Recognizing that Miami’s burgeoning technology sector will require a deep pool of computing and data sciences talent, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced $15.3 million in commitments to two cornerstone educational institutions — Florida International University and the University of Miami — and to leading health system Baptist Health South Florida.
FIU will receive $10 million to expand what will become known as the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, the University of Miami will receive $4.3 million to grow its Institute of Data Science and Computing, while Baptist Health — the region’s largest health care provider — will receive $1 million to launch a health care innovation fellowship.
The investments bring to more than $55 million the amount Knight has committed to support Miami’s emerging tech entrepreneurship ecosystem since 2012, starting with meetups, convenings and the city’s first co-working space.
The strategy expanded to investing in organizations that support high-impact entrepreneurs, attract venture investors, and ensure that Miami’s tech ecosystem is as diverse as the city itself. The latest investments mark an evolution to supporting institutional partners who can develop technical talent at scale and meet the demands of local industry.
“Miami is emerging as an international tech hub, both through the success of local startups and the recent influx of companies and investors. Demand for technical talent is rising, and we’re just at the beginning of the trajectory,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight president and CEO.
“These investments will assure that there will be a deep pool of talent for Miami’s growing tech sector while creating opportunities for Miamians of all backgrounds.”
“FIU, UM and Baptist share one common imperative: investing in the people of Miami. And they are doing so by providing Miamians the tools to succeed in the local and global tech and innovation economy,” said Raul Moas, director of Knight’s Miami program.
“When exceptional talent and accessible capital come together, entrepreneurship and innovation flourish. With these investments, Knight is betting big on Miami’s greatest asset, its people, who increasingly seek to contribute to the city as tech entrepreneurs and venture builders.”