Florida Senate - 2012 SB 1752 By Senator Oelrich 14-01429A-12 20121752__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to postsecondary education; repealing 3 s. 6, ch. 2006-58, Laws of Florida, which provides for 4 the expiration of s. 1004.226, F.S.; reviving and 5 reenacting s. 1004.226, F.S., relating to the 21st 6 Century Technology, Research, and Scholarship 7 Enhancement Act; providing for retroactive operation; 8 providing an effective date. 9 10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 Section 1. Section 6 of chapter 2006-58, Laws of Florida, 13 is repealed. 14 Section 2. Notwithstanding the expiration date contained in 15 section 6 of chapter 2006-58, Laws of Florida, operating 16 retroactive to June 30, 2011, section 1004.226, Florida 17 Statutes, is revived and reenacted to read: 18 1004.226 The 21st Century Technology, Research, and 19 Scholarship Enhancement Act.— 20 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.— 21 (a) The Legislature finds that diversifying this state’s 22 economy requires a focus on building a growing base of high-wage 23 jobs and on nurturing those technologies and clusters that will 24 be the foundation of Florida’s growing economic diversity and 25 prosperity. 26 (b) The Legislature further finds that special programs are 27 needed to facilitate the recruitment of exceptional talent to 28 Florida’s research universities and centers and to provide the 29 infrastructure and resources that precipitate joint efforts and 30 coinvestment among state research and development institutions, 31 private industry, and government. Florida needs consistent 32 commitment and investment in order to further the state’s 33 strategy of capitalizing on innovative research and development 34 to build a thriving, technology-rich economy. 35 (2) CREATION.—The 21st Century Technology, Research, and 36 Scholarship Enhancement Act is created for the purpose of: 37 (a) Investing in programs that attract world class scholars 38 and building Centers of Excellence as an important means of 39 increasing technology-based business in this state; 40 (b) Requiring coinvestment as a means of leveraging state 41 dollars; 42 (c) Aligning research and development efforts with 43 established, statewide economic development strategies, 44 including an emphasis on identified economic clusters; 45 (d) Facilitating value-added job creation through 46 continuous improvement in university research, as well as 47 entrepreneurship and capital development programs; and 48 (e) Establishing Florida as a leading state for 49 entrepreneurship and innovation, with continued commitment to 50 university Centers of Excellence and an expanding base of 51 research and development. 52 (3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 53 (a) “A 21st Century World Class Scholar” means a principal 54 researcher/investigator who has high academic credentials, 55 demonstrated competence, and experience that meets the 56 requirements established by the board for a 21st Century World 57 Class Scholar. 58 (b) “Applicant” means any state university, private 59 university located in this state, or any private or public 60 research center, Florida College System institution, or training 61 center in this state which coordinates with a state university 62 for purposes of this act. 63 (c) “Board” means the Florida Technology, Research, and 64 Scholarship Board. 65 (d) “Center of Excellence” means an organization of 66 personnel, facilities, and equipment established to accomplish 67 the purposes and objectives of this act. 68 (e) “Florida College System institution” means a Florida 69 College System institution in this state as defined in s. 70 1000.21. 71 (f) “Private university” means a baccalaureate degree 72 granting independent nonprofit university that is accredited by 73 the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of 74 Colleges and Schools and that is located in and chartered as a 75 domestic corporation by the state. 76 (g) “Research center” means an institute, center, or clinic 77 that includes research and development or education as a 78 principal mission of the organization. 79 (h) “State university” means a public university in this 80 state as defined in s. 1000.21. 81 (4) FLORIDA TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH, AND SCHOLARSHIP BOARD. 82 The Florida Technology, Research, and Scholarship Board is 83 created within the Board of Governors of the State University 84 System to guide the establishment of Centers of Excellence, the 85 attraction of world class scholars, and the commercialization of 86 products and services developed from the research and 87 development conducted at state universities. 88 (a) The board shall consist of 11 members. Five members 89 shall be appointed by the Governor, one of whom the Governor 90 shall appoint as chair of the board, one of whom must be a 91 member of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., 92 and one of whom must be a member of the Board of Governors of 93 the State University System. Three members shall be appointed by 94 the President of the Senate, and three members shall be 95 appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. 96 Appointed members must be representative of business leaders, 97 industrial researchers, academic researchers, scientists, and 98 leaders in the emerging and advanced technology sector. 99 Appointed members may not serve for more than 4 years, and any 100 vacancy that occurs during these appointees’ terms shall be 101 filled in the same manner as the original appointment. A 102 majority of members constitutes a quorum. 103 (b) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, 104 but are entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and 105 travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 while in the 106 performance of their duties. 107 (c) The Board of Governors shall provide staff support for 108 the activities of the board and per diem and travel expenses for 109 board members. 110 (d) The board is charged with recommending criteria to the 111 Board of Governors for the 21st Century World Class Scholars 112 Program and with providing guidance to the Board of Governors 113 regarding the implementation and administration of the Centers 114 of Excellence Program. 115 (e) The board shall recommend to the Board of Governors the 116 qualifications, standards, and requirements for approval of 117 investments in Centers of Excellence under this act. The board 118 may form committees of its members and is encouraged to consult 119 with Enterprise Florida, Inc., the Florida Research Consortium, 120 Bio-Florida, IT Florida, the Florida Aviation Aerospace 121 Alliance, and any other entity whose input may be helpful in 122 determining the requirements and standards for the program. 123 (f) The board shall review and approve State University 124 Research Commercialization Assistance Grants under subsection 125 (7). The board is encouraged to consult with Enterprise Florida, 126 Inc.; entities with prior experience in early stage business 127 investment; and any other entity whose input may be helpful in 128 evaluating grant proposals. 129 (g) Members of the board must agree to refrain from having 130 any direct interest in any contract, franchise, privilege, or 131 other benefit arising from a state university project receiving 132 a State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grant 133 during the term of his or her appointment and for 2 years after 134 the termination of such appointment. It is a misdemeanor of the 135 first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 136 775.083, for a person to serve on the board in violation of this 137 paragraph or to accept a direct interest in any contract, 138 franchise, privilege, or other benefit granted by the grant 139 recipients within 2 years after the termination of his or her 140 service on the board. 141 (5) THE 21ST CENTURY WORLD CLASS SCHOLARS PROGRAM.— 142 (a) This act allocates state matching funds to attract 21st 143 Century World Class Scholars to state universities. 144 (b) The 21st Century World Class Scholars Program shall be 145 used as a tool to develop the state’s capabilities in science 146 and high-technology research, emphasizing Florida’s identified 147 strengths in science and technology while also recognizing new 148 technologies as they may emerge. 149 (c) The board, in consultation with senior administrators 150 of state universities, state university foundation directors, 151 the Department of Economic Opportunity, the board of directors 152 of Enterprise Florida, Inc., and leading members of private 153 industry, shall develop and recommend to the Board of Governors 154 criteria for the 21st Century World Class Scholars Program. Such 155 criteria shall address, at a minimum, the following: 156 1. The presence of distinguished faculty members, including 157 whether the university has a substantial history of external 158 funding, along with the strong potential for attracting a 159 scholar of national or international eminence. 160 2. The presence of academically outstanding students, along 161 with the promise and potential for attracting additional highly 162 qualified students. 163 3. The presence of adequate research and scholarly support 164 services. 165 4. The existence of an academic environment having 166 appropriate infrastructure, including buildings, classrooms, 167 libraries, laboratories, and specialized equipment, that is 168 conducive to the conduct of the highest quality of scholarship 169 and research. 170 5. The demonstration of concordance with Florida’s 171 strategic plan for economic development or an emphasis on one or 172 more emerging sciences or technologies that could favorably 173 impact the state’s economic future. 174 (d) A state university must raise a minimum of $1 million 175 to be eligible for state matching funds to recruit a 21st 176 Century World Class Scholar. Funds raised by the university 177 shall be eligible for a one-to-one match from the state. 178 Revenues received from state appropriations, student tuition and 179 fees, and state-funded contracts or grants are not eligible for 180 state match. 181 (e) Upon the verification by the Board of Governors that a 182 state university has met the criteria for a 21st Century World 183 Class Scholar, the Board of Governors shall release matching 184 funds to the university. Funds shall be used for the purpose of 185 recruiting a 21st Century World Class Scholar and shall be 186 expended according to an expenditure plan approved by the Board 187 of Governors. 188 (f) This act is not intended to replace or obviate existing 189 programs. 190 (6) CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.— 191 (a) The purposes and objectives of a Center of Excellence 192 include: 193 1. Identifying and pursuing opportunities for university 194 scholars, research center scientists and engineers, and private 195 businesses to form collaborative partnerships to foster and 196 promote the research required to develop commercially promising, 197 advanced, and innovative science and technology and to transfer 198 those discoveries to commercial sectors. 199 2. Acquiring and leveraging public sector and private 200 sector funding to provide the totality of funds, personnel, 201 facilities, equipment, and other resources needed to support the 202 research required to develop commercially promising, advanced, 203 and innovative science and technology and to transfer those 204 discoveries to commercial sectors. 205 3. Recruiting and retaining world class scholars, high 206 performing students, and leading scientists and engineers in 207 technology disciplines to engage in research in this state and 208 to develop commercially promising, advanced, and innovative 209 science and technology. 210 4. Enhancing and expanding science and technology curricula 211 and laboratory resources at universities and research centers in 212 this state. 213 5. Increasing the number of high-performing students in 214 science and technology disciplines who graduate from 215 universities in this state and pursue careers in this state. 216 6. Stimulating and supporting the inception, growth, and 217 diversification of science and technology-based businesses and 218 ventures in Florida and increasing employment opportunities for 219 the workforce needed to support such businesses. 220 (b) The following entities are eligible to submit proposals 221 for a center of excellence: 222 1. Any state university. 223 2. Any private university. 224 3. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. 225 4. The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, 226 Inc. 227 5. Any Florida College System institution, training center, 228 or other public or private research center in the state which 229 coordinates with a state university for purposes of this act. 230 (c) The board shall recommend to the Board of Governors 231 criteria for approving proposals to create or expand a Center of 232 Excellence. Such criteria shall consider: 233 1. The maturity of the applicant’s existing programs 234 relating to a proposed Center of Excellence. 235 2. The comprehensiveness and effectiveness of site plans 236 relating to a proposed Center of Excellence. 237 3. The existing amount of the applicant’s resources 238 dedicated to activities relating to a proposed Center of 239 Excellence. 240 4. The regional economic structure and climate. 241 5. The degree to which the applicant identifies and seizes 242 opportunities to collaborate with other public or private 243 entities for research purposes. 244 6. The presence of a comprehensive performance and 245 accountability measurement system. 246 7. The use of an integrated research and development 247 strategy using multiple levels of the educational system. 248 8. The ability of the applicant to raise research funds and 249 leverage public and private investment dollars to support 250 advanced and emerging scientific and technological research and 251 development projects. 252 9. The degree to which the applicant transfers advanced and 253 emerging sciences and technologies from its laboratories to the 254 commercial sector. 255 10. The degree to which the applicant stimulates and 256 supports the creation of new ventures. 257 11. The existence of a plan to enhance academic curricula 258 by improving communication between academia and industry. 259 12. The existence of a plan to increase the number, 260 quality, and retention rate of faculty and graduate students in 261 advancing and emerging science and technology-based disciplines. 262 13. The existence of a plan to increase the likelihood of 263 faculty and graduate students pursuing private sector careers in 264 the state. 265 14. The ability of the applicant to provide capital 266 facilities necessary to support research and development. 267 (d) To call for proposals, the board shall notify the 268 president or chief executive officer of the eligible entities 269 identified in paragraph (b). The board shall periodically 270 solicit proposals for Centers of Excellence. 271 (e) The board shall recommend to the Board of Governors for 272 approval and funding those proposals that meet the criteria 273 approved by the Board of Governors. 274 (f) If no proposal is judged worthy of approval during a 275 solicitation cycle, an approval need not be made. This act does 276 not establish a limit for an investment amount; however, any 277 approval for a single Center of Excellence exceeding $20 million 278 must be documented to have superior prospects for success in its 279 field of research and offer outstanding opportunities to 280 leverage state dollars. 281 (7) STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COMMERCIALIZATION ASSISTANCE 282 GRANT PROGRAM.—The State University Research Commercialization 283 Assistance Grant Program is established to promote the 284 commercialization of university research products for the 285 purpose of enhancing the state’s economy and the state’s public 286 universities. All Phase Two and Phase Three grants established 287 by this program require $1 in private investment for each $1 in 288 state funding provided. A state university may apply for early 289 stage capital funding for the purpose of developing products and 290 services resulting from university research. An application may 291 include joint participation in the development of products and 292 services by a cooperating university. Grant funds awarded under 293 this subsection may be used by the university for a variety of 294 pre-marketing activities, including, but not limited to, 295 securing patents, establishing startup companies, developing 296 license agreements, attracting private investment, and 297 supporting other activities that are necessary to establish 298 commercially viable ventures for the marketing and sale of 299 products resulting from university research. Funds may not be 300 used for research or development. 301 (a) State University Research Commercialization Assistance 302 Grants may be provided under the following categories: 303 1. Phase One grants, which may not exceed $50,000 per 304 project, shall be available to assist with early market 305 research, independent evaluation, consultation, and other 306 initial activities that may be required to develop an initial 307 business model for a university research product that has the 308 potential for commercialization. 309 2. Phase Two grants, which may not exceed $100,000 per 310 project, shall be available to assist with the development of a 311 complete business plan for the commercialization of a university 312 research product. 313 3. Phase Three grants, which may not exceed $250,000 per 314 project, shall be available for the implementation and execution 315 of a completed business plan for a university research product. 316 (b) Based on the availability of funds, the board shall 317 periodically solicit proposals from state universities for State 318 University Research Commercialization Assistance Grants. The 319 board shall establish guidelines prescribing the criteria and 320 format for the submission of grant applications by state 321 universities. Any state university, upon approval of its board 322 of trustees, may submit a request to the board for a grant to 323 facilitate the commercialization of a university research 324 product or the commercialization of a patent held by a state 325 agency under a cooperative agreement between the state agency 326 and the university. A state university need not receive prior 327 stage grants to be eligible for Phase Two or Phase Three grants. 328 When evaluating the applications submitted for funding, the 329 board shall consider the following criteria: 330 1. The potential return to the university which may be 331 reasonably assumed based on the business case presented in 332 support of the proposed project. 333 2. The potential for the creation of high-wage jobs 334 resulting from the success of the proposed project. 335 3. The potential of the proposed project to address 336 pressing needs of the residents of the state. 337 4. The potential of the proposed project to enhance the 338 economic competitiveness of the state and the university. 339 5. The technical, financial, organizational, and marketing 340 feasibility of the project and its business plan. 341 6. The potential of the proposed project to create other 342 related business enterprises. 343 344 Each proposed project shall be evaluated on its individual 345 merits. 346 (c) The board shall negotiate and execute contracts with 347 state universities governing the terms of State University 348 Research Commercial Assistance Grants. The board may not execute 349 the contract unless the contract is approved by the affirmative 350 vote of at least 6 of the 11 members of the board. Each 351 contract, at a minimum, must contain provisions that: 352 1. Specify the procedures and schedules that govern the 353 disbursement of funds under this section and specify the 354 conditions or deliverables that the state university must 355 satisfy before the release of each disbursement. 356 2. Require the state university to submit a business plan 357 in a form and manner prescribed by the board. 358 3. Require the state university to submit data to the board 359 concerning the activities and performance of projects funded 360 pursuant to this section and to provide to the board an annual 361 accounting of the expenditure of funds disbursed under this 362 subsection. 363 4. Require the state university to negotiate repayment to 364 the General Revenue Fund of the amount of the grant awarded to a 365 project when the project generates sufficient revenues to 366 sustain a profitable operation. 367 5. Require the state university to expend 95 percent of 368 grant proceeds for described uses in the approved grant 369 application and not otherwise reduce grant proceeds with 370 facilities charges or fees by the university. 371 (d) Upon verification by the Board of Governors that a 372 state university has executed a contract with the board for a 373 State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grant, 374 the Board of Governors shall release grant funds to the 375 university. 376 (8) EXEMPTIONS FROM PUBLIC RECORDS AND PUBLIC MEETINGS 377 REQUIREMENTS; STATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COMMERCIALIZATION 378 ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM.— 379 (a) The following information held by the Florida 380 Technology, Research, and Scholarship Board is confidential and 381 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 382 Constitution: 383 1. Materials that relate to methods of manufacture or 384 production, potential trade secrets, patentable material, trade 385 secrets as defined in s. 688.002, or proprietary information 386 received, generated, ascertained, or discovered by or through 387 state university research projects submitted for funding under 388 the State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grant 389 Program. 390 2. Information that would identify an investor or potential 391 investor, who desires to remain anonymous, in projects reviewed 392 by the Florida Technology, Research, and Scholarship Board. 393 3. Any information received from a person or another state 394 or nation or the Federal Government which is otherwise 395 confidential or exempt under the laws of that state or nation or 396 under federal law. 397 (b)1. That portion of a meeting of the Florida Technology, 398 Research, and Scholarship Board at which information is 399 discussed that is confidential and exempt under subsection (1) 400 is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State 401 Constitution. 402 2. Any records generated during that portion of an exempt 403 meeting are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 404 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 405 (c)1. Information made confidential and exempt pursuant to 406 this section may be released to a governmental entity in the 407 furtherance of its duties and responsibilities. 408 2. Any public officer or employee who willfully and 409 knowingly releases such confidential and exempt information, in 410 violation of this subsection, commits a misdemeanor of the first 411 degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. 412 (d) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 413 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 414 on October 2, 2012, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 415 through reenactment by the Legislature. 416 (9) ANNUAL REPORT.—The board, in cooperation with the Board 417 of Governors of the State University System and the state 418 universities or research centers receiving investments under 419 this act, shall issue an annual report by December 31 each year 420 of the activities conducted, including the accomplishments and 421 overall economic benefits to the state, the number of 21st 422 Century World Class Scholars attracted, the number of Centers of 423 Excellence created or expanded, the success of collaborations 424 with related industries, the number and amount of State 425 University Research Commercialization Assistance Grants awarded 426 and repaid, and the success of these programs. The annual report 427 shall be presented to the Governor, the President of the Senate, 428 and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The annual 429 report must include a copy of an independent audit of the board 430 and a review of the progress of programs administered by the 431 board. 432 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.