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USF And Jabil Teaming Up For Innovation Institute

Oct 24, 2019

Two Tampa area leaders in education and technology are teaming up, as the University of South Florida Jabil Innovation Institute was unveiled Thursday.

Under the deal, Jabil, a St. Petersburg-based manufacturing solutions provider, will work with students and faculty in the USF Muma College of Business and USF College of Engineering, as well as with USF Research and Innovation.

Engineering Dean Robert Bishop says the partnership reflects what's going on in the “real world.”

“You don't have innovation without engineering or without medicine or without business or without research. All those components have to come together,” said Bishop. “And so I think Jabil represents all that and USF represents all that and now we're connecting all those pieces.”

Leadership on both sides has high hopes for the partnership.

“We look forward to growing the Institute so that it serves as a national model for high-impact university-industry partnerships,” USF President Steven Currall said during an announcement ceremony on the Tampa campus.

USF System President Steven Currall and Jabil CEO Mark Mondello, a 1987 graduate of USF, pose for a photo at the announcement of the USF Jabil Innovation Institute Thursday in Tampa. MARK SCHREINER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

“We are leveraging our strengths at the right time and right place - a Tampa Bay region that is continuing to build momentum as a creative, high-tech destination for the next generation of the technology-savvy workforce," he continued. “And at the heart of it will be Jabil and USF, charting a groundbreaking course together.”

“You take a preeminent university in the Tampa Bay area, you combine it with a far-reaching global company that happens to be located in the Tampa Bay area, and you get one plus one equals four or five,” added Jabil CEO Mark Mondello, a 1987 graduate of USF.

Jabil will be leasing space at the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator in the Research Park on Tampa’s USF campus. There, university students and faculty will team up with Jabil’s professionals to develop solutions to business and technology issues.

“We’re already starting to put wheels in motion in terms of what areas we want the teams to work on initially: areas like 5G wireless, digital health, cybersecurity, data analytics,” said Mondello. “We got a lot of work to do, but I think it’s going to be fantastic.”  

Jabil is also giving USF $1 million: $800,000 as a gift, and $200,000 in research support.

WUSF will have more on the new partnership on University Beat on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7:45 a.m. and 5:44 p.m.