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From Gatorade to Game-Changing: Region Celebrates Innovative Past, Looks Forward to Future Transformation

From Gatorade to Game-Changing: Region Celebrates Innovative Past, Looks Forward to Future Transformation

Over the weekend, leaders from Greater Gainesville celebrated the 50-year anniversary of Gatorade’s transfer from Dr. J. Robert Cade’s lab to the marketplace. The weekend also provided an apt time for reflection on the innovative spirit that has driven the region since that point, and is foundational to the Chamber’s vision of this region into a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity. Today, the Chamber is leading the transformational efforts to achieve this vision, which by 2020 aims to bring to Greater Gainesville 3,500 new jobs, $218M in new primary salaries, $250M in new capital investment and up to $1B in regional investment. Several major developments that happened over the weekend—including the Wertheim Family Foundation’s gift of $50 million to the University of Florida’s College of Engineering and the groundbreaking of the Cade Museum’s new Depot Park facility—illustrate our collective progress toward these near-term goals as well as ongoing future economic prosperity, business growth and community progress well beyond 2020.

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During the course of the weekend’s festivities, Chamber leaders had an opportunity to showcase Greater Gainesville’s innovation, assets and personality for several site selectors and business leaders, some of whom are exploring business relocation possibilities for clients or their companies. Through several events, these leaders has an opportunity to experience firsthand the vibrancy, intelligence, innovation and opportunity this region offers. In particular, they had the opportunity to hear from UF’s Vice President of Research Dr. David Norton about the university’s current research efforts and achievements, as well as UF Innovation Hub Vice President & Director David Day, who covered the university ongoing success in commercializing research.

The Chamber thanks six sponsors—Plum Creek, Banyan Biomarkers, AGTC, Mindtree, Infinite Energy, and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research—for making it possible for the Chamber to host a Game-Day Reception and Business Showcase at the UF Alumni Center. During the event, our sponsors were able to garner exposure before more than 2,000 members of the Gator Nation who visited the Alumni Association at Emerson Hall over the course of a few hours prior to kickoff.

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