A report estimates USF’s innovation ecosystem contributes $582m to the state economy each year and sustains some 4,000 public and private-sector jobs.

University of South Florida (USF)’s innovation operation is responsible for injecting $582m into Florida’s state economy each year, according to a paper from Washington Economics Group.

The figure has jumped by more than 45% over the last three years, according to the analysis, with the bulk of the economic impact – $548m – retained within the Tampa Bay area where USF is based.

Washington Economics Group formed its judgement on the basis of productivity estimates for USF’s tech transfer office, research park and tech incubator.

Other findings from the report include that USF innovation supports 4,000 public and private-sector jobs, up 35% from 2016, with about 82% of the posts created in knowledge-based sectors ranging from life sciences to financial services.

These jobs in turn have a knock-on effect for Florida’s traditional core industries, such as tourism, real estate and transportation.

Steve Currall, president of USF, said: “One of the most important roles research universities serve is in creating and fostering new ideas that fuel economic development through collaboration and commercialisation.

“This analysis shows how USF’s innovation enterprise has become a vital catalyst for the larger innovation ecosystem, which is creating unprecedented opportunity for the Tampa Bay region and the state of Florida.”