Florida Tech Receives State Funding for STEM Education, Workforce Initiatives

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Recognizing the importance of an innovative Florida workforce educated in critical STEM disciplines, Florida Tech is honored to receive $7 million in funding in the 2023-24 state budget for two critical initiatives that will harness the power of technology to supercharge the Sunshine State’s economic future.

“Florida Tech is truly appreciative of the support from our sponsoring members of the Brevard state legislative delegation and the Florida House and Senate leadership, and for the confidence of Gov. Ron DeSantis,” said Florida Tech Interim President Robert King. “These funds will greatly improve the ability of our university to provide enhanced STEM education and career awareness, carry out applied research and support the global competitiveness of partner companies and government agencies in Florida.”

In collaboration with its L3Harris Institute for Assured Information, Florida Tech is launching the AeroSpace Cybersecurity ENgineering Development (ASCEND)program with $5 million included in the legislative budget. ASCEND will accelerate the education and development of engineering students skilled in cyber-informed engineering for industry and government. The novel program will also help ensure the technological relevance, talent growth and private-sector investment in Florida’s rapidly growing aerospace sector.

ASCEND will utilize resources at the university’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID). Under the program, the facility will further integrate digital engineering design and advanced manufacturing and testing and will include autonomous and simulation equipment instrumented with digital and cyber-physical capabilities for resilience and cybersecurity testing and evaluation.

“Cybersecurity and resilient engineering will be increasingly important functions in aerospace and defense companies in Florida and across the country,” said state Sen. Debbie Mayfield. “I fully support Florida Tech’s approach to enhance their renowned engineering education with these skillsets as a promising investment in Florida’s future.” 

CAMID will also play a critical role in the Florida Tech project that received $2 million funding in the 2023-24 budget as part of the Biomedical, Aerospace, Manufacturing (BAM) specialized equipment platform.

“Advanced, relevant education, especially in high-demand STEM fields, helps build not just regional economies but also the people that power them,” said Rep. Randy Fine. “Florida Tech continues to help students find and hone their talents in STEM fields, and I am pleased to champion these projects for the university.”

Designed to increase Florida Tech’s capabilities for boosting STEM workforce availability, hands-on project work and career awareness in targeted industries in Florida, new specialized space exploration and spacecraft engineering that are part of the BAM platform will provide powerful opportunities for exposing students and faculty to the equipment Florida’s targeted industries are using – and will be using – to develop new technologies and new jobs.

“We live in a competitive world, and those who succeed are prepared for changing times,” said Sen. Tom Wright. “The aerospace industry is growing in Florida, and I believe Florida Tech is key to ensuring we power that growth by maximizing the training and use of aerospace technologies and manufacturing processes, both here on Earth and above it.”

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