Make us your home page

Bay area in running for biotech center

Hundreds of high-tech jobs could be heading the way of Tampa and St. Petersburg.

An undisclosed nonprofit company proposes creating a $20-million biotechnology research center at the University of South Florida in Tampa and a $14-million electronics plant in St. Petersburg.

The Tampa research center would create 100 jobs paying an average of $75,000 with the promise of up to 271 more jobs in five years, Hillsborough County said.

Employment details were sketchy about the St. Petersburg plant. But the company said it would collaborate with an existing Pinellas County defense contractor to make "multichip modules," an advanced form of circuit boards.

The two projects came to light as Hillsborough commissioners prepared to consider today whether to contribute $6-million from their budget over two years to land the USF research center.

The company also seeks $4-million from the University of South Florida Research Foundation and $10-million from the Florida Innovation Incentive Program. The latter program was created during the administration of Gov. Jeb Bush to help lure world-class, high-impact businesses.

Bruce Register, Hillsborough's corporate business recruiter, said the deals have been in the works for two or three months. He said the USF operation would be a satellite of a $400-million nanotechnology company with 1,200 employees and strong ties to the U.S. Department of Defense.

It would specialize in "BioMEMS," a field that uses miniaturized technology to treat medical ailments. Register said the company would apply similar nanotechnology to the defense-related circuitry at the St. Petersburg operation.

"It's just an exciting opportunity and we're hoping it works out," he said. "Nanotechnology is converging across many disciplines."

Citing confidentiality agreements, Register's counterparts at the Pinellas County economic development office declined to comment.

But Register said the USF deal also hinges on Pinellas County providing incentives for the electronics plant.

"There's got to be a St. Pete component," he said.

Bay area in running for biotech center 04/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  2. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  4. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]
  5. AAA expects gas prices in Tampa Bay will continue to fall


    Ticking slowly and steadily, regular gas prices have receded for the last 10 consecutive days. The average unleaded gas price in Florida is $2.67 this morning, a nickel cheaper than a week ago. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas has dropped 7 cents from a week ago to $2.62. The national average for regular …

    Gas prices for regular gas continue to decline. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas is down 7 cents from a week ago at $2.62 a gallon. [Times file photo]