FRCEDC Strategic Plan

Florida's Research Coast

Strategic Plan 2010 - 2015

Positioning Our Region for the Upturn

Positioning our region for the upturn will focus Florida's Research Coast economic development activities from 2010 -2015. Understanding that five years is too short and too long, we are taking a long-term approach to our planning initiatives. Our overall strategy is to keep the four county region economically competitive through business, education and governmental collaboration. Florida's Research Coast will follow the four pillars of regional economic competitiveness.

1. Attractiveness to Companies

a. Workforce

b. Business climate (regulation, taxes, incentives, predictability, support services)

c. Physical size (services, size)

d. Idea environment (universities, research, innovation)

e. Economic dynamism (growth, strength)

f. Financial climate (capital, financing)

2. Attractiveness to Individuals

a. Quality of life (cultural, recreational, convenience)

b. Economic dynamism (job growth, income growth, strength, stability)

c. Climate/geography

d. Cost of living

e. Educational quality

f. Social interaction (quality, availability)

3. Reputation/Brand

a. Desirability of location (or regional) address

b. Attractiveness of regional association

c. Name recognition

d. Marketing strength

e. Credibility of area as research and technology leader

4. Intellectual Interaction

a. College, university - business cross fertilization

b. Business - company association

c. Entrepreneur- institution interaction

d. Person to person interaction

Positioning our region for the upturn aims to guide regional leaders in taking the necessary steps to develop the infrastructure required to transition the region's extensive assets into high-skill, high-wage jobs for local people.

Since 1998, this group has conducted regional research to identify industry clusters where the potential is strongest for future job creation. Our plan focuses on these industries as targets for business recruitment, retention and expansion. These industries include:

· Manufacturing

· Information Technology

· Life Sciences

· Distribution

Over the last few years, several new industry clusters have evolved to be included in targeting business development as a response to shifting market conditions. These include:

· Clean Green Technologies

· Healthcare

· Digital Imaging

Our region continues to strengthen its marketshare in its targeted industry clusters. We have determined that community interaction among industry clusters provides competitive strength. It also provides a reliable source of ongoing innovation among businesses, academia and government. The more companies innovate, the more they are able to transfer skills into new products and services.

We agree the region should continue our economic development initiatives and focus on expanding existing and emerging industry clusters. We also believe we should continue to recruit new companies into the region as well as promote new ventures as well as support the growth and expansion of existing businesses.

Action Plan 2010 - 2015

Our new plan will assist the region in focusing on near term economic development activities for 2010 - 2015. With the knowledge that our region's economic competitiveness rests in the ability of our local businesses and people to continue innovating, which will result in the development of new products, services, businesses and jobs. Our high quality of life and business friendly environment will enable us to continue recruiting top talent and financial investment needed for companies to thrive. Based on that understanding Positioning our Region for the Upturn highlights three key strategies to sustain the growth and development of our region.

Strategy 1: Business & Job Growth

Attract, nurture, grow and sustain targeted industries in the four county region

Strategy 2: Product & Service Development

Sustain and enhance the region's economic competitive business climate, quality of life and infrastructure

Strategy 3: Regional Collaboration

Engender trust from regional leaders, community stakeholders and partner organizations to ensure our economic competitiveness