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Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® Receives 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award

on September 26, 2023 / by Nikki Cabus ,

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The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® received a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The award was bestowed specifically for the Global Ventures at Florida Atlantic™ second-stage entrepreneur support initiative in the Innovation Programs & Initiatives category that impacted more than 500,000 residents. Ryan Lilly, Global Ventures Program Manager was acknowledged and honored at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural Recognition Night event in Dallas, TX, September 19.

The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® is home to technology companies and research-based organizations working to support the research and development activities of
Florida Atlantic University and to foster economic development and broaden the economic base of Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Research Park at FAU hosts Global Ventures, an international soft-landing center for second-stage technology companies and FAU Tech Runway, a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies. The Research Park at FAU is a 70-acre destination for R&D companies to thrive, established in 1985, it is widely regarded as South Florida’s laboratory for new entrepreneurial ideas and technologies. The Research Park at FAU is governed by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority, an independent special district created by Palm Beach and Broward counties in partnership with Florida Atlantic University, organized under Chapter 159, Part V, Florida Statues.

Nathan Ohle

“Research Park at FAU has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Global Ventures program. This award is a testament to Research Park at FAU’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and CEO. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present Research Park at FAU with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”

Every year IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities, and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions.

FAU Research Park’s Global Ventures is an international soft-landing center, accredited by the International Business Innovation Association, serving to support second-stage entrepreneurs and their enterprises as they scale-up in South Florida. The incubator support entrepreneurs with warm introductions to strategic relationships, market validation techniques, peer mentoring and all the resources afforded by its association with Florida Atlantic University, and more.

Andrew Duffell

“Global Ventures was created to help second-stage entrepreneurs scale in South Florida. We identified a gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developed a program to develop it,” said Andrew Duffell, president of Research Park at FAU. “This award validates our concept and recognizes its successes. We are very excited to continue developing it for the benefit of our region’s economy.”

Previously, IEDC recognized Research Park’s work with Silver Awards in 2013 for its partnership with Florida Atlantic University, and in 2014 for its regionalism and cross-border collaboration between Palm Beach and Broward counties. The second-stage entrepreneur support initiative Global Ventures has previously been recognized with awards from the Florida Business Incubation Association (2023) and the International Business Innovation Association (2021).

To learn more about FAU’s Research Park, visit

Research Park at Florida Atlantic University® Receives 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award