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Federal government designates South Florida as one of 31 Tech Hubs, with focus on climate

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By Riley Kaminer

South Florida has just received major validation of its climate tech prowess from none other than President Joe Biden himself.

The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, today announced that South Florida has been designated one of 31 Tech Hubs. The goal of this initiative is to invest in high-potential regions within the US, transforming them into globally competitive innovation centers.

South Florida fits into the Tech Hub’s “Accelerating Our Energy Transition” subtheme. Miami-Dade County’s Innovation and Economic Development Office will lead the South Florida Climate Resilience Tech Hub, which will also include Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties.

“This successful application is a testament to everything that has been built here over the last decade,” Francesca (Cesi) de Quesada Covey, Miami-Dade County’s Chief Economic Development and Innovation Officer, told Refresh Miami

“This is not something where we’re starting from scratch. This is showcasing what South Florida has already done and why South Florida is a global leader. And we’re excited to continue building.”

Being one of these Tech Hubs enables South Florida to apply for $50 million to $75 million in “phase two” funding, alongside technical assistance from the federal government. 

De Quesada Covey continued: “In phase two, we will be focused on how we catalyze innovation through collaborative test sites, a dedicated lab space, and a commercialization taskforce; how we develop workforce programs including a mentorship network, apprenticeship programs, and a climate skills Academy. And finally, how we convene climate tech champions to coordinate ongoing investments in tech equity and energy transition.”

The County expects that initiatives related to its Tech Hub will generate $9 billion in new revenue in the next decade and create around 23,000 local jobs.

Our Tech Hub will have four areas of focus: coastal resilience and marine infrastructure; clean cement; energy-efficient building operations; and clean energy generation, transmission and storage. According to de Quesada Covey, the team landed on these four areas by looking at areas of excellence in local public, private, and academic partners. “This is about having the opportunity to scale the innovation that has been created here and to make sure that it is deployed globally,” she said.

Galen Treuer, Miami-Dade County’s Climate Tech and Economic Innovation Manager, emphasized the important role that startups can play in combating climate change. “It has to be done affordably. We need innovation – we can’t just build bigger. We need innovators to come and build solutions.”

“South Florida’s Tech Hub designation recognizes our region’s global competitiveness in climate tech,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shared in a statement. “This is a generational opportunity that promises to tackle the climate crisis and directly fuel economic development here in South Florida, thanks to the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to climate innovation.” 

“Miami-Dade is proud to work in partnership on this initiative with public, academic, and private partners from Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties,” Levine Cava continued. “And with the help of our federal partners, we’re building a more prosperous, future-ready region.”

Interested in taking part in building our climate tech hub? Join Opportunity Miami and Miami-Dade County for their next climate tech meetup on November 3rd.

Source: https://refreshmiami.com/federal-government-designates-south-florida-as-one-of-31-tech-hubs-with-focus-on-climate/

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