LAKELAND, Fla. – Officials from Florida Polytechnic University and Harris Corporation today gathered to sign the university’s first official industry partnership agreement during a special ceremony at Harris’ headquarters in Melbourne, Fla.
The inaugural agreement follows Florida Poly’s successful Industry Partnership Summit held last month, in which 44 leading firms expressed interest in partnering with Florida Poly.
“Collaborating with industry partners to offer students real-world experience, applied research and business leadership opportunities is at the cornerstone of our mission at Florida Poly,” said university Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker. “And a partnership with a firm as impressive and established as Harris really sets the stage for what students can expect from our programs.”
Harris Corporation is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and about 14,000 employees — including 6,000 engineers and scientists.
As part of the partnership agreement, Harris will provide senior technical and management staff to serve on Florida Poly’s Industry Advisory Boards. Additionally, the company will explore with Florida Poly basic and applied research opportunities, assist with seeking research funding from organizations like the National Science Foundation and even team up with the university to pursue contracts with strategic research organizations.
“Harris is committed to supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education,” said Bill Brown, president and chief executive officer. “As our company continues to grow, we know firsthand the need to foster an advanced workforce with expertise in these fields of study. Through our partnership with Florida Polytechnic University we can create a collaborative framework to strengthen Florida Poly’s educational curriculum and learning environment to prepare students to take on substantive roles in industry upon graduation.”
Harris Corporation will also provide opportunities for Florida Poly students to participate in a robust internship program that aligns students in innovative, technology-rich and interdisciplinary learning environments. Poly students will have the chance to apply their coursework while gaining hands-on experience working side-by-side with Harris’ many engineers and scientists.
“This partnership is a win-win for both Florida Poly and Harris,” said Sean Malott, Poly’s Director of Strategic Business and Education Partnerships. “Not only will it provide internships and opportunities that help prepare our students to join the workforce, it will produce students whose skills are responsive to the needs of high-tech employers like Harris.”