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State University System Makes Critical Gains in Research and Innovation

TALLAHASSEE—The State University System of Florida announces $2.56 billion in research expenditures, representing an incredible 10% year-over-year increase, which supports the System’s goal of reaching $3 billion in research by 2025.  Additionally, federal expenditures have increased by 20% in the last five years.  This increase demonstrates that our institutions have successfully competed for federal research awards.

Over the last several years, the Board of Governors and Florida’s 12 public universities have leaned in to raise the System’s research profile.  The Board’s Academic & Research Excellence Committee spearheads this effort, but the dedication of our university leadership to collaborate collectively and with federal agencies demonstrates our institutions’ willingness to work together to address research needs for the state.

The Research and Innovation Dashboard captures the System’s progress in research and is updated and reported annually.  The dashboard is organized into four major categories: research grants & contracts, innovation, people, and return on investment, with multiple metrics in each category.

Research and Grants Metric

  • System performance has increased year-over-year across all metrics, including the total research expenditures increase of 10%. 
  • Nationally, Florida is currently the fifth largest public higher education system in the nation for research expenditures, a position held since 2019.  
  • System research collaborations have also increased.  Based on reports from the institutions, our System collaborated on 169federal awards during the 2021-22 fiscal year, 16% higher than the number of collaborative projects last year.
  • The successful gains in this metric show that our institutions are working together to compete against other states for competitive federal awards. 

Innovation Metric

  • The innovation category includes metrics such as patents awarded, licenses, startups, and industry-related grants and contracts. 
  • Within this metric, industry-related grants and contracts are up 16% year-over-year.
  • The State University System of Florida ranks second for tech transfers amongst university systems in the United States.  Technology transfer includes sharing knowledge or technologies to promote product and service commercialization.

People Metric

  • This metric includes doctoral degrees, post-doctoral, national academy members, and the percentage of undergraduate students engaged in research. 
  • The number of doctoral degrees awarded increased by 10%, and the number of post-doctoral appointees increased by 3%. 

Return on Investment Metric

  • This metric includes the number of jobs supported by external funding and the economic impact of state and federal funding. 
  • The State University System continues to show robust results on the metrics included in the ROI area.
  • The numbers are up in all three categories year-over-year, with a 9% increase in the total number of jobs supported by external funding, a 14% increase in the economic impact of state funding, and an 18% increase in the impact of federal funding. 
  • As our System’s research expenditures have risen over the last five years, the number of jobs supported by external funding and the economic impact of both state and federal funding has increased.

In other meeting highlights the Board:

  • Heard updates on the presidential searches at Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and New College of Florida.
  • Approved Florida State University’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.
  • Approved the University of Central Florida’s Path to Preeminence five-year benchmarking plan.
  • Approved the Student Success Plan Monitoring Reports for Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Polytechnic University, and New College of Florida.
  • Approved the adoption of Board of Governors Regulation 10.003, Post-Tenure Review.
  • Reappointed the following trustee:
  • Mr. Daniel O’Keefe, University of Florida
  • Appointed the following trustees:
  • Mr. Deveron Gibbons, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Ms. Francis Hondal, Florida International University

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at  The Board’s next in-person meeting is June 20-22, 2023, at the University of South Florida in Tampa.


Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors.  The System has 12 universities and more than 420,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation.  Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation.  The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive.  For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.