South Florida designated as federal ‘tech hub’

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties — is one of 31 inaugural “tech hubs” nationwide.

The designation makes the area eligible for upwards of $75 million in federal grants.

Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county, will lead the South Florida Climate Resilience Tech Hub, a consortium of local governments, businesses, universities and organizations to develop and commercialize scalable climate change-focused innovations and develop infrastructure to address flooding and Florida’s growing dependence on electric vehicles.

“Miami-Dade is proud to work in partnership on this initiative with public, academic, and private partners,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement. “And with the help of our federal partners, we’re building a more prosperous, future-ready region.”

This is “a generational opportunity that promises to tackle the climate crisis and directly fuel economic development here in South Florida.”

With its large population located at low elevation, South Florida is among the most vulnerable regions in the country to climate change, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s driven innovation, according to Miami-Dade’s Tech Hub application, which said South Florida has produced 2% of all American patents for climate change technology in the last five years, during which climate-related academic research and development funding grew there by 10 percent.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st Century job opportunities in people’s backyards.”

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