Research and Collaboration
Industry involvement is essential to the success of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) educational and research mission. Strong industrial support ensures that ECE’s research and educational efforts address the needs and challenges of the industry, while supporting and enhancing our infrastructure, students, curriculum, and research.
By collaborating with industry and governmental agencies, our ECE faculty and students pursue fundamental and applied research in a wide spectrum of subjects, including data-intensive high performance computing, massive storage and file system, computer architecture and evolvable hardware, secure processor and ASIC design, programmable digital fabric and mobile computing, networked dynamical systems and cooperative control, optimization and dynamic games, autonomous vehicles, medical and assistive robotics, biomedical devices and control, energy systems with distributed renewables, electric machines, power systems protection and control, smart grid, digital signal processing, detection and estimation, communication theory, cognitive radios and networks, wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks, remote sensing, satellite communications, microwave sensors, antennas, phased arrays and integrated RF, micro- and nano-electronics, solid state device modeling, acoustic wave and MEMS devices, power electronics, and thin film micromachining. Their transformational research supports sustainable economic growth, national security, and improved quality of life.
Accelerating Collaborative Research + Innovation
Connecting Industry Partners with Research Universities through Matching Grants
The Florida High Tech Corridor’s Matching Grants Research Program fosters applied research between industry partners, and faculty and student researchers at the University of Central Florida and University of South Florida. Our grants directly fund the work of expert faculty and create an opportunity for their students to participate in collaborative research with industry partners in the 23-county region.
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Inc. (The Corridor) was founded in 1996 to attract, grow, and retain high technology companies in Central Florida—Suncoast to Space Coast. The Corridor’s flagship program, the Matching Grants Research Program (MGRP), aims to incentivize industry-university applied research collaborations, support students in high-impact experiences, encourage technology creation and commercialization, and amplify economic development in the region.
The MGRP at the University of Central Florida (UCF) can provide up to $150,000 in matching funds for applied research projects between local industry partners and UCF researchers, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects. These funds match the industry partner’s investment in the project and are used to expand the project’s scope of work and allow our students to participate in cutting-edge, applied research. Match ratios may vary based on company size and program priorities.
UCF MGRP staff will help to pair interested companies with appropriate UCF researchers to take advantage of this program. Please contact program staff to discuss the project and potential collaboration.
To be eligible for a matching grant, the research projects must:
- Involve a local industry partner and a UCF Principal Investigator (PI)
- Focus on applied research that supports the development and commercialization of new technologies
- Include support for at least one UCF student researcher for the duration of the project
The industry partner must have a significant presence in The Corridor’s 23-county region:
- Alachua, Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia
Participation in the Matching Grants Research Program has become increasingly competitive. The program prioritizes funding for projects that support high-impact research benefiting local industry, the university, and our region. The project between the industry partner and the university should prioritize the following:
- Generates new intellectual property or technology
- Develops and commercializes university technology
- Provides a tangible impact for the industry partner
- Advances strategic research areas of our universities and industry clusters (see below)
- Engages new industry or faculty participants
- Leverages federal funding (i.e., Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR)
- Encourages interdisciplinary collaboration
- Provides research experiences for students and fellows
Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are exhausted for the fiscal year. The application documents should be completed collaboratively by the PI and industry partner. UCF’s Program Director is available to review document drafts and provide feedback throughout the application process. Please contact the Program Director for application materials.
Strategic Research Areas
Applications are particularly encouraged in areas contributing to the development of the high technology industry sectors encompassed within the Florida High Tech Corridor:
- aerospace + aviation
- energy + environmental sciences
- financial technology
- gaming, entertainment + esports
- information technology
- learning sciences + human performance
- life sciences + medical technologies
- microelectronics, nanotechnology + sensors
- modeling, simulation + training
- optics + photonics
The University of Central Florida MGRP will prioritize projects that align with the UCF Strategic Plan.
Industrial Advisory Board
The goal of the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) is to develop the leaders of tomorrow by combining the academic excellence of ECE and multi-disciplinary research experiences with real world applications. The IAB builds partnerships between our researchers and companies that have a strategic interest in Electrical & Computer Engineering development. These partnerships provide an opportunity for industry to work with ECE faculty on joint research and development funded by government and industry. Our goals are to foster broad intellectual interactions with industrial partners and to facilitate the rapid implementation of the Department’s technology for the benefit of society. The IAB provides key opportunities for industrial partners to connect with ECE researchers through focused workshops, seminars and student recruitment opportunities as well as an Annual Industry Day.
“The IAB builds partnerships between our researchers and companies that have a strategic interest in Electrical & Computer Engineering development.”
The IAB also provides research direction involving areas of pressing industry need and concern and expedites the placement of our students, research results, and innovations to industry. Efforts are made to keep industry informed of the Department of ECE’s research activities of interest and to serve as a point of contact for any industrial organization wishing to take advantage of the various services available through the school. In cooperation with the faculty and research staff, ECE works to achieve meaningful relations with industry.