Section 1004.225, Florida Statutes 2003
1004.225 Florida Technology Development Act.--
(1) This section may be cited as the "Florida Technology Development Act."
(2) "Center of excellence," as used in this section, means an organization of personnel, facilities, and equipment established at or in collaboration with one or more universities in Florida to accomplish the purposes and objectives of this section. The purposes and objectives of a center of excellence include:
(a) Identifying and pursuing opportunities for university scholars, research center scientists and engineers, and private businesses to form collaborative partnerships to foster and promote the research required to develop commercially promising, advanced, and innovative technologies and to transfer those technologies to commercial sectors.
(b) Acquiring and leveraging public and private sector funding to provide the totality of funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, and other resources needed to support the research required to develop commercially promising, advanced, and innovative technologies and to transfer those technologies to commercial sectors.
(c) Recruiting and retaining world class scholars, high-performing students, and leading scientists and engineers in technology disciplines to engage in research in this state to develop commercially promising, advanced, and innovative technologies.
(d) Enhancing and expanding technology curricula and laboratory resources at universities and research centers in this state.
(e) Increasing the number of high-performing students in technology disciplines who graduate from universities in this state and pursue careers in this state.
(f) Stimulating and supporting the inception, growth, and diversification of technology-based businesses and ventures in Florida and increasing employment opportunities for the workforce needed to support such businesses.
(3) Subject to legislative appropriation, the Emerging Technology Commission, or "commission," is created within the Executive Office of the Governor to guide the establishment of centers of excellence.
(a) The commission shall consist of five regular members appointed by the Governor, one of whom the Governor shall appoint as chair of the commission; two regular members appointed by the President of the Senate; two regular members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; before January 7, 2003, the Secretary of Education as an ex officio nonvoting member; effective January 7, 2003, the Commissioner of Education as an ex officio nonvoting member; and, as ex officio nonvoting members, the member of the Senate and the member of the House of Representatives who serve as members of the Florida Research Consortium, Inc. The regular members shall be business leaders, industrial researchers, academic researchers, scientists, or engineers who have been recognized as leaders in the state's emerging and advanced technology sectors. Regular members must be appointed on or before July 1, 2002.
(b) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive per diem and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties.
(c) The Executive Office of the Governor shall provide staff support for the activities of the commission and per diem and travel expenses for commission members.
(4) By August 1, 2002, Florida Research Consortium, Inc., shall provide a report to the commission which describes in detail and prioritizes factors that contribute to the success of the creation of centers of excellence. At a minimum, the report should describe and prioritize the following factors:
(a) Maturity of existing university programs relating to a proposed center of excellence.
(b) Existing amount of university resources dedicated to activities relating to a proposed center of excellence.
(c) Comprehensiveness and effectiveness of site plans relating to a proposed center of excellence.
(d) Regional economic structure and climate.
(e) The degree to which a university proposed to house a center of excellence identifies and seizes opportunities to collaborate with other public or private entities for research purposes.
(f) The presence of a comprehensive performance and accountability measurement system.
(g) The use of an integrated research and development strategy utilizing multiple levels of the educational system.
(h) The ability of a university proposed to house a center of excellence to raise research funds and leverage public and private investment dollars to support advanced and emerging technological research and development projects.
(i) The degree to which a university proposed to house a center of excellence transfers advanced and emerging technologies from its laboratories to the commercial sector.
(j) The degree to which a university proposed to house a center of excellence stimulates and supports new venture creation.
(k) The existence of a plan to enhance academic curricula by improving communication between academia and industry.
(l) The existence of a plan to increase the number, quality, and retention rate of faculty, graduate students, and eminent scholars in advanced and emerging technology-based disciplines.
(m) The existence of a plan to increase the likelihood of faculty, graduate students, and eminent scholars pursuing private sector careers in the state.
(n) Ability to provide capital facilities necessary to support research and development.
(5) By September 15, 2002, the commission shall develop and approve criteria for evaluating proposals submitted under subsection (6). When developing such criteria, the commission shall consider the report provided by Florida Research Consortium, Inc., under subsection (4) and hold at least two public hearings, at times and locations designated by the chair of the commission, for the purpose of soliciting expert testimony. By October 1, 2002, the commission shall provide a list of such criteria to each university in the State University System and to the State Technology Office for publishing on the Internet within 24 hours after the office's receipt of the list.
(6) Concurrent with the provision of the list of criteria to the universities, the commission shall notify each university, in writing, of the opportunity to submit to the commission written proposals for establishing one or more centers of excellence. Proposals must specifically address the evaluation criteria developed by the commission and delineate how funding would be used to develop one or more centers of excellence. Proposals must be submitted to the commission by December 1, 2002. Notwithstanding this deadline, the commission, upon an affirmative vote of a majority of its members, may accept a proposal submitted after the deadline.
(7) By February 1, 2003, the commission shall submit to the State Board of Education a minimum of two, but no more than five, recommended plans for the establishment of one or more centers of excellence in the state. Recommended plans must specifically address the evaluation criteria developed by the commission and delineate how funding would be used to develop one or more centers of excellence. When developing such recommended plans, the commission shall consider the university proposals submitted under subsection (6) and hold at least three public hearings, at times and locations designated by the chair of the commission, for the purpose of soliciting expert testimony including, but not limited to, viewing presentations of university proposals.
(8) By March 15, 2003, the State Board of Education shall develop and approve a final plan for the establishment of one or more centers of excellence in the state and authorize expenditures for implementation of the plan. The final plan must allocate at least $10 million to each center of excellence established by the plan. When developing this final plan, the board shall consider the commission's recommended plans submitted under subsection (7) and hold at least one public hearing for the purpose of soliciting expert testimony. The final plan must include performance and accountability measures that can be used to assess the progress of plan implementation and the success of the centers of excellence established under the final plan. By March 22, 2003, the board shall provide a copy of the final plan to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(9) Beginning June 30, 2003, the commission shall report quarterly, in writing, to the Commissioner of Education on the progress of the implementation of the final plan approved under subsection (8) and the success of the centers of excellence established under that plan.
(10) This section expires July 1, 2004.
History.--s. 1, ch. 2002-265.