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Marine Science Hub in St Petersburg

SRI officially opened its new waterfront building this week. Just a couple of months ago Draper Labs opened their St Petersburg facility. They predict more high tech companies will be moving to this area. Both of these companies concentrate on turning university research and patents into commercially successful projects. These are the companies I was mentioning to my grandson, Matthew, at dinner recently, when he asked, “Which is more important, intelligence or creativity?”

There should be a marine monument to Dr. Peter Betzer, former dean of St Petersbuyrg’s College of Marine Science. Back in 1998 the US Geological Survey (USGS) opened in St Petersburg, largely due to Dr Betzer’s efforts. That led to the Florida Integrated Science Center, combining USF, USGS and state and national marine groups. One goal was to spur many satellite companies in the marine industry. SRI and Draper are certainly products of that goal, and we welcome them to St Pete. St Petersburg is a wonderful place for a marine sciences and labs hub.

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