FIU and Knight Foundation add to #MiamiTech Scene Explosion

FIU and Knight Foundation add to #MiamiTech Scene Explosion

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has made a $10 million gift to FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences. The donation is intended to help the school and Miami-Dade County develop the talent needed to meet industry demand, which is exploding as City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez continues to court tech firms to Miami. The money will be used to recruit top faculty researchers and educators in the fields of artificial intelligence, smart robotics, bioinformatics, biodevices, and digital forensic. It will also be used to increase the number of graduates entering into tech industries.

A State of the Art Tech Facility

“FIU is Miami. Together with the Knight Foundation and our local and state elected officials, we are seizing this opportunity,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “This partnership will help us leverage all that already exists at FIU, add important intellectual capital, work with industry and give our city and our state a key hub of talent and innovation.”

This sizable donation will be added to the current $200 million research expenditure in STEM areas that FIU is already committed to. FIU will also be increasing appropriations to the Computer and Information Sciences School with an additional promise of $106 million over the next decade.

FIU’s advanced computer initiative includes a new facility, located on the main campus, off 8th street. This 90,000 sq. ft. will be built with FIU funding, a $38.9 million appropriation from the state, and another $16 million in philanthropy and research funding.

The new facility will include makerspace labs, active learning classrooms, and research laboratories, including the Academic Health Center. A portion of the Knight Foundation’s investment, $3.5 million, will outfit 20,000 square feet of interactive research and teaching space with best-in-class computing and prototyping equipment.

“Miami is emerging as an international tech hub, both through the success of local startups and the recent influx of companies and investors. Demand for technical talent is rising, and we’re just at the beginning of the trajectory,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight president and CEO. “This investment will assure that there will be a deep pool of talent for Miami’s growing tech sector while creating opportunities for Miamians of all backgrounds.”

#MiamiTech Scene Gains Momentum

Since City of Miami Mayor Suarez announced on Twitter last month that he wanted to know ‘How Can I Help’ tech and venture capitalists moving to South Florida, the scene has grown. Mayor Suarez, the City Commission, Economic Development Organizations, Business Investment Districts, Chambers, and County Leadership provide a multilevel framework for businesses seeking to relocate to the tax haven and free market that is Greater Miami.

It’s more than just the beautiful weather, favorable tax climate, corporate-friendly environment, and location near ports serving the Caribbean and Latin American. It’s government and local support of the initiative that has fueled this growth. Earlier this month SoftBank committed a $100 million investment into the local tech scene. Those investments will be made strictly to Miami-based tech firms, adding fuel to local growth, not just focusing on relocations.

If you’re looking to capitalize on this growing #MiamiTech Scene, contact us today.

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Luis is an experienced procurement lawyer and Miami lobbyist serving elected officials, businesses, international clients, and trade associations. He regularly appears before local and state government in order to advance complex objectives for clients against competing interests. He has weathered various competitive processes in Florida including Home Rule Charter Amendments, Recalls, Local, State and Federal campaigns.