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USF President Steven Currall shares his vision of innovation in Tampa Bay at USF Health Leadership & Innovation Forum of Tampa affinity group breakfast

Last week, University of South Florida President Steven Currall joined members of the Leadership & Innovation Forum of Tampa (LIFT) for their final breakfast meeting of the 2019-2020 year to share his vision for USF and the growing Tampa Bay region.

USF President Steven Currall speaking at the LIFT breakfast on March 5.

USF President Steven Currall speaking at the LIFT breakfast meeting on March 5.

President Currall spoke on how USF will boost the growing and changing economy in Tampa, and Florida as a whole, as the state transitions from an agricultural and tourist focused economy to a more diverse one including manufacturing and life sciences.

“You can’t have a world-class city without a world-class university,” said Currall. “The state of Florida, in order to succeed, needs to have high-paying and high-quality jobs with new technological discoveries that will pull in federal and industrial corporate research dollars. To do that we need to invest in our universities.”

USF is America’s fastest rising university and ranked #44 among public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report, jumping 14 slots from the previous year. Currall shared that USF is striving to become a top 25-ranked public university.

“Investing in universities leads to academic excellence, which allows for USF to be a magnet for human capital. The new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, Heart Institute, and Taneja College of Pharmacy in downtown Tampa itself is a human capital magnet.”

President Steven Currall taking a "selfie" with LIFT member, Ryan Frankel

President Currall taking a “selfie” with LIFT member, Ryan Frankel.

According to Currall, USF’s innovation activities alone generated $548 million annually for the local economy, sustaining more than 4,000 public and private sector jobs, and the university’s economic impact as a whole surpasses $4.4 billion. Of the 4,000 created jobs, 82% are in knowledge-based services such as life sciences, companies, information technology operations, and financial services.

“I think the future is very bright for the University of South Florida and by working together, we can achieve our aspirations and help the region achieve its aspirations,” said Currall.

Following the presentation, LIFT members engaged in a Q&A session, meet and greet, and snapped a few “selfies” with President Currall.


About the Leadership & Innovation Forum of Tampa, powered by USF Health

Launched in fall 2019, the Leadership & Innovation Forum of Tampa (LIFT), powered by USF Health, is an exclusive membership organization designed to unite innovators and leaders in Tampa, who are committed to advancing the economic and physical health of our region. USF Health LIFT connects the visionary talent of the community, sparking new ideas and collaborations that can benefit everyone. Members form new relationships, as well as partnerships, and hear from fascinating speakers who are reimagining the future of health from the environment, to the community, to the individual.

To learn more about USF Health LIFT, please visit or contact Joanne Sullivan at