On Monday Oct 26, Draper hosted two opening dedications at its new sites in St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla. The St. Petersburg Multichip Module (MCM) Facility held its dedication in the morning, and the Draper Bioengineering Center at USF in Tampa held theirs that same afternoon.
Draper first announced its decision to expand to Florida in July of 2008, and spent the last year building out space and hiring staff. This work included the purchase of a building in St. Petersburg to house its MCM facility. Both centers are now up and running and ahead of schedule in terms of hiring. Currently, there are 19 full-time employees in the MCM facility, and the Bioengineering Center has 10. In addition to work in Bioengineering and MCM’s in Florida, Draper is partnering with Progress Energy Florida on work in sensors to improve coal plant efficiency, and smart grid technology.
The theme of both events centered on the benefits of partnership and team work in bringing Draper to the Tampa Bay area. Draper Strategic Development Principal Director and MC for both events, Len Polizzotto, stated “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when a diverse group of individuals come together to work toward a common goal.” Draper received incentive funding from the State of Florida, both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, and the city of St. Petersburg for these facilities.
Speakers at the St. Petersburg dedication included Progress Energy Florida CEO Vincent Dolan (not pictured), Congressman Bill Young, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, City Council Chair Jeff Danner, Pinellas County Commissioner Calvin Harris, USF President Judy Genshaft, Pinellas County economic development director Mike Meidel, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership chief Peter Betzer, and Draper CEO James Shields.