The University of Florida has a major economic presence statewide, with diverse activities that go beyond its education, research and service mission to encompass tourism, economic development and job creation. The more than 3.85 million visitors to campus attending student orientations, football games and graduations, among other events, spent more than $253 million in 2014-15. And UF researchers hired under the State Preeminence Initiative secured grants worth $55.3 million, an amount more than three times their salaries and benefits. This represents a large return on investment to the state.
Overall, UF’s economic impact on the state in fiscal year 2014-15 was a whopping $12.56 billion in industry output or sales revenues, $7.83 billion in contribution to State Gross Domestic Product, and 135,576 full-time and part-time jobs. This puts UF’s impact on par with the state’s trucking industry or its grocery food store sector, which includes Publix and Winn-Dixie, or the total of all home construction activities in Florida.
During 2014-15, UF and its component units received total revenues of $5.01 billion from all sources, of which 66.7 percent were from sources outside of the state. Some units, such as those in the health sciences fields are largely funded from non-state sources including grants, contracts, private giving, insurance coverage and revenue-generating activities.
UF boasts an active program for licensing patented technologies developed through university research to private companies. In fiscal year 2015-16, UF Office of Technology Licensing received 311 invention disclosures on $724 million in UF research, signed 122 licenses and options, and launched 17 companies.
The largest industry sectors for technology licensing were biological product manufacturing, pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing, and pesticide and other agrichemical manufacturing. Total annual sales revenues for all companies were estimated at $909 million, with an overall economic impact on Florida more than double this amount.
Spotlight on UF/IFAS
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible.
While extending into every county in the state, UF/IFAS has developed an international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and Extension. Because of this mission and the diversity of Florida’s climate and agricultural commodities, UF/IFAS has facilities located throughout Florida.
UF/IFAS provides research and development for Florida’s agricultural, natural resources and related food industries, which made value-added contributions of $123.2 billion to the gross domestic product of the state economy in 2013.