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MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian

FAU Projects Selected to Receive $725,000 from New Florida Initiative

Program was developed by the State University System, business and government to deliver the economic talents and innovations to keep Florida globally competitive   

BOCA RATON, FL (November 16, 2010) — Florida Atlantic University has been awarded $725,000 in Clustering Grants and a Scholars Boost Grant provided by the New Florida Initiative—the State University’s collaborative effort together with business and government to deliver the economic talent and innovations that Florida needs to be globally competitive. In January 2010, the New Florida Initiative was developed to ensure that Florida’s knowledge and innovation economy was sustained by high-technology, high-wage jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or “STEM”). The purpose of these grants are to recruit and retain world-class faculty in critical areas and to provide opportunities for collaboration with other institutions among faculty in teaching, research and service in order to solve certain state policy and industry challenges.

            “FAU is grateful to the Florida Legislature and Florida Board of Governors for the $725,000 to support critical projects at the university,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We look forward to continued partnerships within the State University System and with other outside institutions working in collaboration with a focus on teaching, research and service.”

            FAU was awarded funding for three proposals:

  •         A Clustering Grant, in the amount of $300,000, for a neuroscience cluster based on FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter with emphasis on research and graduate education. Since 2009, scientists from FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science have been working jointly with FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and scientists from the Max Planck Florida Institute and Scripps Florida Institute to create a hub for world-class research and training programs targeted specifically in neuroscience. The focal point of this project will be a core facility for teaching electrophysiology to train a new generation of neuroscientists. This fall, FAU and Max Planck Florida Institute hosted a neuroscience symposium to mark the official launch of a joint integrative biology and neuroscience graduate program which has already begun recruiting students and is scheduled to welcome its first class in fall 2011.

  •       A Scholar Boost Grant, in the amount of $250,000, associated with recruiting a professor and chair in the department of ocean and mechanical engineering in FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. This grant will enable FAU to recruit and retain a world-class chair for the department and assist the university in continuing its efforts as a national leader in ocean renewable energy, ocean engineering and the marine sciences. The U.S. Department of Energy recently designated the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) at FAU as one of three national centers working to advance operational readiness of ocean energy technologies. SNMREC is currently undertaking research and development of technologies capable of generating renewable energy from ocean currents and ocean thermal energy.

  •       A Clustering Grant, in the amount of $175,000, for a project titled “A SUS Climate Change Task Force: Science Addressing the Needs of Florida Agencies, Industry and Citizenry.” Scientists from FAU, the University of Florida and Florida State University will examine how climate change will progressively impact many elements of Florida life and economy and will address areas covering water management, agriculture, forestry, land use, coastal county adaptation, wildlife conservation and management, tourism and recreation, assessment of climate change scenarios, and education and training. FAU launched the Integrative and Collaborative Climate Change Research Initiative in 2009 as a university-wide program creating relevant linkages across disciplines in order to advance basic and applied research in the area of climate change and adaptation.

During the 2010 Legislative Session, the Legislature funded State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grants at $2 million, and also appropriated $10 million to the State University System to design a competitive ap plication process demonstrating unprecedented collaboration that address key state workforce, economic and policy issues with a tracked return on investment.  In October, FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute received a State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grant in the amount of $65,000 to culture Queen Conch Pearls.

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit

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