FAU Makes Major Announcement, Plans Science, Innovation and Econ Hub

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (From Florida Atlantic University) — One of Florida’s leading public research universities and two of the world’s premier research institutions will create one-of-a-kind education programs that will attract the best and brightest students to Palm Beach County, and transform Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter into a hub of scientific inquiry, innovation and economic development.FAU, and the globally acclaimed Max Planck Florida Institute and The Scripps Research Institute, will build on existing relationships to further scientific discovery and education through shared resources and facilities.

The three institutions will provide undergraduate and graduate students the unprecedented opportunity to enroll in unique degree programs in collaboration with Max Planck and Scripps Florida at the MacArthur Campus.

The initiative will allow students to work and study alongside some of the world’s leading scientific researchers as part of their degree programs, while undergraduate research projects will be mentored by these same scientists.

The Institutes will collaborate to develop premier STEM programs — Science, Technology, Engineering, Math — and combine FAU Jupiter’s existing strengths in STEM areas, with support from the arts, to create a leading STEAM initiative.

FAU President John Kelly said the alliance will help cure diseases, develop drugs, educate students and generate jobs. FAU’s economic impact on Florida’s economy during 2010-2011, the most recently available data, was $6.3 billion. This initiative creates unique opportunities for FAU’s colleges of science, medicine, and engineering and computer science to greatly increase that number, Kelly said.

“This initiative comes from the core of economic development,” Kelly said. “FAU, Max Planck and Scripps will solve real-world problems and take strides to improve human health.

“We will create the knowledge economy of the future,” he said. “Moreover, we will provide students unique scientific research programs that will be the envy of the world.”

A shared facilities environment will provide students access to state-of-the-art scientific equipment. Max Planck and Scripps Florida researchers will have access to FAU faculty, teaching space, and research equipment.

James Paulson, acting president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute, said the Scripps mission is to build a world-class biomedical research presence in Florida for the benefit of human health and to train the next generation of scientists.

“We believe this new agreement strengthens our existing collaboration with FAU and the Max Planck Institute and enables us to work more closely with our local partners to achieve these critical goals,” Paulson said.

David Fitzpatrick, CEO and scientific director at Max Planck, said, importantly, the collaboration will increase research funding in areas of common interest. The Max Planck Florida Institute’s research focus is neuroscience, specifically, gaining insights into brain circuitry. The institute utilizes some of the world’s most advanced technologies in brain research.

“Combining our resources makes this collaboration a potent force in the scientific and healthcare fields,” Fitzpatrick said. “The advances we can take in many important research areas will be significant.

“Together, FAU, Max Planck and Scripps will train the scientific leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

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