Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s research park generated $137 million in total economic impact in Florida last year – a 50% increase over figures reported in 2019 – according to an independent study conducted by the Washington Economics Group, Inc.
“By achieving a 50% increase in economic impacts in just three years, Embry-Riddle and its successful research park are realizing our vision to advance innovation and new business opportunities,” said Mori Hosseini, President and CEO. of ICI Homes, who also serves as chairman of Embry-Riddle’s board of directors. “We are indebted to the State of Florida for its continued support of Embry-Riddle’s efforts to promote economic progress and improve the quality of life for all Floridians.”
The university’s research park generates significant economic activity that supports $14 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments, the economic impact study concludes. Targeting high-growth sectors, the research park also supports more than 700 jobs in total, directly and indirectly, an increase of almost 40% compared to 2019, when 503 jobs were supported.
The cornerstone of the research park, the John Mica Aerospace Engineering and Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) has directly created more than 120 well-paying jobs, with an average salary of over $78,000, spread across 22 cutting-edge technology companies who inhabit the space. These companies have already attracted more than $46 million in outside investment.
Embry-Riddle Research Park, founded in 2017, remains an important economic engine for Volusia County and the State of Florida as it continues to serve as a supplier of highly skilled talent to the aviation and aerospace and to align its efforts with those of policy makers and those responsible for economic development.
Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler spoke about the beginnings of the research park, which coincided with the start of his tenure at the university.
“As the go-to hub for aerospace innovation and entrepreneurship, Embry-Riddle and its research park create well-paying jobs by incubating transformative ideas,” Butler said. “We are honored to serve as a pipeline for new talent in the aerospace and aviation industries, and we are excited to help position Volusia County as a leader in the growing commercial space industry. .”
Going forward, Embry-Riddle’s capital expenditure plans for the Research Park from 2022 to 2026 will support an additional 106 jobs and generate an additional total economic impact of $83 million. The park will also continue to provide student internship opportunities, which will then create full-time employment opportunities upon graduation and encourage talent to stay in Volusia County.
The last comprehensive economic impact study of the university’s three campuses was conducted in 2020, finding Embry-Riddle’s total economic impact to be nearly $2.4 billion. Nearly $2 billion of that impact occurred in the state of Florida — mostly in Volusia County — where the university supported nearly 14,850 jobs.
Since 2020, Embry-Riddle has continued to thrive, as evidenced by increased enrollment and ongoing construction projects to improve and expand the university’s programs and facilities. One such project is the addition of 10,000 square feet of production space to the research park. Expansions to the Prescott campus, including a new student union, residence halls, a wind tunnel and an improved flight line, will begin soon. And at the Daytona Beach campus, record enrollment led to the expansion of virtual reality technology to support and streamline a growing aeronautical science program, as well as the construction of a new residence hall in 2021 and a new car park this year.
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