PHOTO COURTESY OF BUSINESS.FAU.EDU
JUPITER — Florida Atlantic University is partnering with two of the world’s premier research institutions to create what administrators hope will be one-of-a-kind education programs that will attract the best and brightest students to Palm Beach County.
The partnership with the globally acclaimed Max Planck Florida Institute and the Scripps Research Institute could transform Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter into a hub of scientific inquiry, innovation and economic development.
FAU officials announced the collaboration last week. The arrangement, they said, will build on existing relationships to further scientific discovery and education through shared resources and facilities.
The three institutions will provide undergraduate and graduate students with the unprecedented opportunity to enroll in unique
degree programs at the MacArthur Campus, and
will allow students to work and study alongside some of the world’s leading scientific researchers as part of their degree programs. The collaboration is expected to open to students in fall 2016.
The institutes will collaborate to develop premier STEM programs — science, technology, engineering, math — and combine FAU Jupiter’s existing strengths in STEM areas, with support from the arts, to create a leading STEAM initiative.
FAU President John Kelly has high expectations for the arrangement. He said the alliance will help cure diseases, develop drugs, educate students and generate jobs. FAU’s economic impact on Florida’s economy during 2010-2011, the most recently available data, was $6.3 billion. This initiative creates unique opportunities for FAU’s colleges of science, medicine, and engineering and computer science to greatly increase that number, Kelly said.
“This initiative comes from the core of economic development,” Kelly said. “FAU, Max Planck and Scripps will solve real-world problems and take strides to improve human health.”
“We will create the knowledge economy of the future,” he said. “Moreover, we will provide students unique scientific research programs that will be the envy of the world.”
A shared facilities environment will provide students access to state-of-the-art scientific equipment. Max Planck and Scripps Florida researchers will have access to FAU faculty, teaching space, and research equipment.
James Paulson, acting president and CEO of the Scripps Research Institute, said the Scripps mission is to build a world-class biomedical research presence in Florida for the benefit of human health and to train the next generation of scientists.
“We believe this new agreement strengthens our existing collaboration with FAU and the Max Planck Institute and enables us to work more closely with our local partners to achieve these critical goals,” Paulson said.
David Fitzpatrick, CEO and scientific director at Max Planck, said the collaboration will increase research funding in areas of common interest. The Max Planck Florida Institute’s research focus is neuroscience, specifically gaining insights into brain circuitry. The institute utilizes some of the world’s most advanced technologies in brain research.
“Combining our resources makes this collaboration a potent force in the scientific and healthcare fields,” Fitzpatrick said. “The advances we can take in many important research areas will be significant.
“Together, FAU, Max Planck and Scripps will train the scientific leaders of tomorrow,” he said.