Scripps Florida and UF in talks to ‘fit in’
The University of Florida and the Scripps Research Institute have announced that they are in talks to “integrate” UF Health’s research arm with the Jupiter-based Scripps campus.
The effort “would marry the clinical and educational expertise of the state’s flagship university with one of the world’s leading biomedical research companies,” according to a press release Thursday.
Details of the partnership will be worked out in a few months, as the entities indicated that discussions have developed in recent weeks.
Following:Biotech bet: taxpayers gave $ 580 million; now Scripps will get top-notch land at Palm Beach Gardens
Following:Despite some hesitation, Palm Beach County allows transfer of 70 acres of prime land to Scripps for $ 1
Following:Scripps cancels deal with USC to iron out talks with scientists
The announcement comes more than seven years after the University of Southern California attempted to merge with Scripps amid financial difficulties facing the biotech industry. Those talks ended a month later after an outcry from scientists, according to reports.
Patrick Griffin, who heads the department of molecular medicine at Scripps Florida and is the director of its translational research institute, will be asked to lead this joint effort. Griffin joined Scripps Florida in 2004 as a professor.
Commissioner Maria Marino, who represents the district that covers northern Palm Beach County, welcomed the announcement.
“The ability to advance faster in scientific discoveries in the clinical field benefits people, not only in our county but also across the state and beyond,” said Marino. “This company will revitalize our bioscience cluster and create employment opportunities, ensuring economic growth for years to come.”
County Mayor Dave Kerner said the partnership “would add tremendous value to the state’s investment in biotechnology and advance the economy, research and biomedical advancement of Palm Beach County.”
University and Scripps officials have promoted a “shared vision” to stimulate biomedical research and seek solutions to improve quality of life.
“We have built an exceptional research institute at Scripps, Florida with the generous support of state and local communities, and we believe it will have its greatest impact on Florida and the greatest opportunity for future growth in the framework of UF, one of the main research of the country. and educational institutions, ”said Peter Schultz, CEO of Scripps Research in La Jolla, California.
To lure Scripps to Florida, then-Gov. Jeb Bush gave Scripps $ 310 million in state dollars, and Palm Beach County gave $ 269 million.
Officials said the partnership will lead to more jobs and economic development, as well as the expansion of existing partnerships and the creation of new ones like with Florida Atlantic University.
Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, said the organization was “thrilled.”
“UF’s role as a potential leader in the Palm Beach County life sciences industry and ecosystem will take us to the next level. They will play an important role in education and clinical trials and will be strong partners with the local business and government community.
Researchers can collaborate on studies in cancer, infectious disease, neuroscience, and more.
The University of Florida’s medical and artificial intelligence research programs “are among the best in the world,” said Robert Mino, a senior lawyer in the life sciences industry.
“Applying these resources to Scripps’ world-class science programs will expand our region’s capabilities into the next century of medical research. If the proper resources are provided, this integration will be of tremendous benefit to Palm Beach County and all Floridians. , “he said.” I think it’s one plus one equals three for Florida. “
Former Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus, who pushed to move Scripps from its proposed location at Mecca Farms and then worked as a Scripps consultant, said she was “very interested” to see if the partnership would lead to the development of the Briger Tract.
Two months ago, Palm Beach County Commissioners agreed to cede the 70 acres on the southeast corner of Interstate 95 and Donald Ross Road in Palm Beach Gardens, to Scripps for $ 1.
This land transfer was part of the contract that brought the nonprofit bioscience research organization to the county in 2006, only after creating 545 jobs and staying in the county for 15 years.
UF and Scripps noted that this was not a factor in the discussions.
“The devil is in the details,” Marcus said. “We’ll have to see what it really looks like at the end. “