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.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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   13  is repealed.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.—
   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.
   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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.