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$6M deal to lure high-tech company to USF approved

TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners approved a $6-million subsidy deal Wednesday to lure a nonprofit company specializing in nanotechnology to the University of South Florida.

The unanimous approval is conceptual at this time.

The contract must come back to the board for a final vote, which is expected in 30 to 45 days.

As part of the secret negotiations, the business will not be identified until the agreement is signed.

Bruce Register, the county's corporate business recruiter, said it is a northeastern company with about 1,200 employees and revenue of $400-million. It has strong ties to the Department of Defense, and it will be looking to develop commercially viable uses of its technology.

The deal is contingent on securing $10-million from the state of Florida, and another $4-million from the USF Research Foundation. In return for the subsidies, the institute, which would be based at USF, pledges to create at least 100 jobs paying an average of $75,000.

In all, the project could create up to 271 jobs over five years.

"This is the kind of high-wage, high-quality opportunity we want in our community," said Commission Chairman Ken Hagan.

The company also hopes to build a $14-million electronics plant in St. Petersburg, where it would make an advanced form of circuit boards. Details of that subsidy were not yet available.

$6M deal to lure high-tech company to USF approved 04/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 1:21pm]
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