The University of Florida has struck a deal to buy the in-state assets of the Scripps Research Institute, which includes three science buildings and 70 vacant acres. The price tag? One hundred dollars.
The deal, first reported by local news site OnGardens.org, comes after months of talks between the University of Florida and the California-based Scripps Research Institute, which describes its campus in Jupiter, Fla., as “three buildings on 30 lush acres within Palm Beach County’s innovation corridor, between Interstate 95 and the Atlantic Ocean.” Beyond the Jupiter campus, another undeveloped 70 acres owned by Scripps will also go to the university.
Negotiations between the university and Scripps were first announced in July, with an agreement signed in November, per a news release, which described the Jupiter campus as “one of the top National Institutes of Health-supported research centers in the state.” The campus includes more than 40 faculty-led laboratories working to understand various illnesses and devise treatments.
“We are excited to work collaboratively with our colleagues at Scripps to rapidly take discoveries made at the bench to the bedside, where they can have the most benefit to humanity,” Dr. David R. Nelson, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, the university’s academic health center, said in the November news release. “We are looking forward to cultivating a culture of innovation that will extend from the outstanding science already underway.”
OnGardens.org also reported that Scripps will give UF “$102 million in cash on hand, most of it apparently committed to ongoing projects, minus $3 million for transition costs.” The agreement, signed last month, is expected to close Jan. 18, the local news site reported. As part of the deal, UF can use the Scripps name, and current researchers will become university employees.
According to WPTV, in 2003 the state of Florida paid $310 million “for a campus adjacent to Florida Atlantic University in Abacoa to entice biotech firms,” with Palm Beach County contributing an additional $269 million to Scripps in an effort to develop jobs in the region. The University of Florida and Scripps already have research collaborations, the TV station reports.