PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Florida State University received its largest Triumph Gulf Coast grant in the history of the program. FSU President Dr. Richard McCullough announced the grant to his Board of Trustees.
It is a $98.4 million grant that will go towards a project called Institution for Strategic Partnerships, Innovation, Research, and Education, known as InSPIRE. It will establish a hub for aerospace and advanced manufacturing, testing and evaluation, research, and technology development.
The $98.4 million will build two facilities totaling about 100,000 square feet. Machinery and hardware will be provided to equip the facilities.
Local business leaders recommend the facility be built either at Northwest Florida Beaches International or at the Venture Crossing Industrial Park.
Research will be a major component of InSPIRE.
“We’ll be doing things like hypersonic testing, wing testing for hypersonics of the future. This will be one of the leading programs and will make an incredible difference in the things we’re doing in Panama City. And that whole region all the way to Pensacola, but will also be the kind of thing that will help to transform our engineering school,” said Dr. McCullough.
FSU officials are contributing $65 million over the next 10 years. They’ve also committed to raising another $230 million in grants and contracts.
They estimate those contracts will help generate $30-50 million a year in annual revenue.
The InSPIRE project will be a game changer, establishing Bay County as one of the premier areas for cutting-edge research and development, said FSU and local economic development leaders.
Triumph Gulf Coast was established by the state legislature to create jobs by funding economic development projects with settlement money for the 2010 BP oil spill.