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Florida is establishing the 'Office of Ocean Economy' at FAU, pushing to advance discoveries

Anthony Man, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s new Office of Ocean Economy — a statewide effort to harness public and private research, education, technology and business applications involving water — will be housed at Florida Atlantic University.

The effort, which envisions a collaboration among all state universities and businesses, was sponsored by Democratic and Republican state lawmakers from South Florida.

State Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, described the program last week during a Broward Legislative Delegation gathering in Davie.

He worked with and credited his House co-sponsor, state Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Palm Beach County Democrat, and state Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Democrat who represents parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Speaking to lawmakers who gathered at FAU’s Davie campus, interim president Stacy Volnick, said hosting the new statewide office would help bring about “an even brighter future” for the university.

“We are establishing the infrastructure needed to ensure a stable, robust economy for generations to follow,” Skidmore said in a statement.

 

Mission

Even though it’s called “ocean,” LaMarca said it encompasses anything that involves water, whether it’s fresh or ocean.

Water is already “the backbone of Florida’s economy,” LaMarca said.

He said the new office aims to spur the development of discoveries, and take them from the pages of medical or scientific journals and help them become products that advance medical science or are commercially successful.

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