Tradition Center For Innovation Members Form Partnership To Direct Growth And Promote Commercialization

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Tradition Center for Innovation (TCI) announces formation of Florida Innovation Partners (FIP)

Members of the Tradition Center for Innovation (TCI) announced the formation of Florida Innovation Partners (FIP), an organization that will direct TCI’s growth into a world-class research park and promote the commercialization of new discoveries made within the park.

“The purpose of the Florida Innovation Partners is to promote and grow the Tradition Center for Innovation through an active, strategic marketing and awareness program,” said Andy Favata, FIP’s director and vice president of the Mann Research Center.

FIP is directed by a council of leaders from TCI’s anchor institutions—Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Oregon Health and Science University’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute in Florida, Martin Memorial Health Systems and Mann Research Center—which will funnel financial resources into FIP to drive TCI’s growth.

FIP’s first initiative, launching an active economic development campaign to attract additional high-caliber institutions to TCI, is already underway.

“We are seeking institutions with research programs synergistic with our scientific community,” said Richard A. Houghten, Ph.D., founder and president of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and a member of FIP’s leadership council. “The expertise and research programs of TCI’s current tenants complement each other well. New institutions will not only be able to access our resources, such as direct access to clinical trials and samples, but also strengthen those resources as well.”

“We have a highly interactive, multidisciplinary group of scientists each focused on human health. We’re reaching a critical mass in Tradition that other scientists can feed off of to establish their own institutes,” said Jay Nelson, Ph.D., who founded Oregon Health and Science University’s Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute and decided to establish a second branch of the institute at TCI.

A recent survey commissioned by FIP indicated that TCI is ready for such growth. Even at this early stage in TCI’s development, more than 70 percent of respondents rated TCI as a well-established or cutting-edge location for immunology or medical device institutions.

Drug company MannKind Corporation (MKC) recently sent top scientific management to a summit with TCI’s members and representatives of other Treasure Coast biotech institutions. One of the primary reasons MKC scientists came to Tradition was the ability to meet, in one place, companies that could help them along the entire drug discovery and development process, from drug candidate screening to clinical trials.

“Thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of our scientific community and the strong support of the local government, the Tradition Center for Innovation has rapidly developed into a research community with expertise, resources, and funding necessary for attracting top-notch institutions,” said Favata. “FIP’s campaign to attract more institutions will multiply the return on Floridians’ investment in this research park and contribute to a sustainable, high-paying, knowledge-based economy.”

“Since we’re privately owned and possess strong relationships with the local community, we can work faster than other research parks,” said John DelRusso, president of the Mann Research Center, about TCI. “For instance, in the case of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, we moved from permitting to completing construction in 18 months. They didn’t move in until six months after the facilities were completed because the process rarely happens that quickly!”

As TCI expands, FIP will shift more resources to support spin-offs and commercialization of discoveries.

FIP has entered into agreement with Mann Research Center for all marketing and public relations. Mann has enlisted Jones Lang LaSalle, a full service brokerage company, to help market nationally and internationally the research space available at TCI. A life sciences marketing firm, Chempetitive Group, has also been contracted to broaden awareness of TCI with life science companies.

Members of the FIP leadership council include:

  • Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, Ph.D., Scientific Director and Co-Director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida
  • Jay Nelson, Ph.D., Founder and Co-Director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
  • Mark Williams, Chief Interim Operating Officer at Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida
  • Richard A. Houghten, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
  • Pam Houghten, Education and Community Outreach Director at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
  • Mark Robitaille, President and CEO of Martin Memorial Health Systems
  • John DelRusso, President of Mann Research Center LLC, the development partner of TCI
  • Andy Favata, Vice President of Mann Research Center LLC, the development partner of TCI
  • Pete Hegener, Former President of Core Communities

About Tradition Center for Innovation
Located in the heart of Florida's Research Coast, the Tradition Center for Innovation (TCI) is a 150-acre research park within the planned community of Tradition in Port St. Lucie. Formerly known as the Florida Center for Innovation, TCI features a fast-growing roster of innovative, world-class biotech, life science, and research organizations. For more information, visit and

About Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies is a 501(c)(3) research center dedicated to conducting basic research to advance the understanding of human disease and the improvement of human health. Torrey Pines Institute’s headquarters is located in the Tradition Center for Innovation a 150-acre research park under development in the 8,300-acre master-planned community of Tradition, in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Torrey Pines Institute also has a site in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit

About Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute
VGTI-Florida is the Florida-funded expansion of Oregon Health & Science University’s highly successful Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. The Institute was created through a $60 million investment by the State of Florida in January 2008 and by $53 million in matching funds provided by the City of Port St. Lucie. Research at the facility will focus on vaccine development with a special focus on vaccines and therapeutics that protect the aging population, which is most vulnerable to the disease. For more information, visit

About Martin Memorial Hospital Systems
Martin Memorial Health Systems is a not-for-profit, community-based health care organization that has served the region for more than 70 years. It offers a continuum of care including preventative, primary and acute hospital care, as well as cancer and cardiac care, wellness and rehabilitation services. Its approximately 2,900 Associates, 375 affiliated physicians and 850 volunteers provide care at 12 different locations serving Martin and St. Lucie counties. To learn more, visit

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2009 global revenue of $2.5 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.4 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with more than $40 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our Web site,

About Chempetitive Group
Chempetitive Group is a full service marketing communication agency focused on the life science industry. We work with companies small and large to help build strong brands, generate awareness, and drive revenues. Our integrated team of brand strategists, public relations specialists, online marketing managers and creative directors serve as extensions to our client's marketing department. We add life to life science marketing by developing highly differentiated campaigns that lead to measurable results. To get to know us, visit


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