North Central Florida Is on the Rise (Florida Trend)

North Central Florida Is on the Rise

Innovation thrives in North Central Florida, a region known for its easy accessibility and abundance of workforce talent. Home to the University of Florida, the nation’s seventh-ranked public university and 19th most prolific patent earner worldwide, North Central first attracts young minds as college students, then retains them as permanent residents and entrepreneurs, helping to fuel vibrant technology and manufacturing sectors and reinforcing the region’s reputation as a great place to live.

The University of Florida has been encouraging innovators and commercializing their discoveries for more than two decades. In 2018, the university consolidated these efforts under one name — UF Innovate. It includes Tech Licensing, which commercializes discoveries; Ventures, which helps create startup companies; and two incubators — The Hub and Sid Martin Biotech — which help startups get up and running. The Hub, located in downtown Gainesville, has doubled in size since its opening in 2011 to provide a total of 100,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. Sid Martin Biotech in nearby Alachua has twice been named Global Science and Technology Incubator of the Year by the International Business Innovation Association, and its graduates have created more than 2,200 high-tech jobs since the incubator’s inception in 1995.

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