics for public
160officers and employees as set forth in part III of chapter 112;
161     (f)  Is not authorized to create corporate subsidiaries;
162     (g)  Shall support existing commercialization efforts at
163state universities; and
164     (h)  Shall not supplant, replace, or direct existing
165technology transfer operations or other commercialization
166programs, including incubators and accelerators, whether public
167or private.
168     (7)  Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall issue a request for
169proposals to state universities requesting proposals to fulfill
170the purposes of the institute as described in this section and
171provide for its physical location in a major metropolitan area
172in the southern part of the state having extensive commercial
173air service to facilitate access by venture capital providers.
174Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall review the proposals in a
175committee appointed by its board of directors which shall make a
176recommendation for final selection. Final approval of the
177selected proposal must be by the board of directors of
178Enterprise Florida, Inc., at one of its duly noticed meetings.
179     (7)(8)(a)  To be eligible for assistance, the company or
180organization attempting to commercialize its product must be
181accepted by the institute before receiving the institute's
183     (b)  The institute shall receive recommendations from any
184publicly supported organization that a company that is
185commercializing the research, technology, or patents from a
186qualifying publicly or privately supported organization should
187be accepted into the institute.
188     (c)  The institute shall thereafter review the business
189plans and technology information of each such recommended
190company. If accepted, the institute shall mentor the company,
191develop marketing information on the company, and use its
192resources to attract capital investment into the company, as
193well as bring other resources to the company which may foster
194its effective management, growth, capitalization, technology
195protection, or marketing or business success.
196     (8)(9)  The institute shall:
197     (a)  Maintain a centralized location to showcase companies
198and their technologies and products;
199     (b)  Develop an efficient process to inventory and
200publicize companies and products that have been accepted by the
201institute for commercialization;
202     (c)  Routinely communicate with private investors and
203venture capital organizations regarding the investment
204opportunities in its showcased companies;
205     (d)  Facilitate meetings between prospective investors and
206eligible organizations in the institute;
207     (e)  Hire full-time staff who understand relevant
208technologies needed to market companies to the angel investors
209and venture capital investment community; and
210     (f)  Develop cooperative relationships with publicly and
211privately supported organizations all of which work together to
212provide resources or special knowledge that is likely to be
213helpful to institute companies.
214     (g)  Administer a legislatively created matching grant
215program to provide financial assistance for early stage
216companies that have received federal funding and that may have
217received private or other public financial assistance.
218     Section 3.  The sum of $4 million of nonrecurring funds is
219appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Florida
220Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research for the
221purpose of implementing s. 288.9552, Florida Statutes, during
222the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
223     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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