Section 288.9515, Florida Statutes 2004
1288.9515 Authorized technology development programs.--
(1) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may create technology applications services, and may serve as an umbrella organization for technology applications service providers throughout the state which provide critical, managerial, technological, scientific, and related financial and business expertise essential for international and domestic competitiveness to small-sized and medium-sized manufacturing and knowledge-based service firms. Enterprise Florida, Inc., is authorized the following powers in order to carry out these functions:
(a) Providing communication and coordination services among technology applications service providers throughout the state.
(b) Providing coordinated marketing services to small-sized and medium-sized manufacturers in the state on behalf of, and in partnership with, technology applications service providers.
(c) Securing additional sources of funds on behalf of, and in partnership with, technology applications service providers.
(d) Developing plans and policies to assist small-sized and medium-sized manufacturing companies or other knowledge-based firms in Florida.
(e) Entering into contracts with technology applications service providers for expanded availability of high-quality assistance to small-sized and medium-sized manufacturing companies or knowledge-based service firms, including, but not limited to, technological, human resources development, market planning, finance, and interfirm collaboration. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall ensure that all contracts in excess of $20,000 for the delivery of such assistance to Florida firms shall be based on competitive requests for proposals and shall establish clear standards for the delivery of services under such contracts. Such standards include, but are not limited to:
1. The ability and capacity to deliver services in sufficient quality and quantity.
2. The ability and capacity to deliver services in a timely manner.
3. The ability and capacity to meet the needs of firms in the proposed market area.
(f) Assisting other educational institutions, enterprises, or the entities providing business assistance to small-sized and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises.
(g) Establishing a system to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of technology applications services provided to small-sized and medium-sized enterprises.
(h) Establishing special education and informational programs for Florida enterprises and for educational institutions and enterprises providing business assistance to Florida enterprises.
(i) Evaluating and documenting the needs of firms in this state for technology application services, and developing means to ensure that these needs are met, consistent with the powers provided for in this subsection.
(j) Maintaining an office in such place or places as the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., approves.
(k) Making and executing contracts with any person, enterprise, educational institution, association, or any other entity necessary or convenient for the performance of its duties and the exercise of the powers and functions of Enterprise Florida, Inc., under this subsection.
(l) Receiving funds from any source to carry out the purposes of providing technology applications services, including, but not limited to, gifts or grants from any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of the state, or any enterprise or person, for any purpose consistent with the provisions of this subsection.
(2) When choosing contractors under this section, preference shall be given to existing institutions, organizations, and enterprises so long as these existing institutions, organizations, and enterprises demonstrate the ability to perform at standards established by Enterprise Florida, Inc., under paragraph (1)(e). Neither the provisions of ss. 288.9511-288.9517 nor the actions taken by Enterprise Florida, Inc., under this section shall impair or hinder the operations, performance, or resources of any existing institution, organization, or enterprise.
(3) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may create a technology development financing fund, to be called the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund. The fund shall increase technology development in this state by investing in technology development projects that have the potential to generate investment-grade technologies of importance to the state's economy as evidenced by the willingness of private businesses to coinvest in such projects. Enterprise Florida, Inc., may also demonstrate and develop effective approaches to, and benefits of, commercially oriented research collaborations between businesses, universities, and state and federal agencies and organizations. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall endeavor to maintain the fund as a self-supporting fund once the fund is sufficiently capitalized as reflected in the minimum funding report required in 2s. 288.9516. The technology research investment projects may include, but are not limited to:
(a) Technology development projects expected to lead to a specific investment-grade technology that is of importance to industry in this state.
(b) Technology development centers and facilities expected to generate a stream of products and processes with commercial application of importance to industry in this state.
(c) Technology development projects that have, or are currently using, other federal or state funds such as federal Small Business Innovation Research awards.
(4) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall invest moneys contained in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund in technology application research or for technology development projects that have the potential for commercial market application. The partnership shall coordinate any investment in any space-related technology projects with the Florida Space Authority and the Technological Research and Development Authority.
(a) The investment of moneys contained in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund is limited to investments in qualified securities in which a private enterprise in this state coinvests at least 40 percent of the total project costs, in conjunction with other cash or noncash investments from state educational institutions, state and federal agencies, or other institutions.
(b) For the purposes of this fund, qualified securities include loans, loans convertible to equity, equity, loans with warrants attached that are beneficially owned by the board, royalty agreements, or any other contractual arrangement in which the board is providing scientific and technological services to any federal, state, county, or municipal agency, or to any individual, corporation, enterprise, association, or any other entity involving technology development.
(c) Not more than $175,000 or 5 percent of the revenues generated by investment of moneys contained in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund, whichever is greater, may be used to pay operating expenses associated with operation of the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund.
(d) In the event of liquidation or dissolution of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund, any rights or interests in a qualified security or portion of a qualified security purchased with moneys invested by the State of Florida shall vest in the state, under the control of the State Board of Administration. The state is entitled to, in proportion to the amount of investment in the fund by the state, any balance of funds remaining in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund after payment of all debts and obligations upon liquidation or dissolution of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or the fund.
(e) The investment of funds contained in the Florida Technology Research Investment Fund does not constitute a debt, liability, or obligation of the State of Florida or of any political subdivision thereof, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or of any such political subdivision.
(5) Enterprise Florida, Inc., may create technology commercialization programs in partnership with private enterprises, educational institutions, and other institutions to increase the rate at which technologies with potential commercial application are moved from university, public, and industry laboratories into the marketplace. Such programs shall be created based upon research to be conducted by Enterprise Florida, Inc.
History.--ss. 8, 14, ch. 93-187; s. 10, ch. 94-136; s. 94, ch. 96-320; s. 36, ch. 99-251; s. 8, ch. 2002-183; s. 80, ch. 2003-399.
1Note.--Section 80, ch. 2003-399, provides that "[i]n order to implement Specific Appropriation 2315E of the 2003-2004 General Appropriations Act, and notwithstanding section 14 of chapter 93-187, Laws of Florida, sections 288.9511, 288.9515, and 288.9517, Florida Statutes, relating to technology development activities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall not stand repealed on December 31, 2003, as scheduled by such chapter law, but are repealed on July 1, 2004."
2Note.--Repealed by s. 44, ch. 99-251.