Silicon Valley-based SRI International has officially started operations of a new marine technology unit in St. Petersburg, Fla. SRIâ€™s expansion in Florida was first announced on November 30 at a press conference in St. Petersburg with Mayor Rick Baker.
The new operation, called SRI-St. Petersburg, is being launched with the transition of up to 40 staff members from the University of South Floridaâ€™s Center for Ocean Technology. Six staff members have already joined SRI International and the new program
, with several more expected soon. SRI-St. Petersburg plans to grow to 100 jobs over the next five years.
In addition, on December 14 the St. Petersburg City Council approved the facility lease and development agreement between the City and SRI. The City of St. Petersburg will provide a site for SRI's new 30,000- to 35,000-square foot facility, and will design and construct the facility at the Port of St. Petersburg within the Bayboro area, a designated State Enterprise Zone. Funding for the design and construction of the new facility will be provided by the State of Florida and Pinellas County, which will each provide $5 million.
SRI-St. Petersburg is temporarily located at the University of South Florida. SRI-St. Petersburg will work closely with the faculty of USF's College of Marine Science to accelerate research and development of technologies.
SRI-St. Petersburg aims to accelerate research and development of technologies related to ocean science, the maritime industry, and port security. SRI's expansion into Florida is a collaboration with the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science and its Center for Ocean Technology, and is supported by the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the State of Florida.