TAMPA, Fla. / Businesses seeking to collaborate with the University of South Florida System in exploring new research opportunities, strengthening the region’s talent pipeline, or in expanding philanthropic efforts now have a “front door” to USF to aide in those efforts: the Office of Corporate Partnerships. The new office can be found literally at the USF Research Park in Tampa or virtually through a new web portal.
“Our Office of Corporate Partnerships will expand on USF’s strong history of partnering with leading employers in the Tampa Bay Region to modernize and advance the economy,” USF System President Judy Genshaft said. “We want to make it easier for corporate entities to work collaboratively, problem solve and build the workforce economy of Tampa Bay and beyond.”
Companies increasingly look to higher education institutions for a wide range of mutual benefits – such as developing the skills of future employees, sponsored research collaborations, creating and licensing new technologies, providing workforce development and executive education programs, and collaborating on joint funding proposals.
“The USF System prides itself on research that produces real-world impact, while our faculty and students are powering the economy through their talent and innovation,” said Paul R. Sanberg, USF’s senior vice president of research, innovation and knowledge enterprise. “Corporate partnerships leverage the positive effects of having a productive research university in a thriving metropolitan region to create even greater economic and societal value.”
USF already is known for several highly successful corporate partnerships. For example, USF’s Muma College of Business partner with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Lightning Foundation to offer an MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management. In a few short years, the program has become one of the most successful programs of its kind nationwide. Such partnerships enhance USF’s ability to produce qualified and experienced graduates and to help industries grow and innovate.
As one of the nation’s fastest rising universities, USF ranks in the top 30 of public universities nationwide in research activity and is fifth among American public universities in generating new United States patents. The USF System set a new record in more than $475 million in new grants and contracts in 2016-17; private contracts and grants account for about 40 percent of that total.
The Office of Corporate Partnerships is a joint effort by the USF Office of Research & Innovation and the USF Foundation and is led by Senior Director Michael Bloom and Director Morgan Holmes.
Bloom joins USF with more than 20 years of experience in corporate engagement, project launching and public relations for executive leadership of companies, universities and economic development organizations. Most recently, he served as associate vice president of corporate engagement and commercialization at Kent State University, in Ohio.
Holmes brings to USF a background in economic development, public affairs, and tax consulting. She most recently directed business engagement and communications for the Central Florida Development Council, which supports economic development activity across Polk County. She previously worked with clients on electric utility, water, and business law issues as an attorney in Phoenix.
“The Tampa Bay Region has become one of the nation’s most dynamic communities. The USF System is a strong economic engine for the region and businesses see the value of investing in its future,” said Joel Momberg, USF’s senior vice president of advancement and alumni relations.” This new effort not only benefits the Tampa Bay Region we know today, but the community we envision building for tomorrow.”
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.