Building on South Florida’s momentum around technology and entrepreneurship, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has made a $10 million gift to FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences to develop technical talent at scale to meet the demands of industry and Miamians seeking to advance their tech skills.
The investment will catalyze the development of the local tech ecosystem by attracting top faculty researchers in areas such as artificial intelligence, smart robotics, bioinformatics, biodevices, and digital forensics, increase the number of FIU graduates entering these sectors, and strengthen collaboration with industry. In recognition of this gift, FIU will name the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences in the College of Engineering & Computing (CEC).
“FIU is Miami. Together with the Knight Foundation and our local and state elected officials, we are seizing this opportunity,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “This partnership will help us leverage all that already exists at FIU, add important intellectual capital, work with industry and give our city and our state a key hub of talent and innovation.”
Already a top producer of minority graduates in science, technology, engineering and math and with nearly $200 million of annual research expenditures in this area, FIU is committed to making an additional investment of $106 million over the next decade in this advanced computation initiative, which includes the construction of a new multi-disciplinary engineering building on the corner of Southwest 8th Street and 107th Avenue on FIU’s main campus. With a $38.9 million appropriation from the Florida Legislature and $16 million in philanthropy and research funding, the approximately 90,000-square-foot facility is set to break ground this year.
The new engineering building will be equipped with makerspace labs, active learning classrooms and research laboratories in proximity to university talent, including the Academic Health Center. Of the Knight Foundation’s investment, $3.5 million will outfit 20,000 square feet of interactive research and teaching space with best-in-class computing and prototyping equipment.
“Miami is emerging as an international tech hub, both through the success of local startups and the recent influx of companies and investors. Demand for technical talent is rising, and we’re just at the beginning of the trajectory,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight president and CEO. “This investment will assure that there will be a deep pool of talent for Miami’s growing tech sector while creating opportunities for Miamians of all backgrounds.”
Read more at FIU News.