State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has recently been awarded a $3.6 million job growth grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to establish a Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation at SCF Bradenton.
Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, president of SCF said, “This initiative reflects a partnership between our institution, local employers, and the Bradenton and Sarasota Economic Development Corporations to meet the changing educational needs of our students and the workforce development needs of employers. We are grateful to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Governor Scott for their support and award of this grant through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.”
For more than two years, college administration sought feedback and proposals from faculty, staff and the community as to how to repurpose a building, which previously held the campus library. SCF received numerous creative suggestions with a common theme that it should be multipurpose and responsive to SCF’s growing needs and new initiatives.
As such, the Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation will feature a:
• Coding Technology Academy,
• Technology Incubator & Accelerator,
• Video, Augmented Reality & Creative Studio, and
• University Partnership Center.
“We are proud to receive support from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and are very excited to expand a sustainable talent pipeline to support innovation that contributes to a stronger regional business climate in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Our students, faculty and the community will benefit from the experiences and insights of employers and higher education partners working together to advance technology and innovation,” said Dr. Todd G. Fritch, executive vice president and provost of SCF.
The SCF Coding Technology Academy will serve as a hub for an expanding regional technology initiative to promote growth and development in Manatee and Sarasota counties and the surrounding area. The Coding Academy will feature immersion courses, certificate programs, seminars, social events, and other gatherings to benefit both the technology sector and other businesses that rely on technology to fuel their progression and expand their footprint. Academies will be strategically placed at SCF Bradenton, SCF Lakewood Ranch and in downtown Sarasota.
The SCF Technology Incubator & Accelerator component is about converting disruptive ideas into viable business models and facilitating growth for early stage start-ups. The incubator reduces overhead and operational costs through shared office space including reliable high-speed internet, other supportive technology and production equipment expenses. The Accelerator finds expedited approaches to bringing business to scale. The focus is on helping entrepreneurs achieve rapid growth.
SCF’s Incubator and Accelerator will offer the support and services of the larger college community, including faculty and staff expertise, and ready access to a quality workforce of students and alumni network. Education, training and business-oriented curriculum also will be available to all participants.
The Creative Studio will provide video and creative services for educational and promotional content that empowers and inspires community members to understand, participate and support local entrepreneurs. The studio will offer video recording, editing and production. It also will provide digital broadcasting.
The University Partnership Center will promote seamless transitions with elevated access to advisors from partner universities who assist SCF students in selecting appropriate courses aligned with their upper division degree choices at partner universities.
For more information about SCF’s Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation, contact Jamie M. Smith, director of communications and marketing at SmithJ4@SCF.edu or 941-752-5587.