TAMPA — Better science, academic opportunities and new business ventures.
Officials touted those benefits Wednesday in announcing a new partnership between the University of South Florida and Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.
Mote and USF's College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg already collaborate on research into Red Tide, managing fisheries and the effects of toxic substances on marine life.
The new partnership has a broader aim. It seeks to develop projects between Mote and USF's colleges of engineering, business, arts and sciences, even the medical school.
"It really crosses our whole campus," said Karen Holbrook, USF's vice president for research and innovation.
Consider, for example, commercial aquaculture.
Since 1992, Mote has invested more than $15 million in research into ways to farm fish such as sturgeon profitably but without damaging the environment. USF could contribute to the project in ways that go beyond marine science, Mote president Kumar Mahadevan said.
The college of business could help Mote work with Florida farmers interested in aquaculture, he said. And part of raising fish at an inland farm is having good pumps and using a lot of electricity. That's where the college of engineering could come in, he said.
In fact, Holbrook said, Yogi Goswami, co-director of USF's Clean Energy Research Center, is working on photovoltaic technology to both heat and cool water.
The new affiliation will allow USF and Mote to seek out marine biology research projects and other joint ventures, then combine their efforts to seek grants and funding.