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Friday, February 15, 2013

Draper Honored as STEM Economic Driver in Tampa

The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation honored Draper Laboratory as an economic driver in the Tampa area during a Feb. 9 ceremony.
ARCS’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Economic Driver Award is given annually to an individual or organization whose STEM initiatives and partnerships substantially improved jobs, regional growth and economic development.
“In addition to building multiple productive partnerships that address major societal issues like new medicines, national security, energy, and STEM education, Draper Laboratory has, through their active participation in regional events like the St. Petersburg Science Festival, rapidly become an important part of the fabric of our community,” said Peter Betzer, president and chief executive officer of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, who presented Draper with the award.
Shankar Sundaram and John BurnsDraper operates a Biomedical Engineering Facility on the campus on the University of South Florida in Tampa, and a Microelectronics Fabrication Facility in St. Petersburg. USF students work with Draper as interns and fellows, and the Lab has conducted STEM outreach at the K-12 level, including being a founding sponsor of the St. Petersburg Science Festival.
Over the past year, Draper doubled the size of its Biomedical Engineering Facility to 20,000 square feet, and signed an affiliation agreement with USF that will help expand the current collaboration on research and development with the university.
“Draper’s business strategy calls for significant growth in all of these sectors: biomedical engineering, energy, and special programs for the security of our nation,” John Burns, Draper’s Microelectronics Fabrication Facility director, said at the ceremony. “Our many partnerships in Florida are key to this growth, and we expect to grow our staff in Tampa Bay and our support to STEM initiatives.”
Also at the event, Shankar Sundaram, director of Draper’s Biomedical Engineering Facility, presented ARCS’ STEM Collaborative Award to Gulf Oil Spill First Responders, a group that included USF, whose representatives included Judy Genshaft, USF president, and Karen Holbrook, USF senior vice president for global affairs and international research; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the U.S. Coast Guard; Florida Wildlife Resource Commission and Fisheries; Eckerd College; and other organizations affiliated with the Florida Institute of Oceanography. These organizations monitored the potential movement of oil and analyzed the threat that it posed to recreational and commercial industries in Florida following BP’s Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

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