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Embry-Riddle Partners with Two Florida Universities to Expand Space Research and Technology

Daytona Beach, Fla. , October 12, 2006

Three Florida universities have signed an agreement to cooperate on space research and technology programs, including the creation of a joint institute to coordinate their activities.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, and Florida State University will combine their capabilities to pursue emerging research, technology development, and educational opportunities associated with government and commercial space and aerospace initiatives. The universities signed the agreement Oct. 5 in Orlando.

“FSU, Florida Tech, and Embry-Riddle each have unique aerospace-related capabilities, and our partnership on space programs can do much to expand and diversify Florida’s role in the industry,” said Rodney Piercey, dean of Embry-Riddle’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This is an exciting time for the space industry, with exploration, defense, and commercialization programs accelerating in the United States and abroad.”

“This is a winning partnership of public and private institutions, building on the strengths of some of the top space-related research and education programs in the United States. With Florida Tech’s roots planted deeply in the U.S. space program, we welcome a collaboration that will further this mission,” said Frank Kinney, vice provost for research at Florida Institute of Technology.

“This collaboration couldn’t be more timely or fitting for Florida or NASA,” said Kirby Kemper, vice president for research at Florida State University. “The future of our country’s aerospace industry depends on a better-trained, domestically produced workforce of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians. With stronger ties to the space industry, Florida’s research universities can strengthen both their graduate training in these fields and their research capabilities as well.”

The joint institute will be open to participation by other universities and will work to develop collaborative programs with government agencies like NASA and Space Florida, as well as with commercial aerospace firms.

For program information, contact:

John Olivero, chairman of physical sciences at Embry-Riddle, at (386) 226-6453 or

Frank Kinney of Florida Tech at (321) 674-8961 or

Kirby Kemper of FSU at (850) 644-8347 or

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at