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$75M for Innovation Incentive Fund in Florida Budget

June 09, 2010

Florida's FY11 budget, signed into law last month by Gov. Charlie Crist, replenishes the Innovation Incentive Fund with $75 million. The recruitment fund was immediately tapped by lawmakers for $50 million toward enticing Maine's Jackson Laboratory to open a branch in Collier County, leaving $25 million for other major R&D projects and create high wage jobs throughout Florida. The state has promised the Jackson Lab project an additional $80 million over the next three years if developed.

The $75 million FY11 appropriation for the Innovation Incentive Fund is contingent upon passage of increased federal Medicaid funds to the states, however.

Established in 2006, the Fund is responsible for attracting some of the most recognizable life sciences institutions, including the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, SRI International, and the Max Plank Society. The newest recruit, Maine-based Jackson Labs, specializes in genetics research. A 14,000-square-foot research institute that could break ground as early as fall is planned for the Florida branch, reports Marco Eagle.

In addition to the Jobs Bill approved by the legislature earlier in the session (see the May 5, 2010 issue of the Digest), the FY11 budget allocates the following funds for tech-based economic development initiatives:

  • $31.2 million for space initiatives, including $3.9 million for SpaceFlorida operations (up from $3.8 million approved last year), $11 million for launch complexes and space transportation facilities; $10 million for financing, business development and infrastructure; $3.2 million for retraining workers; and $3 million for business development and recruitment;
  • $11.1 million in total funds ($6.2 million in general funds) for Enterprise Florida, down slightly from $11.4 million approved last year;
  • $3 million for the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research to provide funding to assist in the commercialization of product development from the R&D activities of small businesses; and,
  • $2 million for the Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program to provide grants to local and regional organizations seeking to implement or expand local economic gardening projects.


A total $42.2 million from the Biomedical Research Trust Fund is appropriated for two Florida Biomedical Research programs administered by the Florida Department of Health. The James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program will receive $22.2 million and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program will receive $20 million. Both programs saw significant funding increases in last year's budget (see the June 3, 2010 issue of the Digest).

The budget also includes $16.5 million for the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program and the Qualified Defense Contractors Tax Refund program. Both programs assist companies that create high-tech jobs.

A conference committee report on HB 5001 is available at: http://floridafiscalportal.state.fl.us/PDFDoc.aspx?ID=2888.