Jabil Inc. and University of South Florida plan to launch the USF Jabil Innovation Institute, an initiative to foster collaborative efforts in innovative research, community engagement and talent development with the College of Engineering and Muma College of Business.
Jabil (NYSE: JBL), a manufacturing solutions company and the largest business headquartered in St. Petersburg, is giving an $800,000 gift and $200,000 in research support to the USF Foundation to support the institute, according to a news release.
Jabil will lease space at the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator in USF’s Research Park. There, USF students and faculty will collaborate with Jabil teams, gaining real-life experience developing solutions to critical business and technology issues, the news release said. Jabil also will take part in USF innovation initiatives and lead programs for client companies at the incubator.
“We are looking forward to working even more closely with USF with this partnership,” Mark Mondello, Jabil CEO, said in a news release. “We firmly believe that together we can bridge business and engineering theory to the changing challenges of our global community.”
Mondello graduated from USF with an engineering degree in the mid-1980s, he said during a ceremony announcing the gift. “This allows an amazing platform for the students at USF to get their feet under them and work on real projects,” he said. “We have 200,000 employees, 52 million square feet of manufacturing space, a lot of facilities all over the world … To be able to have Jabil bring that element into USF and really give a global perspective, I think will be outstanding.”
The gift and support from Jabil will create the type of opportunities that high-achieving students seek, said Joel Momberg, USF Foundation CEO.
The institute should serve as a national model for high-impact university-industry partnerships, said Steve Currall, USF president. “We are leveraging our strengths at the right time and right place — a Tampa Bay region that is continuing to build momentum as a creative, high-tech destination for the next generation of the technology-savvy workforce,” Currall said.