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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region

TAMPA BAY, Fla., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- News briefs concerning the economic and business growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay Partnership:

SRI Launches First Major Project to Improve Port Security

SRI International has been awarded a five-year, $36.5 million contract to develop a Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) System to demonstrate advanced sensing and situation awareness technologies for improving port security in the United States. The contract was awarded to SRI by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The Maritime Domain Awareness system represents the first major project for SRI's National Center for Maritime and Port Security in St. Petersburg. The Center's mission is to help the United States understand the global maritime elements that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment of the United States. (Contact: Ellie Javadi, SRI, 650-906-7557,

Moffitt, Merck Break Ground on Collaborative Project

Nearly 200 people attended the groundbreaking in Tampa on November 14th for M2Gen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center. M2Gen is the result of a partnership formed in December between Moffitt and drug maker Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK). The for-profit company will develop personalized cancer treatment for patients using molecular technology. Researchers will collect tumor tissues from thousands of patients across Florida and identify the biological markers unique to each tumor. Analyzing patients' responses to specific treatments will lead to more individualized treatment featuring rapid improvement and fewer side effects. (Contact: Patty Kim, 813-745-7322,

Pepperidge Farm to Expand Tampa Bay Facility

An additional 31 million loaves of bread will be produced in Tampa Bay by next summer after Pepperidge Farm Inc. expands its Polk County plant. The planned buildout is geared primarily to the high-capacity bread production line at the Lakeland plant, which in the end will total 320,000-square-feet and add 45 jobs to the already 290 employees currently there. A part of the Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), Pepperidge Farm is the No. 2 producer of fresh bread in the U.S. (Contact: Jim DeGennaro, Central Florida Development Council, 863-534-2512,

Sarasota Ranks 4th Among Best Cities for Job Growth

Sarasota ranked fourth in the nation on recently released annual list of 200 Best Places for Business and Careers. The ranking showed cities which are projected to have the highest job growth this year, as reported by and based on five-year projections from (Contact: Joan McGill, Economic Development Council of Sarasota County, 941- 309-1200,

USF Wins $169-Million Diabetes Grant

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $169 million to the University of South Florida in Tampa to coordinate and analyze results from a 10-year international study to determine the environmental causes of juvenile diabetes. Its goal is to prevent, delay or reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus. The 10-year award, to a USF Health team led by Jeffrey P. Krischer, PhD, is the largest in USF history. At clinical sites around the world, the study will screen 360,000 newborns in order to track 8,000 babies -- eventually analyzing more than 100,000 lab tests. The study will seek to explain why some children get juvenile diabetes and why the incidence has doubled since the 1980s. Known as TEDDY, it is "The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young." (Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Public Health, 813-974-3300,

$3 Million Grant Awarded to Tampa Bay to Build Connected Healthcare Community

The Tampa Bay area was selected from among 90 other communities to win a $3 million grant for leading health care technology from the Center for Community Health Leadership. The grant of electronic health record software will enable caregivers to share information in a secure and appropriate way, leading to reduced costs, enhanced healthcare information adoption and more efficient and effective patient care. The Center said it selected the Tampa Bay area because of its reputation for health care excellence and its commitment to make the idea of community data sharing a reality. (Contact: Michelle Bauer, 727-510-2524,

Financial Services Firm Breaks Ground For New Corporate HQ in Tampa Bay

The Independent Savings Plan Company (ISPC) broke ground recently on their new corporate headquarters to be located in Pasco County to accommodate current and future growth of their expanding company. The new 41,000-square- foot facility, scheduled to be completed in the February/March 2008 timeframe, currently employs 25 with plans to grow to 40-50 employees over the next few years. ISPC provides consumer financing to select dealers and merchants for a variety of products including residential heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), water conditioning/drinking systems, solar water heating systems, and solar pool heating systems. (Contact: Bryan Kamm, Pasco Economic Development Council, 813-920-6480,

Advanced Bio-Technologies Relocates HQ to Tampa Bay

Advanced Bio-Technologies, Inc. (ABT), a biopharmaceutical company, has relocated its headquarters and fulfillment operations to office space within Pinellas' Foreign Trade Zone 193, and will create 32 new jobs over the next three years. Each position will pay 150% of Pinellas County's average annual wage, allowing the company to utilize Florida's Qualified Target Industry (QTI) tax refund. ABT considered expanding operations in their home state of Washington, but, "The combination of existing industry and venture capital funding made Pinellas County an exciting alternative," states Paul Guilbaud, President of ABT. (Contact: Paul Guilbaud,

SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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