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Research and Innovation

Southwest Florida has a strong and growing commitment to research and innovation. In addition to nine universities and colleges, here is a sampling of leading companies and research institutes.

Algenol, Inc.

Headquartered in Fort Myers, Algenol is a global, industrial biotechnology company that is commercializing its patented algae technology platform for production of ethanol and other biofuels. Since its founding in 2006, Algenol’s scientists and engineers have invented and patented a broad array of new technologies for producing advanced renewable transportation fuels.

Arthrex, Inc.

Headquartered in Naples with several facilities throughout Southwest Florida, Arthrex is a global medical device company and leader in new product development and medical education in orthopaedics. With a corporate mission of helping surgeons treat their patients better, Arthrex has pioneered the field of arthroscopy and developed more than 7,500 innovative products and surgical procedures to advance minimally invasive orthopaedics worldwide.

Collier County Accelerator and Incubator Network

Collier County received a $2.5 million from the state and matching local dollars to develop an accelerator. The Naples Accelerator is one of only a handful of certified soft-landing accelerators in the United States. Since 2014, the accelerator has focused primarily on recruiting companies in smart health, information technology and other knowledge-based industries. In 2018, non-profit Economic Incubators Inc. and the Office of Business & Economic Development opened the Florida Culinary Accelerator @ Immokalee, a state-of-the-art kitchen and production facility in a converted 5,000-square-foot warehouse at Immokalee Regional Airport. The University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research & Education Center in Immokalee provides a food testing lab staffed by UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

FGCU Emergent Technical Institute  

Florida Gulf Coast University, based in Fort Myers, received a $7 million grant to build the six-acre technology Emergent Technical Institute (ETI). The institute houses laboratories where FGCU researchers can work in the fields such as renewable energy. The ETI is the first project in the Fort Myers ITEC, a 240-acre development planned as a magnet for technology and research companies near Southwest Florida International Airport.

Gartner, Inc.

Headquartered in Stamford, CT, with major facilities in Fort Myers, Gartner, Inc. is a leading global information technology research and advisory company and publishes thousands of pages of original research annually.

NeoGenomics Laboratories

Headquartered in Fort Myers, NeoGenomics Laboratories is a specialized oncology reference laboratory providing the latest testing technologies, global/tech-only options, and interactive education to the pathology community.

Shaw Development, Inc.

Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Shaw Development is a global fluids management specialist providing innovative component and system level solutions to OEM’s within the commercial and military heavy duty ground vehicle markets. Shaw focuses on continuous and intelligent investment in research and core competence to develop processes, equipment and systems expertise.

UF Southwest Florida Research and Education Center and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Located in Immokalee, Florida, The Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) mission is to supply decision-makers with specific knowledge to sustain and enhance agricultural, human, and natural resources through nationally and internationally recognized research, extension, and teaching programs. Study areas include agricultural economics, citrus horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, soil and water science, vegetable horticulture, and water resources.

21st Century Oncology

Headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, 21st Century Oncology is a provider of cancer care services and active sponsor of clinical research. The company partners with leading universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies.