Make us your home page
Instagram

MIT spinoff to start recruiting for 165 jobs

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., will build Tampa and St. Petersburg labs that will employ 165 people.

Associated Press

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., will build Tampa and St. Petersburg labs that will employ 165 people.

Job recruiting will start within weeks for a Massachusetts research and development firm that will build labs in Tampa and St. Petersburg to manufacture tiny biomedical machines.

Gov. Charlie Crist announced Monday that Draper Laboratory will locate to the Tampa Bay area with the help of $30-million in economic incentives.

Draper , a nonprofit spinoff of MIT, expects to employ at least 100 people at a laboratory at the University of South Florida in Tampa and another 65 in St. Petersburg.

Most employees will have master's level or doctorate degrees, and they could begin working within a few months, said Len Polizzotto, Draper's director of strategic development.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Polizzotto said. "I don't want to waste any time."

Word of Draper's interest in Florida surfaced earlier this month when local governments voted to underwrite the venture with $30-million in economic incentives.

The state Innovation Incentive Fund will provide $15-million. USF's Research Foundation, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County also contributed.

St. Petersburg will provide land for a manufacturing plant of multichip modules — complex integrated circuits that can run tiny machines.

Draper specializes in developing technology that can be licensed and put to commercial use. It pioneered navigational systems used in weaponry and space exploration, including the Apollo moon landing.

In recent years, it has branched into "bioMEMS," short for microelectromechanical systems, which are machines as small as the width of a human hair that can sense changes in body chemistry or serve as drug delivery systems.

That's the kind of research that Draper would conduct in an on-campus laboratory provided by the University of South Florida, Polizzotto said.

For example, Draper has developed implants that can detect subtle blood sugar changes or potassium levels, Polizzotto said. Another project would treat macular degeneration by installing a tiny machine behind the eye, which could slowly dispense medicine for 18 months.

The current protocol calls for shots through the pupil every few weeks, he said.

"We solve problems and develop prototype solutions. We focus on security, energy, health care and space," Polizzotto said. "We solve problems in the nation's interests. We've been doing it for 60 years."

The St. Petersburg lab will focus on development of multichip modules, chips that are designed for specific, complex systems. They can dramatically reduce the size of electronic equipment, Crist's news release said.

Draper also will work with Progress Energy Florida to improve the efficiency of its coal-fired power plants by at least 10 percent, Crist's announcement said. Progress Energy will contribute $300,000 to the $30-million incentive package.

"We're excited to be a part of bringing this level of cutting edge research to the Tampa Bay region, said Florida Progress chief executive Jeff Lyash. "The focus of incorporating energy production efficiency into this project will become a key attractor to a wide range of industries."

MIT spinoff to start recruiting for 165 jobs 07/28/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 4:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County

    Autos

    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]