This story was written by Elizabeth Leva, Independent Florida Alligator
In an effort to boost Floridas economy, Gov. Charlie Crist approved a plan that aims to stimulate the states science and technology industries to create more profitable jobs for Floridians.
Crist signed a law on May 22 that authorizes the State Board of Administration to reinvest up to 1.5 percent or $1.95 billion of funds from the Florida Retirement System in a venture capital fund.
The law urges the board to invest in Florida industries instead of similar businesses in other states.
David Day, director of UFs Office of Technology Licensing, said investing in Florida businesses could not only boost the job market but convince donors from other states to send money in Floridas direction.
It is basically a way of showing that the state has confidence, Day said.
The law could help UF by financially enabling it to make use of its world changing technologies that can net large profits, he said.
Jamie Grooms, CEO of Regeneration Technologies Inc., said venture capital backing and UF technology made his Gainesville business successful and benefited UF simultaneously.
Because UF resources were involved in his companys technology, which uses human tissue in surgeries instead of artificial materials, UF has equity in his business. He said UF received about $60 million when the company went public in 2000.
Without venture capital, these people wouldnt be getting treated right now, Grooms said.