UCF gets $1.5 million grant for optics labs

ORLANDO, FL-A $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will allow the University of Central Florida to build more laboratories...

ORLANDO, FL-A $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will allow the University of Central Florida to build more laboratories at the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE) and create jobs by transferring more technology to photonics manufacturers in Central Florida. The grant will be matched with more than $2 million from UCF and the FPCE, a research center at the College of Optics and Photonics that the state created in 2003. UCF received a $10 million grant from the state last year to open the center, which promotes partnerships between UCF, the photonics industry and local economic development agencies.

UCF plans to add about 24 new laboratories to the campus building that houses the College of Optics and Photonics and two research centers, including the FPCE. Start-up companies will work side-by-side with UCF students and faculty, improving the flow of new technology from FPCE labs to companies that can apply it in new or improved products.

“This award from the Economic Development Administration will fund another of the successful partnerships between UCF and industry that have become the hallmark of our university’s successful growth,” said Eric Van Stryland, dean of the College of Optics and Photonics and director of FPCE and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL). “It will allow us to build a much-needed addition so we can continue to provide our students with the best high-tech research labs and to reach out to an industry that is so critical to the Central Florida economy.”

The 12,800-square-foot addition, which also will include 24 research offices, will increase the size of the college’s building to nearly 95,800 square feet. The expansion is intended to benefit some of the approximately 150 optics companies located along the Interstate 4 High Tech Corridor between Tampa and Melbourne.

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