The St. Petersburg Ocean Team
comprises the premier consortium for marine science, oceanographic, and environmental research agencies and institutions in the Southeast and is one of the top such industry clusters in the nation. St. Petersburg Ocean Team members include: USF-St. Petersburg, USF's College of Marine Science and its Center for Ocean Technology, USF's Research Foundation, SRI St. Petersburg, Florida Institute of Oceanography, International Ocean Institute - USA, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Geological Survey Center for Coastal and Wetland Studies, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, The City of St. Petersburg, The Pier Aquarium, and United States Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.
These team members, along with related agencies and businesses, will work together to raise awareness in the community and nationwide about the member organizations and the research that they do. The St. Petersburg Ocean Team will also allow for team members to pool their collective staff expertise, infrastructure, and research capabilities so that member organizations can better address numerous issues facing the State of Florida and the nation including: red tides, hurricanes, climate change, and offshore oil and gas exploration.
"The agencies, institutions, and businesses of the St. Petersburg Ocean Team have long been key components of St. Petersburg's economic vitality,” said Mayor Rick Baker. "Formalizing the connection between the team members will allow for greater opportunities to partner and collaborate while still allowing for each organization to continue their individual mission. The Ocean Team will also amplify the team members' collective impact on the scientific community in addition to their economic impact on the city, surrounding region, and the entire state.”
Industry "clusters”, like the Ocean Team, are groups of competing, complementary, and interdependent firms and institutions that are located near one another. In the case of the Ocean Team, these agencies have found a home in St. Petersburg's Bayboro Harbor. These cluster organizations draw productive advantages from their proximity and connections as well as the similarities between their workforce and vendor needs.
"The St. Petersburg Ocean Team is one of the most important economic drivers in St. Petersburg,” said Economic Development Director Dave Goodwin. The St. Petersburg Ocean Team and its related cluster agencies and businesses employ over 800 people and have an annual payroll in excess of $24 million. The continued growth of the St. Petersburg Ocean Team and its members will mean that like-minded research institutions and agencies, as well as businesses seeking to capitalize on technology transfer, will continue to locate nearby, magnifying the synergies between the organizations. "SRI St. Petersburg's recent relocation to St. Petersburg is a perfect illustration of that,” said Goodwin, "and is typical of the type of synergy that collaborative organizations such as the Ocean Team can accomplish.”
"The University of South Florida's College of Marine Science is proud to be a member of the St. Petersburg Ocean Team,” said Dean William Hogarth, Ph.D. "This recognition of as well as the future growth of the synergies between the various team members will mean an even greater opportunity for our students and faculty to build partnerships that will expand not only their research capabilities but also the relevance this research has to greater societal issues.”